Can you help us help other pets and animals? (Yes you can!)
Millions of pets and animals could benefit from WeStopFear but their owners don’t know about this program. Many would want to do this for their pets just like you.
Success is in the details
Easier, not harder
To get maximum success and protection for your dog, and to avert mistakes, you need to take care of certain details.
This is not harder. It is easier, because it minimizes the risk of mistakes, or having to do things all over again. Please get to know these details in addition to the Main Instructions, and the Signs of Fear and Phobia.
Subject List of Important Details
Read the list for a quick overview.
Each line includes a clickable link.
Click a link to read more about each item.
Other instructional pages:
The Important Details
Someone might ask if this noise therapy is a lot of hassle?
Will it put an extra strain on your daily schedule, and add to the time you are already spending on feeding, grooming, training and veterinary services? Thank goodness, the answer is NO! The time and hassle this takes is similar to turning the TV on, plus carefully considering the sound volume and noticing the dog’s reaction. That’s really all there is to it.
This is not like the other time consuming practices.
Noise phobia therapy is practically letting the noises appear as if out of thin air, without reason, while doing nothing, and showing little response. The sound system does the job of providing the audible stimuli.
The random play setting, and the Natural Intervals silences in between that are simple silent tracks among the therapy sound tracks played randomly, mean that you get silences (of varied length) in between that gives you some relief in between the sounds.
And while it isn’t much trouble to implement, it can be an extremely important part of the overall caretaking, to enjoy many good years of health and comfort.
It takes a highly varied amount of time to reach the stage of complete tolerance to any sound. This variety is found within all types and breeds.
This can take days for some, or weeks, or even months for others.
There is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, so there should be no competition or comparison in how much time this takes.
You simply have to be careful not to push it to the limit too harshly, but still make sure you are advancing surely towards the goal where the sounds will be played at the natural level, and there is no anxiety or uneasiness. There are, however, a few guidelines about what may affect the timeline:
It is generally believed that it is easier and quicker to teach younger individuals, than older ones.
Dogs, and other animals, who have already become desensitized or habituated to certain sounds, will generally be quicker in picking up tolerance to new and different sounds.
On the other hand, if noise phobia, or fear of certain sounds, has already developed, then it will generally take longer to desensitize, than it would have taken for one who was free from phobia. However, do not lose faith in desensitizing or habituating. It is very necessary to ensure his or her future health and well-being.
Dogs are not the same, and each dog is a unique individual.
A 100% success in the therapy cannot be promised for an individual dog. It can only be promised that for a certain independently statistically selected group of dogs, a certain % will experience a better situation with unknown sounds. I.e. we are talking group statistics, not some individual dog.
The main point of Prevent Fear’s new Simple Secure Steps method is to create a therapy process that is much simpler and easier to implement for “ordinary” people, and also free from certain risk of failure. A therapy process that is actually finished and actually done correctly should have a much higher success rate. That is the aim of Prevent Fear. Still, we cannot promise 100% successful results, and never will.
You sometimes see results from tests that show that a certain noise phobia therapy product produces X % success in results. But the point is that these tests are done by experienced people, and they always do the therapy correctly. Among the general dog owning public, some people may not do this right, and some may never finish the therapy which obviously makes the therapy useless. The classical method as we call it is quite cumbersome, complex and has certain risks for the dogs.
Some dogs have other problems that make noise therapy difficult, and those must be dealt with by a professional practitioner (see items #7, 29 and 32). It should also be pointed out that other factors, such as the owner’s approach to conducting the therapy, the conduct of other household members, the sound equipment itself, and unforeseen events may also affect the outcome of the therapy (See the page The five factors of success).
The Simple Secure Steps method was developed using the advanced methods of process analysis and re-engineering, and will be in a state of continuous improvement.
The therapy is based on playing sounds that occur naturally in many places. The therapy starts at a very low volume, and then increases very slowly. If this is done correctly then the simple answer is that it is extremely unlikely, given that there aren’t other health issues making things more difficult, triggered by the sounds – issues that must be dealt with by a veterinary.
However, if a very drastic jump upwards in the sound volume is taken, then that may cause a shock. This shock may backlash, and make it difficult and time consuming for the dog to heal again. Also, an extremely high volume of the sound can also be painful to sensitive ears, just like any other loud sound.
Therefore, caution is required in increasing the sound level.
The five part Simple Secure Steps method is designed in such a way, that on the first CD, or in the first MP3 sound files folder, you will only find the therapy sound at a very low volume. Thus, the mistake of playing the therapy sounds too loud is as good as impossible unless you have some super monster audio system cranked to the fullest limit, and skip the piano music – the volume anchor – in the beginning which is always at full volume. Playing the piano music, which is supposed to assist you in setting the volume, at an extreme volume would admittedly be very loud, and would possibly destroy your loudspeakers at that volume. This kind of unfortunate event could make your dog frightened of pianos.
In the “classical” type of therapy, the therapy sounds are at the full level on one CD disc (or in one MP3 files collection), and there is the risk of playing the sounds much too loud in the beginning, as the person must adjust the volume on the audio device every time. This could lead to a shock for the dog.
In another type of therapy where the sounds are mixed with piano music, the gradually increasing sound tracks come one right after another on the same audio CD disc. So if the person gets distracted and forgets to push the Stop button, the playing may continue right from the lowest to much higher levels, too early. This could also lead to a shock for the dog.
The Simple Secure Steps method of Prevent Fear is designed, among other things, to eliminate this kind of risk by the very design of the method. Each step contains only sounds at the same sound level, and the first step contains sounds that are set so low that they are hardly audible. The second step is only gradually louder, and it is only at Step 5 where the loudness is at full volume, which is not accessible for users until after several weeks and after confirming the success at each step. Thus, this type of mistake is very unlikely in the beginning.
Thus WeStopFear hopes that it can securely say, that it is close to impossible that this therapy design can do harm.
Please also refer to the chapter named “The five factors of success.” Besides the sounds and the instructions that Prevent Fear provides, three basic factors are the responsibility of the user, while the fifth factor is random happenings in the environment.
The goal is simple: The audio equipment should be able to generate a sound which is as close as possible to replicating the real sound as you would hear it in a real situation.
This means both the volume level, and the acoustic quality.
This is evident in all the locations where you choose to play the sound. This does not mean that the sound experience will be absolutely perfect in all instances. You try to bring it as close to realism as you can.
It is therefore not possible to give a single answer to what type of audio system or portable audio devices one should use. The first and most often last answer is, the equipment you already own. To play the play button, you need a device that is connected to the Internet, as the sounds are streamed each time. For a CD you need a CD player.
The loudspeakers are important, as they need to be capable for the job. For instance, tiny little portable speakers with 7 watts of power aren’t enough.
Headphones obviously cannot be used, because then the dog would associate the sounds with such things being on his ears, and the sounds might be frightening when he was not wearing the headphones.
You don’t (necessarily) need a massive audio system in the living room, although that’s fine if you own one. A fairly powerful portable audio device can do the job both inside and outside the house, if you place it well and at the right loudness level for the step where you are at in the therapy. In an outside setting, the sound does not bounce from the walls and ceiling, so if you place the audio device too far from you, then the sound quickly fades.
You should consider acquiring or borrowing a device if you don’t have one that is capable. A used one may very well do, if you are budget conscious.
In the end, this is a field where you must find the solution for your situation.
(Please see also the page with further advice about audio equipment.)
Do you have more than one dog? Sometimes certain individuals in a group are more timid than others in the group. Try to observe if one is slower to build up tolerance to a sound or sounds, at the sound volume level you are at.
In that case, the therapy must always follow the slowest one to adapt, or the one with noise phobia, and not the other way around. Those who don’t have noise phobia or are quicker in building tolerance will be less bothered anyway.
Observe how your dog reacts to each of the sounds as they play. Can you see more tension and uneasiness with one sound, or a few sounds, than all the others? If so, let the progressions of the therapy follow that particular troubling sound. This is actually the sound (or sounds) that you are most critically working on.
You can take sessions where you play just these sounds.
Do not rush the progress, although you may desire to push it as fast as possible. This may only increase the uneasiness, rather than working on it at the speed it calls for, in order to eliminate the tension.
If a new dog, or another type of pet, is added into your household when you are in the middle of therapy, then you must start again from the beginning.
This will not bother the pet that is already halfway into therapy, but for the newcomer, suddenly being in the middle of these sounds could be very stressful or even catastrophic. The newcomer could go into a shock reaction, which is both traumatic and could make it even more difficult and slower to build up tolerance again.
Has your dog already developed fear of fireworks or thunderstorms, or some other stressful event that comes occasionally?
Fireworks and thunderstorms are among the most common causes of noise phobia. If so, it usually does not work to start the therapy just before a stressful event, or just before thunderstorm season. Rather than that, start the therapy right after such incidences, so that you have a good stretch of time ahead of you before the next terrifying incidence comes. There is no fast forward.
To see how you can give emergency help in a fireworks or thunderstorm event, to minimize the shock, please refer to the chapter titled, “Scary event coming?”.
Please ask your veterinarian about this therapy and your dog, before starting it.
A professional may have special insights into your pet‘s health and situation that may be important. Also, if you see something in its behavior that you find worrying during the therapy, don’t hesitate to talk to your professional practitioner. There may be certain health issues influencing the therapy in a negative way, that must be examined, and if that is required, treated by a veterinarian. These may be due to genetics, nerve sickness, ear infection, parasites, a recent surgery or treatment, or other symptoms.
It is important that all members of the household follow the simple rules of the therapy, and don’t behave in such a way that it is contrary to them.
Make sure to explain what the therapy is about, that the dog must not realize that we humans are managing the sounds, and explain these rules to everyone, young and old. The goal is that everyone acts according to these simple rules.
As the instructions say, do whatever you like to do. Just don’t make a lot of noise that will interfere with the sounds in the therapy, for instance don’t play music or watch a loud program on TV. Act like nothing special is going on. For you, it should be business as usual.
Absolutely not! The owner must secretly keep an eye on dog while the sounds are playing.It is not okay to leave the dog or dogs alone with the sounds playing, while the owner goes out running errands, to the shop or something? Even if “It will only take a short while?”
The owner is the point of reference. Through being there, and staying indifferent, the owner shows that these sounds are just a passing phenomenon that don’t call for any anxiety or reaction whatsoever. If all goes well, this should help your dog to stay calm. Especially since the sound volume is carefully managed.
When a dog is alone, the issue of separation anxiety sometimes arises. The sounds may be distressing, and added onto the underlying separation anxiety. This might lead to sudden fear and anxiety in your dog, and even end up with nasty consequences.
Don’t leave your dog with the sounds running. You must stick around. Perhaps you might play them at another time. One of the requirements are namely that playing at various times is preferable.
There is no standard age when dogs may develop noise phobia.
For some dogs, it comes when they are a pup or young, and stays with them all their life, unless it is dealt with by doing desensitization therapy. For other dogs, it comes at a later age. This can perhaps be after a traumatic experience where unpleasant sounds are involved.
As said before, noise phobia or fear of unknown, uncomfortable noises, may come at any age. It is most likely that it will stay for the remainder of the life of the individual, although the intensity may increase and decrease for no apparent reason.
There is also the possibility that the noise phobia may disappear, but that is less likely. When noise phobia has developed, it is always the best action to deal with it using desensitization.
If, for instance, a loud fireworks event is nearing, and the noise therapy hasn’t reached the final end goal, then there are special actions that you are advised to take to make the event bearable. They are not complicated.
Instructions for these special actions are on the page “Scary event coming?”
Even if you think you have successfully finished noise phobia therapy, you should consider this advice and follow it, when an extreme event is coming.
Noise therapy in the earliest stages of life is really the best option, and prepares the dog for a healthier and more worry free life.
Habituation can start as early as when the puppies start opening their eyes. At the age of 6-12 weeks, the puppy is very open and inquisitive about his environment, and that is really the best time to habituate a dog to various sounds.
A good idea is to play the noises when something joyful is going on, like playing or eating. A youngster’s ears are sensitive, so in the beginning, spend a bit longer playing the sounds at a low volume, than you would with an older individual. It may be less apparent when the puppy is annoyed by the sounds, since the puppy is open and on alert almost all the time. The rules of implementation are otherwise the same as with older dogs.
The increments where the volume of the sounds is increased should be as large as the dog can tolerate, so the change won‘t be overwhelming. The Simple Secure Steps system is divided into five steps or stages. When you enter the next step after the one you were at, this may possibly be a too large increment. So by lowering the volume slightly at the beginning of the new step, you can easily increase the increments from five to ten. That should be enough.
The point is that a sound’s volume is not a constant. It is very varied in the real world. A car 50 feet away has a louder sound than the same car 300 feet away. A car approaching, driving by, and then disappearing has thus a wide range of sound volume in just several seconds.
A dog standing close to a loudspeaker will hear a considerably lower sound if he moves several steps away from the loudspeaker. So, the sound volume is in fact very fluid. The five increments were chosen because they were found to make sense. Offering a system with 8 or 10 steps is probably too much.
If you play the sounds in just one place, tolerance is built up for the sounds in that particular place only.
There may still be a great fear of the same sounds in other locations, for instance outdoors, in the car, or even in another room in your home. Therefore, it is important to conduct the therapy in various locations, inside and outside where your dog spends some time.
When a dog becomes used to a sound in just one place, it is called locational tolerance.
In real life, these sounds don’t occur all the time in the same order.
You should play them randomly, meaning in a different order every time. Often there is a random play button on playing devices, market “Random,“ “RND“ or “Shuffle.“ This makes it easy to play the sounds randomly. It is more difficult if you have to use a remote control, starting, stopping, hopping to another sound, starting, stopping, etc., but it would actually be necessary.
The play button for audio streaming is automatically set for random play, so if you use that option you are good to go.
Dogs learn by association, and if you play the sounds always in the same order, the dog figures out that it doesn’t have to be worried when they come in that order (which the sounds almost never do in real life). Thus, the dog might get worried if the sounds came in a different order from the one on the disc, which is definitely not what we are after.
Just like these sounds are not experienced in real life in the same order, or in just one place, then they don’t occur always at the same time of the day. Try to play the sounds in the morning, mid-day or the evening, as possible. Just remember to consider the schedule of the inhabitants of your home, and perhaps the neighbors.
How often should therapy be done? Every day? With some days in between? Generally, the right mix would be between those two options.
If you get too tired of these sounds (especially during later steps when the sound volume approaches the natural “real life“ volume), take a day or a couple of days off. Even three once in a while.
Some of the sounds you may expect to hear every day, like various domestic noises, traffic noises, and noises from people and children. Sounds from trains, airplanes and horses will depend more on where you live. Other sounds, like rain (oddly a cause of anxiety for some dogs and perhaps other animals as well), fireworks and thunderstorms will be heard less frequently.
Your dog should not become accustomed to these sounds being heard daily. But don‘t procrastinate for a week or two, or three. This would jeopardize the benefit your dog should have from the therapy. Continue!
If you have children, should you let them manage the therapy?
The answer depends on their age, and their stage of personal development. At certain ages, children are not capable of managing this type of therapy, such as 6 or 7 years old. But then at another age, they should be well able to do it, like at about twelve to fifteen years old. Somewhere in between is a blurred line. You really have to decide for yourself if YOUR child is up to the job, and at what age.
To do this with supervision could be a good idea. It would give your child a mature experience of responsibility, which could be good training for your child as a future dog owner.
The only important thing is that the therapy is implemented correctly, for the very best results. Therefore, whether you have children that can take part or not, you must take care of informing all members of why this is being done and how they should behave, adjusted to their age and development.
(This point is valid for pets that you may bring to places outside the home or main domicile)
During the noise phobia therapy, you should behave like nothing of any importance is going on and ignore any signs of anxiety. You show that you hardly notice the sounds.
This is valid during the therapy itself, which takes place in managed circumstances where you decide completely when the sounds are played, where, and the sound volume.
However, what if you are located somewhere else, and loud and uncomfortable noises appear suddenly? If you see clear signs of anxiety, then you should try to head away from the situation, to a more comfortable place. By that you show that you are there to guide the situation and make sure that all goes well.
The sounds in the therapy are supposed to resemble real life occurrences. That means that the sounds often, but not always, come sporadically and without you being involved. Therefore, it is better that the sounds in the therapy occur in the same way.
Don’t let your dog see or sense that you are going to play these sounds. You may prepare the sound system secretively perhaps five or ten minutes before starting, and don’t brandish the remote control in such a way that a conditional association will be formed between you brandishing it and the sound starting or stopping.
At the beginning of this therapy, there is really no need to say anything to anyone. The sound is so low that a telephone ringing or the normal sound from your TV is louder.
As the therapy evolves towards the natural sound volume level, you might need to inform your neighbors about what you are doing, especially if you live in an apartment building and if sound is heard between apartments, (this is probably less necessary in a villa).
You may find out when they are not at home, and organize the therapy according to that, if possible. Also, if you play sounds outside, in your garden or in the park for instance, think about other people and pets that are nearby. Try to get their consent via friendly and considerate dialog, as it is not the goal to exchange one problem (noise phobia) with another – irritated neighbors! (See also the page Keep everyone happy.)
The tolerance to these sounds will not stay forever. Over time, the tolerance will wash out bit by bit.
You forget. It is like physical exercise or playing a musical instrument. If you stop then your “expertise” slowly vanes.
Don’t leave off the noise therapy completely after you have successfully taken your dog through the therapy, and he is calm and secure.
It is prudent to play the sounds once or twice every month. This is especially important when a stressful event or a period of events is nearing, like fireworks or thunderstorm season. You might start at Step #3, then go to Steps #4 and 5.
By this, you maintain good tolerance and lessen the chance of shocking experiences.
Do you see signs of extreme anxiousness, shock or mental pain, that will not go away, even if you lower down the sound volume?
There may be other more serious problems that may be due to genetics, nerve sickness, ear infection, parasites, a recent surgery or treatment, or other symptoms. THESE PROBLEMS MUST BE DEALT WITH BY A VETERINARIAN. It is beyond the scope of this therapy to deal successfully with such an incident. Luckily, this is not very common, but it must be mentioned.
All dog owners know that some dogs can be fearful of certain sounds, while others are less fearful. What are the proportions?
Around 20% of dogs in general are believed to suffer badly from noise phobia at some time during their lives, according to numbers that can be found in many resources around the Internet. The frequency of noise phobia has been recorded as being up towards 49%, according to research outcomes we have seen on the web. But we cannot specifically quote here that research, which was done in the UK.
If we envision a normal curve, then it is easy to conclude that another 20% or so feel insecure and uncomfortable when unknown noises are heard, although it is not as serious for them, as it is for the first 20%. And continuing on the normal curve, probably another 20% find these noises not much fun, although they don’t necessarily feel insecure or frightened. In all, one can conclude that the simple process of desensitization or habituation successfully may increase the quality of life of 60% dogs, and greatly increase or even save the lives of a part of them.
Dogs are a carnivores in nature, so perhaps the numbers are even higher regarding fear of sounds for the prey species, like small mammals, birds, exotic pets, and horses. These species must constantly be wary of any unusual sound in their natural habitat.
No one likes to look at their dog shivering from fear that is unnecessary, but how fearful do they actually get? Very fearful indeed! Literally crazy from fear.
Certain stress hormones that are found in the saliva in the mouth. The change in their levels shows this very well. They are released into the body in greater levels at a time of fear. One of those is cortisol. Clinical research has shown that the amount of cortisol in the saliva of a really frightened child can increase by 40% from normal levels. However, similar research on really frightened dogs have shown a 200% increase in cortisol levels, or five times more than in a human being.
Frightened child: Up to 40%% increase in cortisol, the fear hormone.
Frightened dog: Up to 200% increase in cortisol.
This shows how important it is to work with unnecessary fear in animals, especially since they also experience being trapped, where they cannot flee inside a cage, a corral or a house.
Specialists agree that some dog breeds belonging to the herding and working groups, as well as the terrier group, are more commonly suffering from noise phobia than others.
While the common proportion seems to be around 20-25% of all dogs suffering from serious noise phobia, the numbers indicate that with these more sensitive breeds, the proportion may be towards 40-50%.
For each dog, factors such as conditions, genetic issues, individual stressful events, location and upbringing can affect whether a dog develops noise phobia. A certain portion of dogs from all dog breeds will develop this condition.
No dog breed is free from noise phobia.
Most likely to be fearful or phobic
Dog breeds that are commonly mentioned as being more sensitive to noise phobia are:
… and other shepherd breeds
The Border Collie
… and other collies
All Terrier breeds
Also mentioned, although not as often, are:
The Irish Setter
However, we don’t know how scientific these nominations are or how scientifically these breeds have been compared to other breeds.
Less likely to suffer, but still quite likely
For your information, the other groups of dog breeds, thus probably a little less likely to suffer from noise phobia, are:
The sporting group
The miscellaneous class
Foundation stock service breeds.
The number of individual dog breeds in these groups is almost 500, but many of those are very rare and limited to a certain area or country. (Accepted breeds and breed groups vary by dog breeding associations).
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Will You Help Other Animals (And Their Owners)?
There are millions of pets and animals in all countries that could benefit if their owners would conduct this innovative method of WeStopFear and the Simple Secure Steps for them.
Many would like to do this for their pets
And there are millions of pet owners who would be happy to do this for their beloved pets.
… but they don’t know about WeStopFear
So what is keeping them from doing it? Well, the simple fact that they don’t know about this innovative method, that is FREE to use FOREVER in its basic version, so they don’t even have to consider if they can afford the cost.
There are even possibly many pet owners that you know that have never heard of WeStopFear and the Simple Secure Steps to prevent or heal noise phobia, that can rob their pets of their happiness, feeling secure, their health or even lives.
You can help them and benefit yourself! Will you do that?
Here is how you can easily benefit, and do a good deed at the same time. You can tell them about WeStopFear and receive benefits in return, simply click here to send them a notification!
A more comprehensive version of WeStopFear is in the making. It will contain several extra features that are greatly convenient.
Here is the simple offer:
If you send a special email we prepare to five (5) friends and family members who own a pet or animal (of any type that WeStopFear services), and tell them about WeStopFear, then you will get FOR FREE the following five benefits:
- A special audio player on the page where you can choose and play an individual sound. There is one player for each step, playing the therapy sounds at the right volume for that step. Currently you have a player that plays all sounds randomly.
- Three different, handy information forms for you to write your information about locations, audio devices, audio media, volume settings, the step you are at, and other comments for you to have at hand. These are offered in simple text format and Rich Text Format (.rtf) which you can edit, (applicable for both PC and Mac), and in PDF format.
- 20% Discount of the 5 CDs pack, if you want to play the therapy on a CD player.
- 20% discount in the DuFauna webstore (WeStopFear-linked design products, focusing on many dog breeds, cats, horses, and later on other pet types as well.)
- A dedicated section with valid discount codes on Redbubble, where WeStopFear-linked DuFauna design products are offered (focusing on many dog breeds, cats, horses, and later on other pet types as well) and millions of other designs and products as well, great for gifts or to indulge yourself.
These benefits you will get for free, if you help your pet-owning friends and family members! You just need to send five (5)!
Do it right now. Click here!
(Below is a description of how exactly this happens. This simple and fun process is managed by UpViral.)
Sweepstakes: We will collect information about those who have initiated the greatest numbers of fresh signups on WeStopFear, and those will get a free full premium subscription for life, or as long as WeStopFear is active. Further information will be provided later.
In the email, there will be a special link for your friends or family members to sign up. This means that they now know about WeStopFear, and can easily start saving their pets from possible fear and phobia, and the bad consequences that can come with it. The pets and animals owned by your friends and family may have a good reason to thank you!
Your friends and family members, if they want to, can then tell pet-owning people they know about WeStopFear. This could start a snowballing effect, and it is needed!
Let’s help millions of pets and animals be free from fear. Click here!
This is valid for all the types of pets and animals served by WeStopFear, dogs, cats, horses, birds, small and exotic pets:
You can go now and help by sending those emails. Click here!
The email sending process: You simply add emails of your friends and family members (minimum 5 emails but you can certainly send more if you like). Then add your name and email, and hit the SEND button! You can participate more than once if you like (but only send per email once). After submitting, you will get immediate access to the benefits listed above.