Most of the time I try to avoid noise, but when I was working on Bernie's socialization, I sought out various sounds. As we continued obedience training, I liked certain reliable neighborhood noises to act as distractions while Bernie and I practiced.
Reliable Neighborhood Noises
You know when the garbage truck will be picking up trash, so you could schedule some early morning walks so your pup hears the clanging. The night before you could walk around as people drag their trash bins to the curb.
The mail carrier probably has a routine. While there's not a lot of different noises involved with delivering mail, if the mail person gets out of the truck, your dog does get a chance to see a different uniform.
Weekends are a great time for your dog to hear people working in their yards. From mowers to weed whackers to snow blowers, your dog will be exposed to a cacophony of sounds.
If you live near busier streets, then you can expose your dog gradually to the hum of traffic as well as honking horns, sirens, and blaring music rushing by.
What neighbor has the barky dog? Want to test you dog's ability to ignore another dog? Walk by the barky dog's house. Even if you have to walk by quickly and on the other side of the street, you're getting in some extra training as part of your walk. You can work up to walking slower or on the same side of the street.
Signs to be on the lookout for
Construction signs usually mean noise.
Notice what trucks are in your neighborhood. You could catch someone moving in or moving out. Maybe hear a large delivery like an appliance.
If you notice someone fixing up their house or building something, chances are pretty good that saws and hammers will be involved.
Do you see balloons tied to a mailbox? Or cars lining a driveway? Probably a party or some kind of social gathering going on. If the weather is nice, the party may be outside, so there could be chatting, clinking, and music along with some delicious food smells.
Seasonal Neighborhood Noises
During the summer, neighbors may host pool parties, so more music and party noises along with splashing. If kids are invited, they're reliably enthusiastic swimmers and cannon ballers.
During the fall and winter, people decorate their yards for the holidays. While these decorations create a visual distraction for your dog, they can also include sound effects.
During the winter, you may see more delivery trucks out. Not only can they stop rather loudly, drivers run to doorstops to drop packages.
If you hear new or distinct noises in your neighborhood, schedule or plan a walk or two so your dog is exposed to those sounds. Even a short walk would work. Just walking near distracting sounds is effective de-sensitization training for your dog. If you can work in practicing a few skills while the noise drones on in the background, even better.