Do you have a new puppy? An older dog who is bothered by certain sounds (fireworks, yardwork, etc.)?
We're happy to share one of our favorite training tips that is easy to do at home as you play with or feed your dog, or even cuddle on the couch.
We love YouTube videos of socialization sounds for at-home socialization!
If you have a puppy, you introduce these from day one. (On day twelve? You can still start!)
Start the videos on the lowest possible volume. I love to play them when our puppies are sleepy, worn out, happily playing with us, or eating. I avoid introducing new sounds when they are already mouthy, overstimulated, or having the “zoomies.”
You can pair the new sounds with some yummy treats as long as the sound starts THEN you bring out the treats.
As they seem not to notice the sounds, gradually raise the volume. I bring a speaker into the backyard, front yard, and even play it in my car. Dogs don't generalize well, so I want to help them do so!
Do NOT tip toe around your sleeping puppy. They are sleepy when they come home and are happy to sleep through tons of sounds as long as you don't teach them that nap time should be completely quiet.
All of the above is true for your adult dog except for two more caveats. We want to take increasing the volume much, much slower. Little puppies are happy sponges. Our adult dogs need a little more convincing. This is a nice time to act unconcerned, but counter condition with some very yummy treats while the noises are on. I would play the sounds in shorter intervals as well.
TIP: You can ask your smart speaker to play puppy socialization sounds! Thanks Google Home and Alexa!
Here are some of our favorite videos. Find your own by searching “Puppy Socialization Sounds” on YouTube.
Happy socializing your pup!