How to help your dog overcome an outdoor noise fear

  1. Identify what noise is upsetting your dog

    There are lots of loud and unpredictable sounds;

    • Traffic, car horns, lawnmowers, helicopters...

    Try to work out which noises your dog is afraid of & why this has started.

  2. Train your dog to cope with this scary noise

    • Associate the sound with a positive thing for your dog: a treat, toy, stroke, praise...
    • Repeat, repeat, repeat!
    • Our trainer's tip: Gradually increase the sound intensity, adapt the progression depending on your dog's reactions.
  3. An ADAPTIL Calm Collar is the ideal support to help your dog tackle their fear

    • The ADAPTIL Calm Collar releases "appeasing messages" to create a safe and secure environment wherever your dog goes.
    • It will help your dog cope with loud noises and supports them during training.
    • A Vet recommended and clinically proven calming solution.

We recommend:

Releases appeasing pheromones to calm your dog wherever they go

  • Recommended by veterinarians

  • Seen on TV

  • 25 clinical studies published

  • 20+ years of expertise



See how ADAPTIL helped these Dogs:

Tips to help your dog cope with fear of loud noises outside

Your dog has super hearing powers!

Our vet explains: Dogs ears are very sensitive: they can hear sounds at a distance 4 times further away than humans can!

They are also able to hear a wider range of frequencies than we can, which can explain why they may find sounds worrying that we are not even aware of or before we hear them.

Why is my dog scared?

There are many reasons for a dog to be scared of loud noises, including:

  • lack of socialisation and exposure to different sounds during puppyhood
  • previous bad experiences with sounds, for example, they can begin scared of one noise and this develops into other noises
  • they are generally anxious by nature.

The socialisation period is an important time for puppies to find out about the normal sounds that are part of our everyday lives. Read our puppy tips to learn the benefits of early exposure to different situations and sounds. 

For lots of dogs, going out for a walk is a part of the day they love; for some, venturing outside of their home environment is scary.

What can you do if your dog is anxious on walks?

  • You can try to limit your dog’s exposure to the scary sounds: for example, take your dog for walks in quieter areas, or during quieter times of the day.
  • Train your dog to better cope with noises. Desensitisation and counterconditioning takes time but pairing the sound with positive things (like a treat, time playing with a favourite toy) helps your dog to accept them. There are online recordings of different sounds you can use. Vary the time and location that you play the sounds as you progress.

If noises on walks scare your dog read our article for more advice.

If you are concerned about how your dog copes with loud noises outdoors, consult your vet. There may be an underlying medical issue that is affecting them. Contact your local accredited dog trainer or behaviourist for advice and an individual management plan to help your dog cope better.

How to train your dog to cope with scary noises?

Ideally you want to de-sensitise your dog to the scary sound. 

Can you get a recording of the sound? If so, you can play it at a VERY low level at home and build up the positive reinforcement. When they seem comfortable turn it up and repeat.

If outside only, you want to start training from a distance. E.g. If they are worried about traffic noise, find a spot which is not close to the traffic. Your dog can be aware, but you are looking for them to be relaxed while knowing the scare noises are close by.

  • Use ADAPTIL Calm Collar for constant support when your dog is out and about. The ‘appeasing pheromones’ of ADAPTIL will help your dog feel calm and secure wherever they are.
  • ThunderShirt is easy to wrap around your dog’s body, it will quickly calm your dog by applying a gentle, constant pressure supporting dogs that are nervous when out walking.
  • ADAPTIL Chew is a tasty calming chew. The chews are soft and can be easily broken apart. They can be used as a reward during your dog's sound training too.

Our vet says: Be patient as you help your dog to adjust to noises on walks. Try and remain calm yourself - certain noises are startling even for us, but the goal is for you and your dog to quickly recover from sudden loud noises and continue your walk happily!

With support your dog will be more confident to cope with noises that happen when they are outside and be able to relax and enjoy your walk together!


  1. For some dogs, loud noises can be terrifying

    There are lots of loud and scary noises that happen outside.

    • Air brakes, refuse lorries, machinery, airplanes..
    • These noises can be very worrying for some dogs, and they can become fearful of more than one sort of sounds.
  2. Comfort your dog with ThunderShirt

    • To prepare for scary noises outside, wrap ThunderShirt around your dog's body before you leave home.
    • ThunderShirt patented design provides a fast calming effect by applying a gentle, constant pressure.
    • Similar to the comfort provided when swaddling an infant.
  3. Combine with ADAPTIL Chew

    • Fast calming in a tasty bite.
    • Starts to work quickly.
    • Can help your dog cope better with loud sounds they encounter when outside.
    • Use also as reward when your dog makes progress ias they learn to cope with the sounds.
  4. You are not alone!

    • If your dog is very anxious, consider getting professional advice.
    • Ask your vet to check for any underlying medical issues.
    • Contact your local accredited dog trainer or behaviourist for advice and an individual management plan.

We recommend:

Calming vest for when your dog finds outdoor noises scary

Combine with ThunderShirt for greater support for scary outdoor experiences


See how ThunderShirt helped these Dogs: