Sound sensitivity is a common problem for dogs. Generally, the best approach is gradual desensitization and counter-conditioning. What this means is that you very gradually introduce the particular sound in a controlled environment at a barely audible level using a looped recording. Every day you should try to increase the volume while observing your dog, but if your dog reacts, you must lower it back to a non-reactive level. Only reward your dog with calm petting when she is being calm and non-reactive. If you encounter a sound that frightens your dog, never coddle or try to reassure your dog when she is reacting to a sound. This can be misinterpreted by the dog as praise. The best solution is to remove your dog from the source of the noise as calmly yet quickly as possible. Maintain an upbeat nonchalant attitude as you leave the sound behind. If your dog is afraid of fireworks, the desensitization process should start at least a month before the 4th of July. Some dogs can not acclimate to certain sounds, and if professional training is unsuccessful you should consult your vet for medications that can help.
All children should be taught how to behave around dogs. Your own pet may accept attention very differently than other dogs. Many children run up to their own dog and hug them around the neck. This is a very inappropriate and dangerous greeting with strange dogs. Teach your child to never approach a strange dog without an adult present. Staring directly into a dog’s eyes and running towards a dog is not an appropriate greeting either, and very common with kids who are often at eye level with dogs. Teach your child to approach slowly, turn her body sideways, stand still and put out her hand palm down. Always allow the dog to approach you, that way you know that the dog is interested in being pet. Teach your child warning signs for dogs that should be avoided. Barking, growling, or snarling are signs to stay away. If the dog’s ears are laid back, the tail stiff and high, and the hair on the back is raised, slowly walk away sideways. If the dog is soft and wiggly and approaches willingly, teach your child to start petting the dog under the head on the neck and chest area. This is less threatening to the dog than when you reach over the top of their head.