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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19756
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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5-year-old Boston very anxious. Dove shooting nearby

Customer Question

5-year-old Boston very anxious. Dove shooting nearby yesterday has made him nervous, won't eat. Gave half of ACE tab last night to sleep and had to give half this AM. Scared of noises now. Has genetic cataracts, right eye operated with IOL, sees wonderfully. Takes 2 glaucoma drops 2 x day. So far so good. Anxiety started 3 years ago when he became almost blind.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

For right now, there isn't much you can do but give the tranquilizer until you can desensitize him to the noises. If he isn't eating, go ahead and tempt him with a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice or well drained hamburger. You can also pick up Nutrical from your pet store and use that when she isn't eating to ensure her nutrition doesn't suffer during that time.

Take the noises she is reacting to the worse such as gun shots and thunder and tape it at the regular volume. Then while you have tasty treats like hot dog slices or liver slivers play the nose back at a very low volume. As she ignores the sound at that volume, reward her with the treats. Practice a few times a day. Each day increase the volume just a tiny amount until she is listening to it at a volume even greater than the original sound without being anxious.

Let me give you this information. I still have a lot more, but start with this.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.

Another prescription drug would be Xanax but I have to caution you not to give any prescription drug to your dog without consulting your vet first. It might be a good substitution for the ACE.

Another treatment is Melatonin which you can read about here. It has been shown to work well for noise phobias. You will need to check with your vet to be sure it doesn't interfere with other medications.


DAP collars might help a bit as well. They produce pheromones that mimic the ones produced by a nursing mom to calm her pups. It has proven to be helpful with this problem but was used in conjunction with desensitization so it is unknown if the collar or the training was the major factor in resolving the problem. They can be used with any medication as it is a pheromone and not a drug.

You also need to not show the dog attention when they are reacting to noises. If you try and reassure them or give them attention, it encourages them to act that way in the future because they are getting attention. So give praise when he is calm and ignore when he is anxious.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer.