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Q. Our dog has become terrified of the sound the vents make when the furnace turns on and the air comes through. I

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A. Desensitization and distraction training are great ways to overcome fearful experiences such as heater vents. Desensitization can be done by simply running the vent and ignoring when your dog is fearful, or by placing another white noise (such as a soothing talk radio station) on to drown out the sound. You can also do other techniques such as tossing your dog a treat and praising him every time the heater comes on. Your dog will quickly begin to associate this sound with a POSITIVE thing, and may even look forward to it for the extra treats and praise! If your dog is very fearful, adding in a calming pheromone diffuser in the house or speaking to your vet or veterinary behaviorist about calming medications may help during training.

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