Prevention is better than cure, and teaching puppies to accept a range of noises is the best way to do this. This is especially effective during the socialisation period, when puppies are most open to new experiences of all kinds.
As with teaching all new experiences, positive reinforcement is key. Any time your puppy displays positive behaviour, they get a reward! For teaching sounds, this simply means rewarding any happy or relaxed behaviour while that sound is audible.
Of course, you can’t always conjure up a thunderstorm or a fireworks show right on cue – to help, sound CDs/tracks and mobile apps have been developed to allow you to play these sounds to your puppy. Start by playing them quietly, and gradually turn up the volume over the course of a week or so, depending on how your puppy reacts. If you see any negative reaction to a sound, turn it down and start again quieter, keeping up the positive reinforcement.
It’s also important for your puppy to get used to noises in the wider environment – make sure to turn the hoover on, and expose your puppy to traffic noises (if your puppy is not covered by vaccination, you can carry them outside to have a listen – it’s not safe to put them on the verge or pavement until their vaccine course is finished and has had time to take effect).