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The Creation of the Canine Noise Phobia Series

I had the pleasure of meeting Victoria Stilwell in January 2011 at Clicker Expo. She had previously played Through a Dog’s Ear music on It’s Me or the Dog and it successfully helped the dogs get and stay calm. So I was eager to give her our latest release, Music to Calm your Canine Companion Vol. 3.

Gina was with me at Clicker Expo, and I was struck by the calm gentleness in which Victoria engaged with her. It was delightful just sitting on the floor with a group of her Positively trainers, with Gina in the middle soaking up all the attention and belly rubs.

Lisa Spector, Victoria Stilwell, Joshua Leeds at APDT Conference

We casually discussed the idea of collaborating on a project, and then continued that conversation in conference calls with Joshua Leeds, co-founder of Through a Dog’s Ear. We wanted to create music that included training tools and started exploring several different common canine behavior problems.

Noise phobia (fear of certain sounds) came into the conversation, as it is a very common problem with dogs and only increases with occurrences as dogs age. The symptoms of a dog suffering from fireworks or thunderstorm phobia can be as mild as panting and pacing and as severe as being so panicked that they jump out of a window. Also, dogs who live in an urban environment are subjected to many human sounds that frighten them. Even dogs who live in the suburbs or country can develop a phobia to ashe says “a fear memory can be caused by either a past abusive experience, or by introducing a new thing or a new sensation too quickly.”  Any sound that is introduced too quickly and too loudly to a dog can create a fear memory.

In her years of training, both on and off the air, Victoria has encountered a multitude of dogs with debilitating sound phobia anxieties. Even though the Music to Calm your Canine Companion series has already helped thousands of dogs with sound phobias by calming their nervous system, we wanted to created a training tool that could also help in the prevention of sound phobias.

After much discussion, we decided to create the Canine Noise Phobia series. By combining three distinctive elements, it can be used both for the treatment and prevention of sound-sensitivities and noise-phobias:

  • progressive sound effects (distant/close)
  • specially-designed psychoacoustic music (Through a Dog’s Ear)
  • reward-based reinforcement protocols (Victoria Stilwell)

The CD’s come with an 18 page booklet that includes four pages of training instruction written by Victoria. For best results, it is important that people follow the very simple training instructions. Click for sound samples of the tracks, with sounds ranging from mild and distant to close and heavy, and the clinically tested music underneath. We are very eager to hear how your dogs respond to the training combined with the sound tracks. Thanks for adding your comments below.