Is your dog hiding himself in his crate the moment he sees you holding on to a guitar, and you are wondering why he is reacting in this way?
Let’s find out from this post.
Your dog is scared of the guitar because of the sharp noise generated by the instrument. The weird looking appearance of the guitar scared him. He had a bad experience associated with guitar. The scent of it reminds him of a frightening memory. Your depressing emotions when playing the guitar affect him.
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Sharp Noise From the Guitar Arose His Fear
Your dog is afraid of the SHARP sound from the strings of the guitar when you are playing with it.
This is because the sound of the guitar can be a bit scary to dogs since they are capable of producing a high-pitched sound.
Guitars typically have six strings: E, A, D, G, B, and E (an octave higher).
The normal pitch for a guitar is 82.41Hz on the lowest E string and that can reach up to 329.63Hz on the highest E string.
Strings that are loose have a low pitch and those that are tight had a high pitch. This enables the guitar to produce both high and low-pitched sounds.
When the guitar is being played, each of the strings vibrates back and forth, and this creates the intended sounds.
As dogs possess acute hearing, any loud and high-pitched sounds are going to cause them discomfort.
This explains why the sounds of fire alarms, gunshots, explosions, fireworks and thunderstorms are extremely frightening to dogs.
That also includes the terrifying “shink” sound created when you are sharpening your knife with a whetstone
Even noises that we find to be non-threatening, such as the sound generated from the folding of an ironing board, rubbing of the spark wheel of a lighter and the clattering noise from windshield wipers, can possibly arise his fear if he ever associates that sound with an unpleasant experience.
Bad Experience Associated With Guitar
Your dog’s reaction to a guitar may have been a result of an unusual event that happened at some point in the past.
He might have an unpleasant experience with a guitar and seeing it will remind him of that traumatic experience.
It could be the case that he is playing the guitar, and he gets a scolding or beating from his previous owner and that installs fear in him.
This makes him associate seeing guitar as something BAD that will happen to him. That is, he is going to get a punishment again.
He gets fearful of the guitar and will try to hide from it the moment he sees it.
What you can do is to help him overcome this fear by making him feel that GOOD things will happen when he goes near the guitar through training.
To do this, place an enticing treat (either a piece of cheese or beef) about a meter away from the guitar and encourage your dog to make his move to eat the treat.
It may take a while for him to bravely make that first move depending on how traumatic his experience with guitar is.
Once he has overcome that fear and eats the treat, you can then place the treat closer to the guitar (maybe at 0.5 meter) and do the training again.
Keep repeating this training till your dog is able to stay beside the guitar at ease without having to use a treat as a lure.
Of course, your goal is to make your dog stay beside you, watching and listening to you play guitar.
Weird Looking Appearance Of Guitar Scared Him
Many dogs are terrified by big, scary looking things. Your dog might be afraid of the guitar because it has a very odd looking appearance and looks like a monster to him.
Strange-looking objects often make dogs nervous, especially those that are big and long in shape, similar to a stick.
As the appearance of a guitar when it is in a standing position resembles a long, thick stick, your dog may have perceived that as a weapon that is of danger to him.
This is similar to the case if your dog shows signs of fear when you hold on to a broom.
He had associated a long, stick-like object with something that was a threat to him and that made him wary of them.
Signs to be lookout for when your dog is scared include growling and barking at the object that causes his fear, or simply running away from them if he had a chance to do so.
Your Depressing Emotion When Playing The Guitar Affect Him
Do you usually play guitar when you are feeling moody and unhappy? This negative emotion that you exhibit will make your dog feel that guitar is a scary thing as it can make you feel so upset.
You see, your dog is good at observing your emotions and relating to them. Therefore, if he finds out that you are feeling down every time you play the guitar, he will start to associate guitar with something bad.
That is, this “thing” will make you depressed the moment you touch it. He will get fear of it and will try to keep away from it.
Scent Of The Guitar Remind Him Of A Frightening Memory
Dogs are very sensitive to scents. A brand-new guitar can have a very strong scent that causes your dog to be fearful if he is associating the smell with some unpleasant experience.
This could be related to his bad experience with a guitarist in the past. He might have been ill-treated by his previous owner, who is a guitarist, and the scent of the guitar reminds him of that frightening experience.
As a result, any similar scent will trigger his unpleasant memories and freak him out.
A New Piece Of Equipment That He Has Never Seen Before
Although dogs possess a natural instinct to explore new things around them, they are still fearful of many situations.
For example, when they are in a strange place, they tend to become anxious and nervous and will be on alert.
If they see something that is unfamiliar to them, especially something huge, they may be scared and begin to bark at it.
It’s their instinct to be fearful and cautious of the unknown.
So, if this is the very first time that your dog had his encounter with a guitar, it is natural for him to be fearful and wary of it.
What you need to do is to gradually introduce the guitar to your dog so that he does not develop any phobias.
1. Create an environment in which your dog will feel comfortable and secure while you are playing the guitar. This ideal place would be outside his crate, as your dog will feel safe when he is in the crate listening to the guitar.
2. As he gets more confident and makes his way out of the crate to take a sniff of the guitar, give him a treat and praise him handsomely.
3. If he seems to be interested, you can then expose him to the guitar more frequently and do the training further away from his crate.
4. It may take a few days for your dog to get used to the guitar, but eventually he should get used to the sound of the guitar and be able to enjoy it without showing any fear or anxiety.