Dogs and Demo

jerzeegirlOctober 15, 2012

My kitchen demo just began and I must admit that it never occurred to me that it would upset my dogs so much. The guys are in the kitchen whacking away and the dogs are barking and total hyper. I now have them in a bedroom as far away from the kitchen as we can get in this smallish house, but I can't imagine another two weeks like this!

Those of you who have dogs....did they eventually get used to the noise and settle down?

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No. My girl sees or hears a tool she starts whining. Ask the vet now about some medication. I'm not kidding. We cannot get out the hammer or drill without hearing her "leak" as we call it.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 9:45AM
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You might want to consider sending the dogs to doggie daycare during the day. I am already factoring that into my renovation budget.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 9:49AM
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Using any power tool but especially a hammer stresses our dog. No it doesn't get better. On the days you know are going to be bad, get the dogs out of the house.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:03AM
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We've had ongoing (forever) renovations going on in our FL house. We got our dogs to calm down by having the guy who is doing the work "meet" them and give them a few treats and then letting them watch what was going on when he was using the sander, tile cutter, etc. Our dogs love him now and wag their tails and run to him when he arrives. Might be worth a try. I always found it to be much worse when the dogs could hear the noise or talking but not see the action because then they don't know what is going on.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:26AM
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We have 2 older Standard Poodles. As Beaglesdoitbetter said, being able to see what is happening and where the noise is coming from helps a lot.
The only tool my older guy can't seem to accept is my trim gun. Something about that burst of air really bothers him.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 10:44AM
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Give them a treat dispensing toy to keep them busy. Heck, feed them their kibble meals out of it.
Tire them out before the workers come - jog, long walk, fetch, etc. A tired dog is a happy dog.
Have the workers give them treats.
Try to desensitize them by showing them the tools and treating them constantly. Work up to "using" the tools in front of them (bang hammer, spin drill) all while constantly treating.
Take them to doggie daycare or otherwise get them out of the house.

Or, if they just won't shut up - and my one guy is like this with thunderstorms - get a mild sedative from the vet.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 11:29AM
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We have two dogs now but only had the lab when we did the kitchen. She barked when they came (as she would anyone, especially anyone new), but she was soon greeting them happily and keeping an eye on things. Now it might have helped that she saw we were happy about all this and I even picked up a hammer and whacked aways at some of the tile counters and splash I was so glad to get rid of. They tried to take our cabinets down as intact as possible (they were site built, not freestanding boxes, so some came apart), and it might have made a difference that they weren't smashing our cabinets up like I've seen on TV shows. By the end, the contractors were saying they needed to get her a tool belt and hard hat because she was checking up on their work so often -- working under the sinks was funny.

Hope it gets better, but if not, help them and yourself out by separating them from it.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 11:32AM
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Thanks for the responses. They just really HATE loud noises - corgis, so gigantic ears.

The good news is the major part of the demo is over. Tomorrow they will remove the floor tile and that will cause a ruckus but they should be done before noon.

I do have some Bach's Flower Remedy but of course it's packed somewhere because it was among the spices. I also have a thunder shirt for my girl dog because she is terrified of thunder. I might try that on her tomorrow. They are both rescues so they definitely have their "issues".

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 12:02PM
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As you can see by my user name, I can totally relate. Our corgi, Rudy got to the point that when we would go into the completely demo'ed kitchen and just look around, he would start whining to go outside. The worst day was when the drywall was hung. We camped out in the bedroom upstairs for a few hours. I think it helped that I stayed with him. Today I'm painting the ceiling and he has been skittish all morning, just anticipating some kind of noise.

I thought we would have to use doggie daycare but so far so good. We will see if we need it on the cabinet installation days.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 12:14PM
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My experience was similar to Beagle and Star...I have a standard poodle (5 yo) and a miniature poodle (12 yo).

They definitely got used to the noise after a short time, and the fact that they made friends with the contractors (lots of treats and ear scratching) was a *huge* help. The contractors' arrival was met with joy, and the noise just became part of the scene.

We did, however, keep them in the bedroom when things got really messy/loud, but the pups knew what it was all about and they were good with it.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 12:20PM
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Having them meet the contractors and trying to desensitize them is good if they are just a little uneasy. If they have gone over the threshold into fear/panic, it won't work, and then the best thing is to remove them from the situation as best you can. In your bedroom, outside in the yard, take them for a walk. A good rule of thumb is if they are too distressed to accept a good treat, they are over the edge. If you are interested in learning how to work through these issues with your dog, "Control Unleashed" by Leslie McDivitt is a good book.

My border collie knows that after the air compressor fills up, the nail gun will be next, and he can't deal with hammering/nailin/banging sounds. If the air compressor starts, he leavegs and hides. My German shepherd, however is "bombproof".

We always keep the dogs completely out of the work zone when we're doing a project. Too many bad things for them to lick, eat, step on, or wipe their tails through. Drywall dust, caulking, grout, nails, wood chips, etc. You'd be surprized at what they think is interesting.

Good luck on your reno!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 12:48PM
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My 9 yr old (nervous) toy poodle did ok with the kitchen. I put his blanket on my bed with his favorate toy and long lasting treat. I turned Animal Planet on quite loudly, and left a bowl of water on the floor. I found that he was quite happy. Normally my BR is off limits to him during the day. He still runs away when I take out a mop or vacume, and when he sees a tool come out, but he did this before the kitchen too.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 1:15PM
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Same thing happened to my 4 year old son. He put his hands over his ears and say "". I try to have him stay on the second floor or take him outside.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 1:28PM
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My demo starts Wednesday and my biggest fear has been dealing with our lab. He is ok with noises, but will bark continuously if he is not the center of attention. I also fear he will get loose. My plan is to section off mid hallway, so he has run of half the house and yard. Workers will have to set up shop in front yard of the house. I also plan on taking him to doggie day care and he won't be happy because he does not consider himself a dog :)

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 4:16PM
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My dog doesn't warm up to strangers and to be honest, we never encouraged her to when our kitchen was being remodeled. She was pretty stressed that her "treat cabinet" was gone, left as a framed shell for weeks, so we left her treat can on the floor of the framing and dispensed treats from there which seemed to help.

She got kind of pushed to the brink when the icynene was blown in. Once they started working on the floor we sent her to the kennel for the week. She enjoys where she is boarded and we didn't have to worry about her getting hurt when parts of the floor was opened up.

As with any new situation, excercise and a consistent schedule are your best friends, but don't expect your dogs to suddenly give in to the idea that strangers disturbing the house is OK. Best of luck and remember that this too shall pass.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 6:01PM
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