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Why Does My Dog Freak Out When I Sneeze?

Have you ever had that moment when you can feel a sneeze coming but you know that if you let it out you will freak out your dog? I have too, which is why I did some research.

Why Does My Dog Freak Out When I Sneeze? I found that your dog might be freaking you out when you sneeze primarily as an instinctual behavior because their ancestors were wild animals that had to be very alert of their environment.

Whether this behavior may bother you or not, here is why your dog freaks out when you sneeze and some solutions we gathered from around the internet that might reduce it.

Why Does My Dog Freak Out When I Sneeze?

It’s easy to forget that dogs have a natural instinct and that they are descendants of wild animals. When they hear loud noises or surprising noises, it’s no surprise that they will be startled.

In the wild, they have to be alert to every sound and noise so that they can keep themselves safe. They need to make sure that they are prepared for predators and attack.

What You Can Do About It

If you are fed up with wondering why does my dog freak out when I sneeze then the simple answer is to mute your sneezes!

Obviously, that doesn’t work for everyone, so another way to help deal with this kind of behavior from your pet is to help desensitize them to loud noises.

You can do this in a number of ways.

You can get your pet used to busy and noisy environments.

Public spaces, areas where you are likely to hear kids shouting, around noisy vehicles, all of these situations will help your dog to get used to a lot of noise and will, therefore, help reduce the startling effect your sneeze might have.

Use a CD or playlist of noises. You can get the above-listed noises on a CD or downloadable playlist to play in your own home. BY breaking the quiet and getting your dog used to a noisy home, it will help them to realize that when you sneeze you aren’t a threat.

Praise them

You can reward your dog each time he doesn’t respond negatively to your sneezes. Try doing this as a practice run rather than actually waiting for a sneeze to come along, you might be waiting a while.

When your dog doesn’t bark or leap at you for sneezing, provide them with a treat or reward.

Hearing Tests

It may be a case that your pup needs a hearing test and might need to go to the vet for this. Sensitive ears can come about from ear infections and these need to be treated promptly.

Wrap Up

So, if you have ever wondered why does my dog freak out when I sneeze, we hope we have helped you answer the question. It’s not always about the noise but can often be about their natural instincts to protect themselves.

Remember that rewarding your dog for reacting well is usually the quickest way to dealing with this kind of behavior, but do try the soundtrack as well so they can be desensitized to noises both in the home and out.


I started this site because I am a dog lover. Most of my social feeds are full of dogs and I am always learning more about them. I also have a lifetime of experience with dogs packed with tactics, tips, and funny stories that I want to share with the world!

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