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Sound Advice: Help for Your Noise Sensitive Dog

May 7

4:00 pm PT

This talk is eligible for CEUs from: CCPDT, IAABC, KPA


Fear of sudden or loud noises is a common problem facing dogs and working with it takes a specific approach. What may start out as a little startle response when an unusual noise happens can turn into a phobia very quickly in certain dogs, and fear of one sound can generalize to fears of related sounds before you know it. The key to preventing an issue from forming is to teach dogs that sudden sounds are actually predictors of fun. Teach your dogs that sounds have a happy meaning so that they don’t attach their own, negative meaning!

You will learn:

  • Factors involved in noise sensitivity
  • Common noises dogs are sensitive to and may fear more than others
  • Why working with noise is different from training behaviors
  • The framework of applied classical conditioning, without jargon!

Presented By:

Amy Cook, PhD, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Amy Cook, PhD (she/her) has been training dogs for over 30 years, and through Full Circle Dog Training and Play Way Dogs in Oakland, California, has been specializing in the rehabilitation of shy and fearful dogs for 20 years. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) through the IAABC and was one of the first trainers nationally to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CDPT) through independent evaluation. She is a graduate of the SFSPCA academy for dog trainers and has attended all four “chicken camps” in Hot Springs, Arizona, taught by Bob Bailey.

Amy has worked for the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society, the San Francisco Animal Care and Control, and has provided behavioral evaluations for shelters and rescues throughout the Bay Area of California. She has worked with the anti-cruelty team at the ASPCA doing behavioral evaluations and psychological enrichment of dogs seized in dog fighting, puppy mill, and hoarding cases.

Amy returned to school in 2006 to get her PhD in psychology from UC Berkeley. Her research focused on the dog-human relationship and its effect on the problem solving strategies dogs employ. She has also studied causal inference in dogs and toddlers and olfactory navigation. She has extensive experience as a graduate student instructor, having taught sections of Introductory Psychology (both in person and online), Human Emotion, Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Stigma and Prejudice, Statistics, Animal Cognition, and has taught Fundamentals of Psychology and Developmental Psychology as a full instructor.