Just as humans cringe at the sound of chalk screeching on a chalkboard, certain noises seem to drive your four-legged pal absolutely bonkers. He can't be blamed though; with sensitive ears capable of capturing the faintest sounds, it's not surprising how certain high-pitched noises may be quite bothersome. Acknowledging what noises can be overwhelming for your pal can help him better cope with acoustic stress.
If Scruffy wants to attack the vacuum, he may have his own good reasons for it. While from a dog's perspective a vacuum already looks odd enough, add on top of that the high-frequency shrieks it emits, which can be quite painful to his ears. In this case, you must blame any equipment with quickly rotating shafts on its motors, such as vacuums, motorized lawn motors and several power tools, explains Stanley Coren in his book "Do Dogs Dream? Nearly Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know."
Your home sweet home may seem like a peaceful, quiet haven, excellent for retreating in times of stress, but your dog may not share the same comfy thoughts. Items to blame in this case are TVs, digital music players, video games, washing machines and dryers. All these items commonly found in your household may contribute to indoor ultrasonic noise pollution and have the potential to stress out both dogs and cats, according to Vetstreet.
Dogs are known for being capable of detecting high frequency tones in the 47,000 to 65,000 hertz range. Ultrasonic anti-bark collars work by emitting a high-pitched tone unpleasant to a dog's sensitive ears, yet the sound remains inaudible to the human ear. While these collars may seem like an effective option for decreasing barking in opinionated dogs, consider that they're ultimately punishment devices that deliver an unpleasant correction every time your dog barks.
A dog's mournful howling at sirens has been assumed to be triggered by pain, or at least, an unpleasant sensation. However, while it's true that in some cases dogs may respond fearfully to the noise, it's also true that many dogs who howl don't seem to actually be in pain. If the howling dog was really in pain, he would at least try to get away from the sound or try to attack its source, explains veterinarian Myrna Milani on her website. Instead, Scruffy just sits and howls cheerfully at the siren, almost as if he was trying to communicate something other than pain with his howling.
Musical instruments, crying babies, smoke alarms, cellphones and other gadgets known for producing high-pitched, beeping noises may also be bothersome and even frightening to your furry pal's ears. To help protect your dog, minimize exposure by taking him out for a walk when somebody must play a musical instrument, closing doors when babies are crying and playing low-volume classical music when Scruffy must be left home alone.
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.