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Severe Fear of Thunder

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Cairo

Ninja Dog- Extraordinaire
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 3:57pm PST 
I have a recently adopted Pointer/Lab mix who is terrified of storms. I've tried various things to make them "fun" for her, but when she gets scared she just shuts down. I've tried playing with the other two dogs in front of her, no response other than her usual shaking, panting and pacing. I live in Florida, so there are thunder storms virtually every day during the summer. Benadryl is the only thing that seems to calm her, but with storms every day I rarely use it(and every time I do I feel guilty).

She has a pheremone collar, and is starting training with a professional next week to work on her general anxiety problems...but can anyone offer any kind of insight? Advice, success stories, anything?

I feel so bad for her during storms, but it's like there's nothing I can do for her. At this point I just let her hide wherever she's comfortable, put my ipad on a sound soothing app with rain but no thunder and calm music. I give her something to chew on (usually a nice treat) but she never touches it. I've stopped babying her, having just learned that hurts more than helps(from the "reinforces the idea that there is something to fear" standpoint, not the "reinforces negative behavior" one)...I'm lost. She is the first out of the six dogs I've had during my life who is afraid of thunder.

Edited by author Tue Jun 11, '13 6:25am PST

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Opheila

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 10, '13 5:13pm PST 
Other posters can give you ideas. I know there have been several Cesar episodes with thunder fear. I used to live in Florida and I remember the daily rain. With Sophie she hides too, it's hard when we can't comfort them. Callie could care less about storms. He looks in on her shivering in the dark bathroom then jumps on the bed and lays down. We just leave soft towels on the floor and let her stay where she's comfortable. Good Luck
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