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Time to Ban them ?

thisoldman
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Time to Ban them ?


We are once again approaching the silly season of Bonfirenight and Halloween.
Fortunately, it seems possible that the imminent strike by the FBU may curtail Bonfirenight. We shall have to wait and see.
But is there any justification for this  fireworks nuisance.  MY  dog and hundreds of other people's pets are scared stiff by the noise. Living near a stupid hotel which has a  major fireworks event every year, our lives, our safety and our sanity, is shattered by this silly event.
Equally so, as eldery people , we are constantly being bombarded by nerds and "children of the benefit society", hurling abuse at us, in the guise of  "trick or treat.
Why should we put up with these nuisances any longer?
38 REPLIES
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Re: Time to Ban them ?

I wouldn't mind if it was firework night but it's firework season as usual lasting at least a month Roll eyes
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Steve
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Re: Time to Ban them ?

Quote
We are approaching that time of the year again when pets are exposed to the unpredictable loud bangs and flashes of fireworks. Pets simply don't understand what's going on and many are really scared of the whole process. And, unfortunately, they are now subjected to this on a more frequent basis – it's no longer a once a year event.
If you know your dog or cat is scared of fireworks, or think he might be, or if you have a puppy or kitten.
NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE!
Desensitisation
Many pets are successfully helped through desensitisation.  A CD is now available, which simulates the random and unpredictable noises of  fireworks. It should be played several weeks prior to the fireworks season, gradually building up the volume and length of time it is played. Your pet will then gradually become used to the noises and begin to ignore them.
Distraction
Whilst playing the CD, you should also take the opportunity to distract your pet. Either play with him, or give him some training lessons, or give him his favourite toy or chew. This will increase the effect of the desensitisation program by making your pet think on something else whilst the background noise is going on.
Den
However, also allow your pet some time without this distraction to hear the noise. Hopefully the CD will manage to accustom your pet to the noise so that he'll completely ignore it. However it is really best to be completely prepared and allow him every chance to cope.
Create a safe, comfortable and quiet den area for him. Ideally, this should be in a place which is furthest from the fireworks, and where he is used to resting. The room should be able to be darkened to hide the firework flashes.
Prepare the area in advance, with lots of comfy blankets to allow him to burrow into if he wants to, and take him there several times before the event, allowing him to settle there with a chew or toy for a while, and feed him there a few times too.
Make sure however, that he is free to come and go to this area, taking care not to lock him in the room alone.
Some pets find the most unusual place to seek comfort. It has been known for them to hide under desks, in kitchen cabinets and even in the bath! Don't be concerned about this, just work with your pet and think about how they may be finding their chosen place secure. It may even be helpful to provide a pet crate covered with a blanket or a large cardboard box, both filled with comfortable bedding, favourite toys and some water.
So, really take some time to think about this – from your pet's point of view - and set up the area where they are most happy. Perhaps they might like to lie under a table covered with a blanket.
DAP
If you already know that your dog is scared and that he needs some further help then using a DAP along with the CD will be very useful. DAP stands for Dog Appeasing Pheromone. It's a plug in device, similar to an air freshener, which releases calming pheromones into the air. It should be plugged in, in the room where the pet spends most time and switched on 24 hours a day for about 2 weeks prior to, the fireworks. (the DAP can be useful for other behavioural problems too).
Feliway is a similar product for cats.
D-Day
There are several additional steps which can be taken on the day of the event
•  Check that the den area is accessible, and prepared.
•  Take your dog for a walk to make sure he has been to the toilet before the fireworks start.
•  Feed him an hour before the event, adding some potato or white pasta to fill him up and make him sleepy
•  If you can, set up some rhythmic music in the room. This can help to mask out the noise, so turn it up to a moderate level. Do, however, check that he likes it beforehand – and turn it off if he doesn't, or seems more stressed.
•  When the fireworks start, take your pet to his den area and encourage him to settle there.
•  Do NOT try to pat and stroke him in an attempt to sooth him if he is showing signs of stress. This simply rewards how he is behaving and teaches him that he's right to be scared. Don't let him know that you're concerned.
•  Instead, if he's not settling in his den, try to distract him with a game or an easy training session, but don't force him to play.
•  You may even want to consider setting up a TV in the “safe” room and simply sitting in there with him. Normal quiet, family company may help to calm him.
And a word on safety
During high levels of stress, pets can be very unpredictable. They also become unable to take account of their personal safety, and may well panic. Therefore, it is your responsibility to look after their safety needs. Make sure that they have no access to potentially dangerous items around the house, such as open fires or glass doors.    Really take the time to do a house safety check. And if you need to take him outside – at any time when a firework may go off - make sure that he is kept safe on the lead.
Further information :
Ask your vet. if they supply fireworks CD's and DAPS, or contact the Canine Therapy Centre on  01875 813213, or www.k9centre.co.uk
who can supply these and also, supply further information on various complementary therapies which may help.  If you need further assistance, please contact your vet or a Pet Behaviour Therapist.
This behavioural help sheet has been prepared by The Canine Therapy Centre and Pawsability , Members of the Scottish Network of Animal Professionals

thisoldman
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Re: Time to Ban them ?

Good point Strat.       I noticed a recent eufa soccer game was almost cancelled  due to italian nerds thrrowing flres onto the pitch.
I wonder what other stupid and dangerous british events  forum members would like to see curtailed?
thisoldman
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Re: Time to Ban them ?

Steve txs for post    but       there is little clinical evidence that behavioural modification therapy is successful with animals.
ref  journal of behaviour therapy.

also what would you suggest  doing about the trick or treat pests?
I read an article recently suggesting that we  incorporate into uk legislation the usa practice of testing teenagers drinks for drugs and taking legal action. Should we  take similar action against the children of the benefit society?
Denzil
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Re: Time to Ban them ?

Quote
there is little clinical evidence that behavioural modification therapy is successful with animals

"behavioural modification" = training. Are you saying there is no clinical evidence we can train animals? Smiley
I like fireworks, anyway. Displays need to be properly organised so that they are safe, and owners of pets should expect loud noises on Nov 5th, especially if it happens every year at the same location, and should prepare accordingly. If you can't train your pets, take yourself and them away somewhere quieter for a couple of hours.
If you ban everything that is remotely risky, then a) nobody would have any fun, b) you can't remove all risk from life, so everyone would grow up not knowing how to deal with risk, and would actually expose themselves to more danger as a result, and c) nobody would be able to go anywhere, because you would have to ban driving. Nine people are killed on UK roads every day, yet would you ban cars?
thisoldman
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Re: Time to Ban them ?


behavioural modification is entirely different from training.
I do not propose to give you a lecture on the rudiments of what beh modification involves, so just let me inform you its far far more complicated than perhaps you imagine.
cars are necessary for many people. Are fireworks and trick or treat pests essential fun for  kids?
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Re: Time to Ban them ?

One of my parents is an animal psychologist and I think she would disagree with your statement thisoldman.
B.
thisoldman
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Re: Time to Ban them ?


Well barry that would of course be her perogative.
It was unclear from your post whether your parent was also a vet. Many vets, including one in my vet practice, offer  animal psychology.behavioural modoification etc etc
If you care to go back to Pavlov et al, it is clearly possible to train animals using behavioual modification techniques. Most of the early work was based on one aspect of behavioural modification ie  conditioning.
But what many people fail to understand is that conditioning  therapy is merely a  minsicule part of the broader theory of behavioural modification.
.Vets are essentially  medically oriented and  beh mod is just another money spinner for them  an expensive gimmick.
There are virtually hundred of psychological conditons which beh mod can not cure or treat( in animals) for very obvious reasons, namely the inablity to communicate in a therapeutic relationship with the patient; ( the so called freudian talking cure..thats a bit crude i know)
The major danger of any therapy is the belief of the analyst  that his or her methodoly is the best.  For example  if you had an alcohol addiction  should you visit a behavioural modification or cognitive or freudian or gestalt  therapist etc etc etc.
the key question/problem  has always been ......what is the best therapeutic approach/technique for any specific  psychological symptomatology?
randpwar
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Re: Time to Ban them ?

I must say I’m no great fan of Halloween but we do it quite sensibly in our village. We take the kids out very early evening and only go to houses with a lighted pumpkin displayed, this being the sign that Trick or Treater’s are welcome (if that’s not an oxymoron); it does turn out to be an hour’s fun for the kids, during which time they get to eat lots of sweets, and there are lots of smiles from the adults too. I do, however, completely take the point that it can also be a very threatening and frightening experience for some and have great sympathy for the people it happens to. But banning it? No, I don’t think so.
Guy Fawkes Night is a bit different. Again we’re a bit lucky as it’s very much confined to Nov 5th or the nearest weekend to it but I have heard from other areas that, as Strat suggests, it becomes a season. I’ve always thought, however, that the reason is that Diwali happens at about the end of October (please pardon my ignorance) and that fireworks are part of the celebrations. As it happens, the village church holds a bonfire and firework display and it’s a nice occasion for the kids and adults to get together. They don’t have a Guy though; can’t be seen to be burning Catholic’s I guess (please note, for anyone lacking a sense of humour:  This is a joke!!!) 

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Re: Time to Ban them ?

In my younger days (a long long time ago  Grin) I had a very good system.
The family dog (a white Alsation) hated fireworks so I and a few friends used to go out to a remote pub on the North York Moors and he would happily lie under the table being fed an occasional crisp while we had a genial discussion over his head.
thisoldman
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Re: Time to Ban them ?

Oldjim  you make a very good point ie  you used commonsense,insted of subjecting your dog  to hours of psychobabble.

in the late 80s a classic study was done in the usa.  A group of high school students were asked to play the part of a therapy patient.
The students were randomly allocated  highly trained and experienced counsellors and people off the street. No student knew whether he/she was seeing a qualified practitioner or a lay person.
At the ned of the experiment, the students were asked to evaluate the efectivesness of their counsellor, using standard therapy evaluation techniques.
On the whole, the lay people)off the street therapists) scored more highly on most of the factors than did their professional copunsellors. One factor stood out a mile        empathy.  |The students believed that the    people off the strret were more empathic towards them and helped them to feel better about themselves.
  Last example:  i have often used this in a teaching situation.

Mrs Smith is sent to see you by her gp as he believes she is suffering from depression.

This is what mrs smith tells you:
her teen daughter is pregnant and her boyfriend has disappeared.  Mrs Smith's husband was an alcoholic and drig addict and she was forced to divorce him.. Her teenage son is currently in borstal for drug offences and she and her family are about to be evicted from the family home.
Now: i defy any therapist of any psycotherapeutic school to convince me that there is any one best therapy to offer mrs smith.
Mrs smith needs to be listened to and an emapthy approach worked best of all.
Many patients  do not need long winded psychobabble.  They simply need to feel understood and to be able to relate to someone who offers them an emapthic understanding and support.
Far too many therapists  believe that the possession of a degree in psychology/clinical psychology or one of the psychobabble therapies qualifies them to be a "good" therapist.
That has always been my chief gripe with psychotherapy.
Steve
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Re: Time to Ban them ?

Quote from: thisoldman
also what would you suggest  doing about the trick or treat pests?
Let them have there fun, Would be a sad time If we stopped that EVER, I am rarely out and about In the evenings (You should try It if It bother's you that much ) So they don't bother me, And they cant get to my door as I share a close with neighbours and the main door wont open after 2PM. Sorted Cool
Community Veteran
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Re: Time to Ban them ?

Mind you - on the note of Halloween, we were discussing at work yesterday the best recipes to make chocolate muffins to hand out.
B.
p.s., there may have been mention of laxatives from some miserly and cantankerous directions...  Roll eyes
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Re: Time to Ban them ?

We could use the Behaviour therapy on the trick or treat kids that think the trick bit is an excuse to cause damage.
Behaviour therapy works best if the treatment can be applied as soon as possible to the problem behaviour...... Most people of a certain age will remember that a sharp shock administered by hand following some wrongdoing was enought to associate the pain to the misdemeanour and usually prevented a repeat of the wrongdoing.