Riemer, S. 2023. Therapy and prevention of noise fears in dogs—A review of the current evidence for practitioners. Animals 13(23), 3664.

Noise fears represent the most common behavioural problem in dogs. This manuscript provides an overview of diverse approaches for alleviating fear of noises in dogs and the supporting evidence. In the treatment of noise fears, both short-term solutions to prevent trauma or the deterioration of fear during unavoidable noise events and longer-term training need to be considered. Environmental management, the provision of incentives (food/play) during noise exposure, and, when indicated, anxiolytic medication, can safeguard dogs’ welfare during noise events. Most “alternative” products (such as nutraceuticals, herbal remedies, pheromones, homeopathy, Bach flowers, and essential oils) are unlikely to be sufficient as monotherapy for noise fears, whereas there is good evidence for the efficacy of several anxiolytic medications. In the longer term, counterconditioning to real-life noises, relaxation training, and desensitisation/counterconditioning using noise recordings have been shown to improve fear of noises in dogs. Preventative training appears to be highly effective in preventing the development of noise fears in puppies and adult dogs.

Animal Type