I'm very excited about this blog where I had the opportunity to interview Amy Smith who created the Sound Proof Puppy App. Now anyone who has raised a puppy will know how important is to get that puppy used to the sights and sounds of everyday life to prevent any fears and phobias as the puppy grows. Well that job was made a whole lot easier with the creation of the Sound Proof Puppy App. The App, which is available from the ITunes store and on Android gives you access to a range of sounds you can begin getting your puppy used to right from the moment you bring them home. There is a range of common sounds available from baby's crying, lawnmowers, crowds of people, storms and the dreaded fireworks. There is also a facility to record your own sound should you have something in your town that isn't on the list. There are also easy to follow instructions so you can get puppy used to the sounds gradually. I use the app regularly now in our puppy training and have been very impressed with the ease of use, you really can have fireworks and garbage trucks passing by in your living room as you play and train your new family member!
You can tell I am a big fan so I was delighted to speak to Amy and find out more about how the App came into being.
So Amy start by telling us about the sound proof puppy app and how it came about?
Sound Proof Puppy training was an idea I had been sitting on for about 12 months! I had been teaching puppy class for about 4 years and I would get a lot of tradesmen in my courses. These blokes would often want a dog that could be on the building site with them. I found myself constantly telling them to record some sounds from the jobsite to their phone, play them to the pups during meals and help get the pups used to those sounds before going to work. I kept saying out loud how great an idea that would be for an app!
After my third son was born I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. Having done my research I had discovered no one had made my idea into an app yet…. I started to get excited! I knew of plenty of sound cd’s etc but new pet owners needed something easy and accessible to get them to do this sort of conditioning with their puppies.
I contacted someone I knew who helped with App development and pitched the idea to her and she loved it and helped me with design content. She had just got a puppy so she really enjoyed working on the project. 10 long months later Sound Proof Puppy training was launched in the App store.
It sounds like its getting technical! So was is difficult to get an app made?
It wasn’t difficult but it was a lot of work… my app is quite simple too, YouTube instructional vids, training notes and a library of sounds. I didn’t have any concept as to how much work it was to make all that happen! The people I hired to develop the app were very patient…. I was a novice that’s for sure!
A good friend of mine did all the graphics and that was a huge job itself because every screen and every button needs graphics designed. For me one of the hardest things was getting the app uploaded to the app store, I am a PC user and never really used a MAC so again I needed my hand held the whole way!
Why should dog owners use the app?
There are a number of ways the app can be useful
Dog owners can use the app to help condition their dogs to feel comfortable with sounds they haven’t heard before. A good example of that is a family that is expecting a baby…. I have baby sounds on the app for this exact situation.
Puppy owners can use the app to prepare their new puppies to be comfortable with a wide variety of sounds that they will face throughout their life.
Owners of dogs that have a fear of certain sounds can use the app to help desensitize their dogs to those sounds.
Why should any of the above use the app… because a dog that is comfortable in their environment is a happy dog, a dog that is fearful of things such as sound isn’t a happy dog and we can see significant behaviour issues because of that.
I assume you have always liked dogs?
I have always loved dogs but I didn’t get my own dog until I was 25. I had my own house and was finally able to get my first puppy!!
What is your day job Amy?
Mother of 3 boys – Max 12, Astin 4 and Noah 2. I am a dog trainer and I run a very busy Puppy School, teaching 5 classes a week.
Where do you live and work?
I live in Sydney Australia and have lived here since I was 3 years old. I was born in the UK in Aylesbury. My entire family is English and my 3 boys are the first Aussie born kids in my family! Having lived here for 32 years I definitely sound Australian, look Australian and consider myself Australian however I will never forget my English roots
Aylesbury wow, how did you end up in Australia?
My Dad got a job in Sydney in 1983; our family moved here two weeks after my Dad arrived. He made a phone call from a payphone on Manly Beach to my mum. He simply said “You will not believe this place”. Dad’s contract was supposed to be for 1 year…. We never left.
What makes you most proud about the app?
It’s hard to say just one thing, having created an app with a real purpose that can help change dogs lives for the better is a major thing. One thing that gets me now though is I am recognised worldwide for my app. And that is something that is very special to have achieved.
I know now that you run a very successful puppy training school in your city. Tell us what you think are the 5 most important things new dog owners should teach or do with their puppies?
Environmental Socialisation is number 1.
Teach your puppy to enjoy handling for grooming and vet work.
Teach them to come back when called and to stay
Teach them to be happy about people approaching their food
Teach them to have an off switch or to be able to calm down.
Many Thanks Amy and good luck for the future!
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