DOGS Trust Dog School West Midlands, based at Dogs Trust Evesham, is urging owners to give their dogs lessons in how to cope with a fear of fireworks.

The charity says it can take months to train your dog to cope with fireworks, so Dogs Trust Dogs School West Midlands is offering a ‘Firework Fear’ seminar for dog owners on Tuesday 25 September and they have a host of tips available on their website to help owners prepare their dogs well in advance for fireworks.

Previously published data* suggests that 49% of dogs show some behavioural signs of fears of loud noises such as fireworks, and a recent YouGov survey** commissioned by Dogs Trust, suggests that 89% of people believe domestic pets, like cats and dogs, can be negatively affected by fireworks. Some of the frightened behaviour that owners identified their dogs or cats doing during fireworks include hiding (42%), shaking or trembling (31%) and cowering, refusing to go outside and becoming alert, vigilant or agitated (all 30%).

Here are some tips for preparing your dog ahead of firework night.

*Download the Sounds Scary recordings of firework sounds available from Check the tracks first without your dog present, and select one to start with which is just one element of the full firework noise

*Start with your dog relaxed in a familiar environment. Have toys and treats ready, and if you have more than one dog, enough people to keep them all occupied.

*Set up the track you have selected in advance, so you are sure that it will play at such a low volume that you can’t hear it – dogs can hear higher pitches so it’s important to start very low.

*Get your pooch interested in playing or eating treats before you start playing the noises

*Watch your dog very carefully as you start to play the noises. If you think he or she is worried, stop the sound immediately, but carry on playing with him until he is relaxed again. When you start again, have the volume set lower.

*As long as your dog carries on playing or searching for treats and ignores the sounds, you can increase the volume very gradually over subsequent sessions – it’s vital to do this very gradually and always watch for any signs of worry.

*Keep repeating, each time building up the volume as long as your dog is relaxed.