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Dog Noise Anxiety / Phobia

Noise anxiety (or noise phobia) is a condition where a dog is excessively afraid of sounds like fireworks, thunderstorms, vacuum cleaners etc.. While loud noises are understandably stressful, a dog that suffers from noise anxiety experiences panic and extreme fear that is out of proportion to any real danger associated with the noise. A dog with noise phobias can engage in destructive behaviors like chewing and tearing up objects in the home, or might try to escape and run away from the noise.

Like all other mental and behavioral issues, noise anxiety has both genetic and environmental causes.

Herding dog breeds such as the Border Collie, Australian Shepherd and German Shepherd Dog may be more likely to experience noise anxiety.

Environmental factors that may influence separation anxiety include the amount of socialization to different sights and sounds during puppyhood, and amount of daily exercise.

A large, 2015 Finnish study found that "fearful dogs had experienced poorer maternal care and had been less socialized before the first three months of life." This suggests that appropriate puppy socialization during the first 12 weeks of life can help reduce the likelihood of adult dog anxiety disorders. The importance of puppy socialization could also explain why dogs that are abandoned or rescued from shelters are more likely to experience anxiety issues like noise phobia and separation anxiety.

The same study found that dogs who have separation anxiety, and noise sensitivities, get significantly less daily exercise compared with dogs who don't have these anxiety problems.

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