Have you struggled to protect your dog or your client’s dogs from intrusive sounds?
You’ve probably heard the advice to cover a dog’s crate in heavy blankets or even acoustic foam if the dog is scared of thunder. But does this practice create a barrier against sound? How much? Are you sure?
I will be giving evidence-based answers to this and many more questions about dogs and sound at my upcoming webinar at The Science Dog on July 24, 2019:
Trainers need to understand basics about sound science and technology to perform desensitization and counterconditioning effectively with client dogs. They need to be informed about the science of sound to help with management solutions. And pet owners often search for methods to protect their dogs from bothersome sounds. Many of the solutions commonly offered for both these problems are not supported by evidence.
Here’s just a bit of what I’ll be covering.
How Can We Protect Our Dogs From Sounds That Bother Them?
Whether our dogs are sound-reactive, sound phobic, or happily normal, there are times when we want to protect them from sounds. I will be discussing the major suggested methods: barriers, wearable devices, music, and masking.
I’ll discuss both the why and the how. For instance, I tested the sound levels in a crate when covered and uncovered. I used an app that does some math to compute the sound pressure level over a broad range of frequencies. I’ll share the results of my test in the webinar and explain how it matches what the science tells us.
How Can We Play Sounds That “Sound Right” To Dogs?
In dog training, there are also sounds we do want our dogs to hear. We need accurate, high fidelity sounds when counterconditioning. I will be sharing important information about the characteristics of digital technology. You’ll find out why generating high fidelity sound—high fidelity for dogs’ ears—is difficult. I’ll tell you the best ways to get around these limitations when it is possible to do so.
Low-frequency sounds like thunder and fireworks are uniquely challenging to reproduce. High-frequency noises like beeps and whistles have a different set of challenges. I’ll suggest some best practices for both. And I’ll also offer an alternative way to get a less intense version of a sound trigger for desensitization and counterconditioning when lowering the volume doesn’t help.
We need to approach sound with the same scientific rigor that we do behavior science. I’m uniquely qualified on the subject. I have a master’s degree in music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree in applied science (acoustics) from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Come to the webinar on July 24th and let’s get started.
Copyright 2019 Eileen Anderson