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Accueil veterinaires comportementalistes Publications internationales veterinaires comportementalistes Dealing with Sound Phobias

Dealing with Sound Phobias

S. Heath

Congrès : 32nd World Small Animal Veterinary Congress, 2007 - Sydney, Australia

The most commonly reported phobias in the domestic dog population are
sound phobias and in a recent study in the UK fireworks (38%) and thunderstorms (31%) were found to be the most common triggers for referred
cases of canine sound phobia in a behavioural medicine referral practice
population (Gilbert B 2003). In the literature fear of fireworks is often included in the broader category of fear of loud noises (Overall 1997) and due to the generalisation effect associated with the phobic condition it is common for
multiple triggers to be present by the time dogs reach the stage of referral for behavioural investigation. In the Gilbert study over 40% of the dogs displayed multiple sound phobias to a limited range of sounds (less than four). No significant difference was found between the breeds or breed classes of dogs suffering from sound phobia and a randomly selected population of nonphobic dogs referred to the same practice, but there was a significant difference in the average age of referral between those dogs in the nonphobic and phobic populations. This age difference may be explained by a number of factors. The symptoms of noise phobia are less likely to induce
public concern or place the owner in a situation of potential prosecution than
other behaviours, such as aggression or unwanted vocalisation, and as a result there is a tendency for owners to attempt to manage the behaviour themselves without asking for professional assistance, or to tolerate sound phobias, particularly when they are seasonal in nature. In addition the use of medication which enables owners to mask their pet?s symptoms may encourage them to delay seeking proactive intervention but in cases where such medication actually serves to sensitise the dog to the phobia inducing stimuli the resulting worsening of the phobic condition may result in the owners seeking professional assistance at a later date.

publications scientifiques


32nd World Small Animal Veterinary Congress, 2007 - Sydney, Australia


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