Fireworks and Vizsla's. - Hungarian Vizsla Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Fireworks and Vizsla's.

In short, my V is really unhappy with any fireworks happening outside. Unhappy is being put it very mildly. She panics and simply wants to die. With her age progressing, this problem is getting worse. I was surprised just before Halloween this year, as our East Indian community was celebrating their holiday of Diwali few days earlier, on a weekend that we had to leave our dog alone. I will not even try to convey to you the state she was in when we got back. With the Halloween approaching, I called our vet and asked for meds. I got them, human quality anti depressants/ relaxants and used them few days later for the big day. Helped a bit but not 100%. Only with ear plugs and bandage over her ears she was able to have a short nap. There is no way to describe how we felt.

How are other members dealing with similar issue here? We leave in the city and unfortunately have no cabin in the woods.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 07:50 AM
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I wish I could help you. That has to be extremely distressing for you.
All of my Vizlsas have been trained to hunt, so they're not gun shy. They're not bothered at all by the fireworks.
I know I've heard of "Thunder Shirts", but have never used one. My sister puts her dogs in a sound insulated closet that they made during fireworks. Maybe a possibility for you?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 11:54 AM
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It's ironic that hunting dogs are paradoxically panic stricken at the sound of a sudden, loud pop....it's that Vizsla sensitivity thing again.

When they're trained to hunt, there's a protocol that's used to acclimate them to the gun shot...one of our hunters could go into detail about it...but it's basically shooting a blank at a distance from them, and then selectively rewarding calmness and ignoring anxiety, and then moving the shot closer to them as they show tolerance. You can try to the same thing by dropping a book to the floor, and training her to tolerate and accept the accompanying noise.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 03:16 PM
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June has a problem with them, that has gotten worse over the years.
What helps her now is to have all tv's on in the house. Blinds closed, and lights on in every room she has access to. That way she sees no bright flashes, that she associated with a loud noise.
Xanax and trazodone a good hour and a half before any fireworks start.
She can still be a little restless when they first start. But then she goes to her spot where she feels secure, and rests until it's over.
By bathroom closet, is what she considers her safe place.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2019, 08:04 PM
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Mine are not sensitive to either gun or firework. But i have learned that those two don`t always go hand in hand and many gun dogs being fine with gun fire are sensitive to fireworks. Our hunt trainer even has often some dogs over who freak out are July 4th and so while they have no issues with gun fire.
The pressure of clothing pieces is proven to be a huge help to relax them, so i can understand the thunder shirt concept. Many people swear to CBD oil for anxiety. Probably more natural and less detrimental for their livers than medication, if it helps. There are also lots of studies out about calming effects of different essential oils. Again dogs individually may react differently. Furthermore for those occasions when you know firework may pop up, i would suggest tiring the dog out both physically and mentally before the event and then feed them a good meal.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 11:50 AM
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Our male will bark at fireworks , but is not afraid. Our female does not react much at all.


Our previous weim was terrified. Tried to break her in to small pop's far away , then building loudness. No success


We are not much help, sorry.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 12:38 PM
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We played fireworks on youtube in the living room, kitchen, bedroom and study for a couple of weeks prior to Halloween, and then ignored the noises. when the time came, she completely ignored the fireworks and then kids outside with the bangers. We'll be starting it again, in ever increasing levels of loudness coming up to new year.

skateboards and girls playing hockey on the hockey pitch nearby? That's a whole other palaver. Skateboards just completely and utterly freak her out. when I get back from this business trip, I plan to buy one and use it on the patio before the kids take it back up again next spring and summer outside the office in the city.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunnr View Post
I wish I could help you. That has to be extremely distressing for you.
All of my Vizlsas have been trained to hunt, so they're not gun shy. They're not bothered at all by the fireworks.
I know I've heard of "Thunder Shirts", but have never used one. My sister puts her dogs in a sound insulated closet that they made during fireworks. Maybe a possibility for you?

Thanks. I never heard of 'Thunder Shirts". I'll definitely will check it out. Also, soundproofing a room, in particular at least windows of our bedroom, where of course the V sleeps, with some thick foam or Styrofoam already crossed my mind. I guess proper soundproofing of a smaller room like a closet makes more sense.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gingerling View Post
It's ironic that hunting dogs are paradoxically panic stricken at the sound of a sudden, loud pop....it's that Vizsla sensitivity thing again.

When they're trained to hunt, there's a protocol that's used to acclimate them to the gun shot...one of our hunters could go into detail about it...but it's basically shooting a blank at a distance from them, and then selectively rewarding calmness and ignoring anxiety, and then moving the shot closer to them as they show tolerance. You can try to the same thing by dropping a book to the floor, and training her to tolerate and accept the accompanying noise.
Agreed. It is very ironic. There is a story behind our V. I never was a hunter. Not my cap of tea, you see. Maybe also because I was born and raised in a country where hunting in old days was restricted to selected few. Anyways, when we got our V, I was encouraged to give her a chance to do, what this particular breed was bread to do, hunting.

At 9 months old, we went outside of town with some of my hunting friends. Not only was she not afraid of shooting, she was also investigating what we are shooting at. Wow, I thought, this dog is truly not gun shy. So, went thru proper courses and certifications to become a hunter for her. I got really drawn into hunting, and actively hunt every year since. Our V however, the very next season, when we were ready to start proper training, decided that she DOES NOT want to have anything to do with shooting and any sort of firearms for that mater. It almost broke my heart , when after couple of shots that day, she would not only panic, but also run to the car and hid underneath of the steering column, trembling in fear and ready to die.

After discussing it with people who knew something about gun dogs, I gave it a try couple more tries with small caliber, muzzle break and even subsonic ammo, to keep the noise to minimum. Nothing worked. That was the end for her hunting days as I would not force her and make things worse. Mind you, she is still very happy to go on any sort of expedition into the bush, be that camping, scouting or trail cam checks, as long as no guns are involved, and truth be told, that's fine by me.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-02-2019, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasred View Post
June has a problem with them, that has gotten worse over the years.
What helps her now is to have all tv's on in the house. Blinds closed, and lights on in every room she has access to. That way she sees no bright flashes, that she associated with a loud noise.
Xanax and trazodone a good hour and a half before any fireworks start.
She can still be a little restless when they first start. But then she goes to her spot where she feels secure, and rests until it's over.
By bathroom closet, is what she considers her safe place.
The meds that our vet prescribed, were only used last Halloween. She was still aware of whats going on outside. Not sure if they had the desired effect, but I will definitely try it more on the days we expect any sort of banging in the hood. I will maybe make her something like a sleeve or a slip on hood, that will go over her head, padded enough to keep the noises out. I'll keep on trying things until we find best formula.
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