Thunder is a problem

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Postby HardcoreCollars » July 23rd, 2009, 10:11 pm

My dog clancy is usually a very calm dog but for some reason when it is thundering he freaks out and there is nothing I can do to calm him down. Does anyone have any ideas how to stop this he barks and runs around like crazy, which means alot of stress for him and long sleepless nights for me.
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Postby mnp13 » July 23rd, 2009, 10:38 pm

We've tried a bunch of different things with Ruby but the most recent was Xanax, which was amazing.

What different things have you tried already?
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Postby HardcoreCollars » July 23rd, 2009, 11:01 pm

I dont want to use drugs but Ive tried some herbal stuff the vet recomended and even rubbing him down qith a dryer sheet i read that on line its supposed to help with the static electricity in the air
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Postby amazincc » July 23rd, 2009, 11:03 pm

Is it the actual noise or the static electric (I've read about, and seen that on TV, too) ... or both?
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Postby TheRedQueen » July 23rd, 2009, 11:10 pm

I've had success with behavior modification...
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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Postby Marinepits » July 23rd, 2009, 11:12 pm

What's worked for me is just generally ignoring the unwanted behaviour (the pacing, the whining, whatever), BUT I've never had a truly phobic dog, just ones who are like "WTF?" when the thunder starts.

Indy and Tucker were both pretty fearful about many things when they were pups (both were badly abused when young). What always worked for us was me acting like the fearful object or situation just wasn't any big deal -- we'd confidently walk right on by and I'd ignore the scary thing. The boys learned quickly to watch me and take my lead in fearful situations.

Tucker was absolutely TERRIFIED of newspapers when we first got him. He'd hit the floor and just cower if we even moved a newspaper. Using what I described above, we worked on walking around newspapers, over newspapers, walking past rolled-up newspapers (which REALLY scared the crap out of him), and progressed to more complicated situations like walking past my husband while he would open a newspaper suddenly or swing a rolled newspaper by his side. It took a loooooooong time for Tucker to get over that fearfulness, but now I can playfully smack him on the butt with the paper when we're walking back up the driveway in the morning and he doesn't even blink -- he gets ready to do zoomies instead.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » July 24th, 2009, 6:11 am

Have you tried starting a good game of tug, or giving him a frozen Kong, just as soon as you see him start to get nervous? You have to interrupt it pretty quickly, but Inara used to be really antsy with thunderstorms and the dryer (she doesn't like the buzzer at the end) and I would distract her immediately. Now she's able to stay pretty relaxed even if I don't break out a treat or a toy.
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Postby Marinepits » July 24th, 2009, 7:59 am

Yeah, the distraction game works well for us, too. Tucker is over-the-top obsessed with his red Kong ball and the world stops for him when he sees it. I can get him to do virtually anything if that ball is in sight. :giggle:
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Postby HardcoreCollars » July 24th, 2009, 9:14 am

Thanks for the advice Im gonna try the distraction thing with food. I have tried ignoring it but he just doesnt stop.
Really what do you see
When you looking at me?
See me come up from nothing,
To me living my dreams
I done been to the bottom,
I done suffered a lot,
I deserve to be rich,
Headed straight to the top
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Postby TheRedQueen » July 24th, 2009, 9:19 am

Here's a great set of Thunder Phobia articles on Patricia McConnell's blog...

http://www.theotherendoftheleash.com/ca ... a-in-dogs/

I used the tennis ball (which Xander LOVES more than life itself) with classical conditioning him to the thunder and fireworks. Every time it started to get thundery...spring storms, before the rain...I'd go outside and play a rousing game of ball with him. Each and every time.

Now when it starts up, we just have to ask him to find his ball, and he'll do that, and we play for a few minutes in the house...he's perfectly okay now.
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo

"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw
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