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My dog (14 month old beagle/rott mix) has started shaking and acting scared whenever my boyfriend turns on his emergency services scanner (he's an emt) and recently when I was on my phone. He paces, pants, won't take food and hides in the corner. If I hold him I can feel him shaking and breathing hard. His tail and ears are down and he won't come when called. He's not being vicious or anything but I am still worried. The other dog in the house is fine during these occasions.

Typically he is a very energetic and friendly puppy and just wants to play or cuddle. These occurrences have been getting more frequent recently. I adopted him from Animal Alliance 6 months ago and even when I asked, I was not given any background information on him.

Please Help!

~Ryan and Scared Puppy Nolan~
 

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When does he react to the scanner? Is it when you first turn it on, when the voices come out of it, when it's got static coming from it, and is it the entire time it's on?

If he's reacting when it's first turned on and the entire time it's on that's probably going to be the easiest to work with. You could do it two ways, get him as far enough away from the scanner that he can hear it, and is a little concerned about it, but isn't in a full blown panic and stay there with the dog and have your BF turn the scanner on. When it's on start feeding the dog treat, petting him, and talking calmly to him. Then turn the scanner off and later in the day practice again, do that every day till he's not reacting to the scanner at that spot, then move closer to the scanner and repeat giving him treats. Once he's comfortable there move closer. Till eventually you're in the same room with the scanner and he doesn't care about it.

The other method would be to have the dog in the same room with the scanner, arm yourself with super yummy treats (hot dogs, chicken, hamburger..) feed the dog some so that he knows you have them, and turn the scanner on and right off again while feeding him the treats, keep feeding him and if he didn't freak out turn it on and leave it on for 1 second but no longer while feeding him. If he didn't panic then turn it on again for 2 seconds. What you'll be doing with that method is slowly increasing the length of time the scanner is left on. It's sort of like what you'd do if he had separation anxiety.

Whatever method you pick you need to work with him when he's below threshold, if he's panicking and won't except treats then it's to much and he's over his threshold and cannot learn. Also keep in mind that it is going to take weeks to months to fully desensitize him to the noise of the scanner. It won't go quick but if you stay with it it will work.
 

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Definitely try desensitizing him. It will take time, but it does work.

I'd just like to mention that my husband has abnormally good hearing. He can hear 23,000kz. For a man in his 30s, the normal upper end is 14,000hz. Police scanners drive my husband nuts. So do those antibarking things you put in your yard. Both devices emit sounds above what you are capable of hearing, but your dog (and my husband) can.
 
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