Puppy Scared of Sounds

Find out why your puppy is scared of sounds.

Q. My 11-month-old puppy, Toulie, suddenly started to react severely to noises (mostly sounds I can’t hear). On New Year’s Eve she heard firecrackers going off in our neighborhood (though not really close) and began racing to find a “safe spot” in the house. She started panting and shaking uncontrollably. She began digging at her dog bed in the living room until she finally peed all over it, then raced upstairs to hide in the younger pup’s crate (she wasup until that very momentcompletely afraid of it). She stayed in there for the rest of the night.

We thought it was just from the noise of the firecrackers, but then the behavior reoccurred two nights later at the onset of a heavy thunderstorm. We were concerned, but again attributed it to the noise of the thunder. However, when the storm passed and we woke up the next morning, the behavior continued. She hid in the crate until I finally pulled her out and put her in her own crate where she was to stay for the day. When I returned home after work, all was fine. I took the two dogs for a walk in the neighborhood, then we played for a bit and eventually wound down on a chair until dinnertime.

All was well until Toulie picked up her head, listened for a bit, and then took off for the crate upstairs. She remained there for the rest of the evening. At night she came into bed with us (as usual), but in the middle of the night she left to hide in the bathtub in the guest bathroom. I guess she’s still hearing noises that I can’t, but I’m curious and concerned at how quickly this behavior came on and how severe it is, not to mention that it gets worse each day (and it’s only been about three days). She’s been closer to firecrackers, as well as gunshots, and has been with us for several thunderstorms, so all the noises are familiar. What could have caused this sudden extreme stress, and what can I do about it?

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