Ginger is a 9 1/2 year old female Brittany. She is afraid of a number of noises, including the beeps of large vehicles backing up, the beeps of the smoke alarm low battery, and the Amazon truck single beep. She has also become fearful of car and truck noises: engine noises, tire noises, revving. L. would like to address the vehicle sounds first.

Ginger has recently gone on meds, prescribed by a primary vet. L. is working with trainer A., and Ginger is scheduled to be seen by a VB in September.

L. will be meeting with A. to make a plan, and then will get back to me with some possible sounds from Pond5 that I can use to create a sound series for Ginger.

Ginger is accustomed to white noise and not afraid of it. L has purchased a Sony Extra Bass SRS-XB20 Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker on which to play vehicle sounds for the conditioning.

After discussion and study, A., L., and I have decided to address the smoke alarm low battery sound first instead. It is a Kidde smoke alarm and I have one and have recorded the low battery sound.

Test Sound 1

I propose for the sound that begins the series, we use a recorded piano tone of G6. G6 is 1568 Hz, and is approximately one octave lower than the smoke alarm, and will be longer in duration. (Part of what is typically scary about the smoke alarm low battery chirp is how short and abrupt it is.) I have chosen a high-quality recording of that note on the piano, an instrument where the sound decays over time (the opposite of abrupt).

L., listen to the sound yourself first. If you think it’s too high, we can go an octave lower. Let me know.

If you go ahead with this sound, and after Ginger has been exposed to the speaker and after the process of making food a non-predictor, expose Ginger to the sound per the instructions in the handout and any additional instructions from A. Remember to have checked the volume level first without Ginger present. Make the volume moderate. Remember to treat this not as a test (although it is!), but as the first step in Ginger conditioning (which we hope it is!).

As noted in the handout, there are 10 seconds of silence before the sound. You can use them to be positioned somewhere else in the room; just be sure to not always do it the same way, and be sure you can get to the amazing treats quickly.

Piano G6 1568 Hz

L., after you let me know if Ginger is OK with the sound, I will create the rest of the series. In the meantime, you can do more exposures under A’s direction. If she’s not OK, we will choose a lower sound or different timbre.

Response to Sound

Ginger’s response to the sound indoors was fine, but on 8/17/20, this was her response outside:

She tucked her tail and though her ears were perked, she froze.We did it again inside at lower volume in a different location from where we did trials last evening. She definitely is reacting poorly to this sound. Went down to the basement.

We have all conferred, and L. and I have settled on a quiet oboe sound with a very soft attack for the next test sound.

Test Sound 2

Oboe F#4 370 Hz