How to Solve Thunder & Firework Reactivity
FREE Web Presentation Event Recording ( 38 mins long; there is no chat afterwards and the classes have changed, so please disregard that information) Free access from July 4 to 8, 2017.
The tools that we use to address this issue are:
- Name and Explain
- Conditioned Relaxation
- Thoughtfully timed work tasks
Free help and support:
Facebook Group: Syn Alia – SATS Dog Arousal (free information, help and support):
Base Training Video (action starts about 5 mins in, after blackover with explanation of how to study video):
Simple, immediate, continuous feedback which can build confidence and precision, almost instantly.
Name and Explain
For this part of the process, you are going to let the dog know that you do, in fact, have ears and can hear thunder. Tell the dog that there is a storm coming, that he should be easy, and that you are going to listen to thunder together. When you hear the sound, give an emphatic bridge and name it: “X! That’s thunder.” If you have tape with the sounds on it, or look it up on youtube, that is a good way to start without having to wait around for a real storm. You are also able to control the volume there, which could be a big help. The more that we label things for the dog and make them think, the less able they are to get aroused.
Conditioned Relaxation should be taught to the animal first. We are going to teach you how to do it in our first Conditioned Relaxation class. (The Conditioned Relaxation and Cycles classes are separate from this class, and can be found here: You can also learn a lot of the process from watching the free “Base Training Video”, pinned to the top of the page, on our FaceBook group, Syn Alia – SATS Dog Arousal.
“We need the dog to understand the concept of Easy so that he has an alternative to frantically trying to eat his way through the wall. When we hear the thunder start up, we name it, and then immediately tell the dog that he should get easy and help him do so using the techniques we will describe in class. For some dogs, this might be enough. For those who have severe issues, it will likely only result in a dog lying on his side panting frantically, totally stiff. Enter Name and Explain.” Sarah Roberts, SATS certified Instructor
Thoughtfully Timed Work Tasks – register for more information!
This stuff works! See an example of how much we can help an animal to change the way he looks at something. Click here.
The photo on this post is of Hera, who inspired many to tackle the problem of reactivity to fireworks. Hera has passed, but he changed his life dramatically, thought Perception Modification and the efforts of his owners, Jamie Dolan and Karen Keyser. Tonight I am remembering Hera thankfully and with admiration, for all he did, and all those he helped. This photo is here courtesy of Jamie Dolan.