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I Think The Upstairs Neighbors Are Freaking Her Out...


Guest mgodwin
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I'm having a bit of difficulty with my sweet baby Ginny. I live in a downstairs apartment and over the last few days she's started getting really spooked by noises coming from the upstairs neighbors (footsteps, drops, etc.). Now we've progressed to the point where she's hesitant to go outside and when we do she's constantly looking up. She's also hiding in the back bedroom where there tends to be less noise from upstairs. Does anyone have any advice about how to handle this situation? I should also mention that we've been in this apartment about 2.5 months now and she's only been with me for about 6 months. I've got a D.A.P. diffuser in the living room (which I discovered yesterday had run out) and she has a D.A.P. collar on but has only had that on for a day. I just hate that she's anxious in her own home and want to do what I can to help her.

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Besides feeling frightened of new noises, dogs often feed off of our own reactions to noises. It will take some time for her to get accustomed to those noises, but I would try counter-conditioning her by happily teaching her that upstairs noises are a good thing for which she receives happy, fun verbal praise, high value delicious treats (e.g., plain cooked meat - no spices, or liver treats, etc.) either gently tossed on the floor towards her direction or offer from your hand, and try redirecting her attention by playing with a toy (if she's not too scared to accept a toy). We happily say a word like "oopsie" when anything is dropped which helps all our hounds remain calm and relaxed. If she's too anxious to accept food or toys, simply act relaxed and happy as if nothing unusual happened, but keep trying to counter-condition her over time. Eventually, you'll likely begin to see positive results by repeating these baby steps.

 

Another option: "Calm dog" music by Through a Dog's Ear is wonderfully relaxing and is available in different formats: http://throughadogsear.com/icalmdog/

Edited by 3greytjoys
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Would a radio or leaving a TV on help muffle the noise from upstairs!

 

I leave the TV on basically all the time except when we're sleeping.

 

Besides feeling frightened of new noises, dogs often feed off of our own reactions to noises. It will take some time for her to get accustomed to those noises, but I would try counter-conditioning her by happily teaching her that upstairs noises are a good thing for which she receives happy, fun verbal praise, high value delicious treats (e.g., plain cooked meat - no spices, or liver treats, etc.) either gently tossed on the floor towards her direction or offer from your hand, and try redirecting her attention by playing with a toy (if she's not too scared to accept a toy). We happily say a word like "oopsie" when anything is dropped which helps all our hounds remain calm and relaxed. If she's too anxious to accept food or toys, simply act relaxed and happy as if nothing unusual happened, but keep trying to counter-condition her over time. Eventually, you'll likely begin to see positive results by repeating these baby steps.

 

Another option: "Calm dog" music by Through a Dog's Ear is wonderfully relaxing and is available in different formats: http://throughadogsear.com/icalmdog/

 

I try not to react to it at all but I'll confess it does startle me sometimes. It's only been a few months so I'm hoping she'll adjust but at first she seemed wary of the noises but didn't react. Now she jumps up. I'll definitely try what you suggested though. Thanks for the advice!

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Our up the road neighbor is a farmer who insists on blasting a Corn Cannon every summer to scare away the birds. When Foster Sweet first heard it she would panic and run to the door to go back inside. I knew that the cannon would run for several weeks, every 7-10 minutes on every hour from 7:00a-6:00p :crazy What I did was every time the thing went off I'd sing "Dopey Neighbors" in a really (forced) happy voice and give her a treat. At first I had to put the treat in her mouth but in short order Sweet figured out that when she heard the cannon she'd get a treat. Eventually she came to me looking for them and she enjoyed the rest of the summer, no worries.

 

Janet Marlow's Zen Dog CD is very calming, I leave it playing during the day when I'm gone.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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