I hope you had a pawesome weekend!
By now I’m sure you know that DOGTV consists of 3 content categories: Stimulation, Relaxation and Exposure. While the first two are easier to understand, some people write to us asking what Exposure is all about. So in today’s post I’ve decided to address the notion of Exposure and give you some examples.
Lets say you are scared of elevators. You’ve been avoiding elevators all of your life, because you’re afraid of getting stuck in one, or because it’s a very small room which makes you stressed; Taking the stairs is ok, unless you live on the 16th floor in which case this could be a difficult task.
If you speak to a therapist about this unfortunate situation, one of the treatments he could suggest is to spend some time in a closed elevator. Once you’re there for a few good hours over a period of time, you will be able to overcome your fear.
In a similar manner, it’s important to desensitize dogs to fearful situations they tend to be scared of. Dogs are afraid of many things, like cars, thunderstorms, fireworks, stairs, children, vets and more. on DOGTV, we’re trying to help home alone dogs overcome these fears by exposing them to sounds of visuals of whatever scares them, in a goal to make the dog get used to these elements, and therefore overcome the fearful reaction. And not to worry – we exposure them to these sounds gently, with the volume of the sound very low, in order for the dog to feel comfortable. Many studies have been done on desensitization (and habituation), among them it’s worth mentioning this one done in Bristol University in the UK.
Here are some quotes from DOGTV’s Chief Scientist, Prof Nicholas Dodman, on various fears dogs may have, and how DOGTV helps overcoming them:
Exposure: a visit to the vet
Many dogs are fearful or at least apprehensive when confronted by their veterinarian – a person who means well and does well for the pet, but one whose white coat image often casts a specter of fear. DOGTV images of smiling, friendly vets at work (and play) will help to alleviate some of these issues” (Prof Dodman)
“A lot of dogs get excited and/or anxious when someone is approaching the door. Exposure of such dogs to the sounds of people approaching the door or knocking or ringing the doorbell, will in time habituate them to these cues so they are not as stimulating or fear-inducing. (Prof Nicholas Dodman)
fear of fireworks
“The two components of firework phobia are a) fear of the noise of fireworks and b) fear of the sight of mysterious colored lights above. Each component can be rendered less scary by attenuated exposure as part of a desensitization program. DogTV’s exposure section assist’s dogs get over their fear of fireworks by allowing them to see and hear muted sounds of fireworks in the warm, cozy setting of their own living room and to the backdrop of soothing music” (Prof. Nicholas Dodman)
Exposure: Fear of streets
Text: “Gradual exposure to outside sights and sounds will acclimate the dog to them and make going outside a less intimidating proposition” (Prof Nicholas Dodman)
fear of thunderstorms
“It is possible is to habituate those aspects of a storm, like the sound of thunder and flashes of lightning, by exposure to them a low, tolerable level, like during the exposure segments of DogTV” (prof Nicholas Dodman)
We will continue to do our best to help your dog feel calm, relaxed and also fearless when home alone.
What is your dog afraid of? Please let me know in the comments – maybe we can help!
Have a great week,