Dog Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking I would like to expose my new puppy to the fireworks tomorrow, but obviously it needs to be a positive experience or it'll backfire, right? Do I leave my puppy home where he's in a familiar environment but alone and hope he has an okay experience, or do I bring him with us to socialize at the park, where he'll be with his human safety blankets but also strangers and outside where the fireworks are louder? Should I cancel our plans to stay home with him?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
I wouldn't bring the dog, for a couple of reasons. But most importantly. Fourth of July is one of the days with the most reported lost dogs.

It's going to be dark. What if your puppy gets loose and runs away when he gets scared? It will be difficult to find him. Plus really noisy. There could be a lot dangerous things around your dog could run into. Traffic, firecrackers, people running around drunk.

I would recommend leaving your puppy at home, give him a stuffed kong and leave him in the crate. Puppies shouldn't be consoled when they are afraid of fireworks.

There's only fireworks like twice a year. It's going to be a rare thing for your dog ever to have to see fireworks with you at the park. I would just desensitize the dog to what it will be like hearing it from home.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,780 Posts
Stay home with him and make the experience as positive as possible. You do not want to end up with a dog like mine who is likely going to be scared spitless tomorrow night despite the fact that I'm going to give him generic xanax to try and help. Right now you have no idea how he'll react but you can try and control it, I did not have that luxury, my boy came to me at a year old and already had a fear of thunder and fireworks. Bring him to the park earlier in the day to socialize him and tire him out, and come evening bring him home.

At home you can try and drown out some of the fireworks if you need to by turning up the TV or stereo. You can go sit outside if he seems to be doing good, or you can stay inside if he doesn't. If you are at a park you will not have that luxury, and if your puppy does panic you'll have no way to get him out of the situation quickly.

Feed him HIGH value treats when the fireworks start. Every time a bang happens feed him one of those treats. When a bunch goes off feed them to him one after another. Hopefully the end result will be a puppy that's thrilled to hear a firework pop, and come New Years you can sit out with him, where ever you want, and watch the fireworks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
After reading Rains post, I wish I could take away my suggestion to leave him home with just a kong. But it won't let me edit anymore.

I agree, stay home with him and feed high value treats. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
500 Posts
My opinion it is a crap shoot...I would have no problem taking him so that he associates the loud noises with a positive experience of everyone having fun but at the same token if he starts to freak to be ready to immediately leave.

I had Pax his first two years in what is a war zone in my neighborhood with full blown pro level mortars going off that rival the impact of legit fireworks shows and loved being out with everyone having a great time...so not every dog is gonna go bezerk. When a loud bang went off, everyone cheered which got him happily excited rather than the noises being a negative association...but every dog is different.

Knowing what I know now leaving home alone with all the noise would have been a disastrous choice for my dog.

We have his LED Collar and LED leash ready to go for tomorrow night! He is the life of the party out on the streets and gets all the attention being lit up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
All dogs are individuals and fireworks and crowds may not faze some of them. But in my opinion there is no good reason to put a puppy in that situation as many will be frightened and upset and taking them home after the fact is a poor compromise, not to mention the pup may get so freaked out it may bolt and get lost and/or 'rehomed' by a stranger that sees it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
I took rocky to our local firework show two weeks after i got him. He got to play and get loved on. He then slept right through the fireworks. Last year i once again took him with me to the firework display. He had a blast playing with my friends kids and getting loved on. Honestly he waa so tired by the time the fireworks started that he just snozzed right through them. The first time i did sit right by my car so if he did freak out i could move to my car. He is now perfectly ok with fireworks and loud noises also.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
I just spent last night with a couple who own a severely noise phobic brittany/pointing griffon cross and has left him home locked in a bathroom for his safety and that of the house and was at a house with two very noise phobic corgis who both dove through the doggy door and hid in the basement when neighbors started setting off fireworks. My 2 family dogs growing up (one of which is still around) and my current (first of my own) dog have all been pretty much oblivious to fireworks. My parent's/family's current dog (terrier/BC/lab looking mutt) will pace a little bit but settles quickly if we're inside, never tried her outside. Both my first dog (Boston) and current Boston are 100% oblivious outside or inside. Spending the 3rd with two noise phobic dogs and the owners of another very noise phobic pup was a good reminder at just how terrified some dogs are of fireworks, since I've never experienced it myself.

It is possible the dog won't mind at all, which would be great. It's also possible he will start freaking out and you'll be in the middle of a public park, outside, with no where to go. This could turn a slight reactivity to noise into a severe noise phobia. Puppies do go through a few fear periods (the first around 4-6 months, and then I think another closer to 8-9 months, I think) and during these times, the pup is really set up for slightly upsetting experiences to become severe phobias later in life. For example, puppies that get attacked by another dog during a fear period are a lot more likely to develop fear-based aggression. If he is in a fear period, and if afraid of noise, it is totally possible you will create a lifelong problem.

I had never really seen noise phobic dogs react to fireworks or storms, so last night was an eye opener for me and it really cemented the idea that it would be very unpleasant to live with a severely noise phobic dog. At a certain level of fear, dogs will literally just shut down. That is one of the most heartbreaking sights I've ever seen. It's not something that is pleasant to experience as their owner, either, I would imagine.

Has this dog ever been around fireworks before, like inside while they're happening? Does he react? Does he react to storms?

When you're socializing a puppy to something, you're always starting at a low level of exposure to make sure he isn't afraid of the thing already, and because if he is afraid of the thing you're trying to expose him to you would go much slower than if he isn't. If you're in a park when the fireworks start, if he's afraid at all, there's not really any way to take him farther away or to somewhere where the stimulus will be less scary, because of how loud they are, even moving 100' away isn't going to make much of a difference, and the difference between the noise of a near bye firework inside vs outside isn't even that different.

IMO, this is setting yourself up for the pup to have a bad experience. If he doesn't like fireworks even a little bit, he's going to be stressed, and depending on his age this could be very likely to be an experience that sticks with him, so to speak.

I would probably stay home with him to make sure he was OK, but I'm also a super nut about my dogs and my life revolves around them in a way not everyone's does. If you don't want to/can't stay home, then I would put him in a covered crate with some blankets and a stuffed kong. I definitely would not bring him, unless he has previously been around fireworks and not reacted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,887 Posts
@MollyDoggy I wouldn't count on the July 4th weekend as the only time a dog will encounter fireworks. Fireworks are most frequent during the holidays here but I hear them all summer and autumn to some extent. I'd probably want to go out and desensitize a puppy and get any new puppy I had used to hearing fireworks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,837 Posts
I think that you could go out and desensitize your puppy to the fireworks without taking him right to the center of action at the park.

Last night, while I was walking my dog, I could hear fireworks going over a few miles away. They didn't bother my dog at all, but I don't think I'd ever consider taking him to a fireworks display.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
@MollyDoggy I wouldn't count on the July 4th weekend as the only time a dog will encounter fireworks. Fireworks are most frequent during the holidays here but I hear them all summer and autumn to some extent. I'd probably want to go out and desensitize a puppy and get any new puppy I had used to hearing fireworks.
True, I guess it depends on where you live. I only hear them on 4th of July and New years, but they're also illegal in this state. I forgot they're legal and more widely used in other places.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,887 Posts
It's possible that while on my walks that my dogs will be quite close to fireworks that are being set off due to the neighbors setting them off in their yards. My neighbors do seem to like setting off the loud ones at random times too and that could happen any time during the spring, summer and autumn months. I'd want any of my dogs to be used to hearing such noises.

True, I guess it depends on where you live. I only hear them on 4th of July and New years, but they're also illegal in this state. I forgot they're legal and more widely used in other places.
I've heard plenty of fireworks in Massachusetts which is one state where they are currently illegal. Are they common where you are? I wouldn't think that whether they're legal or not would have much impact as people can just purchase them in one state and bring them into another state. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I've actually heard quite a few random fireworks in this area, so it is rather possible that he'd hear them while out on a walk in the future. He has never seemed to notice them before, but I am thinking tonight will be more intense no matter where we are.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top