How to use sounds as a therapy to keep alert dogs calm and encourage relaxation.
Although a puppy is born deaf as their ear canals are block for the first weeks they are alive it is said that dogs have 4x the hearing that humans do. Some dogs are more alert or sounds sensitive to others. Herding breed dogs are often demonstrate the highest alert to sound as their job is to protect the herd and hearing sounds over bleating sheep would be beneficial to protecting their flock. A dogs ear has 18 muscles to move their ears for optimal hearing as well communication through body language to one another and even us if we have a keen eye for subtlety. Hound dogs have large dragging ears that aid in better scent detection.
Having first hand experience with numerous dogs of all ages and confidence levels I recommend sound therapy for all dogs at all stages of their lives. I have spent the past few years board and training dogs in my home. I live in a basement suite of a seventy year old house, you can hear my upstairs neighbours talking, walking, entertaining and their dog walking and playing upstairs. I have board and trained puppies as young as 9 weeks old, numerous adolescents to seniors. Dogs that live in the heart of urban Vancouver in 500-600 sq ft condo to dogs that live in houses with large yards and even free roam on multi-acre farms. My home is quiet, peaceful and at times I can have up to 8 dogs. It is very easy for one nervous dog to set off the others and start a barking fest and yet it has never happened.
Our senses and how sensitive they are have an affect to our state of mind. Ambience is the right combination of sights, smells and sound. For dogs the smell and sounds are what they rely on to alert the pack to danger. I defuse high quality essential oils that are safe and beneficial to humans and dogs as well as specific sounds therapy to create a peaceful environment.
What is white noise?
White noise contains all audible frequencies, its most common use is to mask unwanted sounds. White noise gets its name from ‘white light’. White light is all colours, or frequencies of colour, combined together which is what happens with white noise. We hear up to 20,000 different tones at the same time and it becomes a shhhing or soft hissing sound. Most people find that they easily get used to the noise fades into the background, and takes other external sounds with it. Basically white noise is the signal, or frequency, created when all the different frequencies of audible sound that the ear and brain can perceive are put together at a similar level. There is also pink noise and brown noise which have silica but different effects or benefits.
Using white noise for your puppy to keep them sleeping and not jumping awake each time you move about is a life saver and will give you a peaceful night sleep. It is so much easier to raise a puppy on a good night sleep. Fading out external sounds when you have a fearful dog or a dog that has not been exposed to city noises yet is also beneficial. If you have dog that wakes and night or can not settle in the evening and barks to alert you and their pack their stress hormones are most likely heightened and that stress and anxiety is going to carry over to your day and theirs.
When to use white noise
If you are entertaining and having a party and your dog is separated from the party.
When you know there are triggers that you have not desensitized yet. A common example garbage day and your dog is afraid of the sound of large trucks.
When you have a new rescue from another country and they have not been exposed to the city noises.
If you or your neighbours have construction or renovations
If you have a new
When you leave the puppy or dog alone.
When you are home – If you only use white noise when you go out your dog may see it as a trigger that you are leaving so use white noise often.
If you live in a house or an apartment that your dog can hear your neighbours coming and going.
What can you use for white noise?
Fans - turn a fan on and facing it away from your dogs crate or area you can use multiple fans. A fan above your stove or bathroom.
A white noise machine
A white noise app on your phone or tablet
Youtube – White noise combined with sound effects there are many and I have listed a few below.
Combining white noise in addition to audiobooks can be very soothing for your dog.
Audio books have been proven to calm shelter dogs who are high anxiety and stress barking.
Audio books are not the same as playing the TV or radio. The TV and radio are erratic and the volume changes with commercials as well as the voices and sounds. Podcasts are great but they are often not long enough. Audio books have a rhythm and cadence that is predictable similar to a human conversion.
Below is a free audio book that I recommend Decoding your dog.
"Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones" by American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. It's totally free and you won't need a credit card if it is your first time accepting an Audible book from a friend. Get it here After you accept the book, you will be prompted to download the Audible app to start listening.
Youtube white noise
City white noise
Ocean white noise
Rain white noise
Fan white noise