As part of an adoption from RAGOM, adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to enroll in basic training classes. At RAGOM's suggestion, I enrolled Cody with The K9 Coach. Cody and I walk the two blocks to class on Saturday mornings.
As I've gone through the class (this was our 4th week), I've notice many similarities with the training that Belle and I have done. But as is often the case when different people present the "same" information, a different understanding is achieved or another perspective is seen. In Saturday's class, the new perspective surrounded acclimating your dog to thunderstorms and fireworks. The suggestion made by Jeff (the instructor) was to play YouTube videos of fireworks and thunder, setting the volume to low at first, but increasing the sound with time. Belle has not ever shown fear with either T-storms or fireworks, but then she hasn't had much exposure to either, either. With Cody, he seems very sensitive to new sounds outdoors, and often responds vocally. I think I'll give this a try - I don't think it could hurt. At the very least it provides a controlled environment that can be turned off at any time if the dog is getting anxious.
For those of you that may want to try this tip, but haven't used YouTube before I have a couple of tips:
- Click on YouTube. In the upper right corner of your screen, there is a search box. Enter thunderstorms, or fireworks, click search and YouTube will pull up all videos with those terms in the description.
- Use of YouTube is highly addictive - many of the video's are hilarious, and like Lay's potato chips it's really hard to stop at just one.