As discussed in our blog post “Swimming: Targeting Specialized, Seasonal Training,” predicting your clients’ seasonal needs is an important requirement of professional dog trainers. How to handle the special needs of dog’s exposed to fireworks is of particular concern around the Fourth of July and New Year’s.
Check out “Fireworks – What’s a Dog Owner to Do?” for some management and positive dog training tips. It’s also important to get a very good history when answering questions about fireworks. Be sure to be specific in asking clients to describe the behaviors that have concerned them in the past. If you suspect severe anxiety, then consider whether this falls within your area of expertise. If you are a behavior specialist, then you may decide to accept this client; you might consider seeking the aid of a consulting veterinary depending on the severity of the dog’s anxiety. If you focus primarily on pet manners and obedience, then those cases that exceed prevention and are more serious anxiety cases should be referred to a local, reputable canine behavior specialist. If you have not already developed a relationship with one, now is the time to start!