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Dog unsettled by sound of other dogs barking

    • 340 posts
    September 18, 2018 2:20 PM EDT

    Question submitted as part of the Crash, Boom, Bang: Update on Canine Noise Phobia Treatments webinar:

    My dog is particularly unsettled by the sound of other dogs barking — alarm barking or stress barking.  She is very aware of other noises but she can function around gun shots, fireworks and the like.  Unpleasant barking, however, distresses her a great deal which makes dog showing very difficult.  She is too stressed to even eat treats.  She has had no unpleasant experiences to cause this and she lives with two other dogs that are stable in this regard.

    Answer provided by Julia (Julie) Albright, MA, DVM, DACVB:

    Before diagnosing this as a straightforward noise phobia, it would be important to assess her behavior around unfamiliar dogs.  This may be a social fear and the sensitivity to barking is best addressed by first addressing her fear of other dogs.