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Heaven help --- dog with thunder issues

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Dipsy Doodle Doo, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. Hi! Poor Darby is unfazed by guns, fireworks and most other loud noises, but thunder reduces her to a puddle of clingy, climbing dogness. She also falls apart when I use the flyswat to kill flies (I have to put her outside if I want to swat a bug, because she just gets trembly/panicy if I swat a bug in the house).
    At first, I thought she might have been scolded/smacked during a thunderstorm as a very young pup with a flyswat (she and her brother showed up here as 6 to 8 week-old pups).
    There doesn't seem to be any 'getting past this' or 'growing out of it'. Otherwise, she is a fabulous dog --- mother to anything I tell her is mine and great protector/defender of 'our space'.
    It's the time of year again when we get T-storms nearly every afternoon and I can't stand to see her so upset all the time.
    Any ideas?
    I tink she's a Border Collie if that makes a difference.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010

  2. Ms.FuzzyButts

    Ms.FuzzyButts Songster

    Sep 5, 2009
    North Alabama
    Poor Darby!! I had a dog like that once. I read somewhere to rub them down real good with a fabric softener sheet. Some dogs can feel the electrical undertones of a storm, or distant lightening and it scares them. I tried it on my dog and it seemed to help. I don't know if this is the case with your dog, but it wouldn't hurt to give it a try. If nothing else, she'd smell good! [​IMG]
  3. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    We had a dog that was similar. Unfortunately he never did get over, it just kept getting worse. We found that if we made him a bed in my dads basement office and gave him a little pill we got from the pet store called calmative it was better for everyone. We didn't fret about how upset, worked up, and downright sick he got when it stormed. He didn't have to work himself into a lather everytime it stormed anymore.
  4. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Do basic commands, praise like crazy when she gets it right- do this when you can during a thunderstorm- keep her attention in a positive way, don't 'reward' clingy whimpering or whining...

    I found that if you can keep her through two storms like this (the whole storm) disallowing/or reducing the attention payed to the storm, you ignoring (turning your back for a min if whining) you might get her over the storm problem... she needs to pay attention to what you want.

    (this is how the guide dogs were rehabbed)
  5. Rin

    Rin Songster

    Oct 22, 2009
    Moonglade (EU)
    I hafta admit I went, "Oh jeese, that's why" as soon as I saw "Border Collie". My best friend has always always kept the breed and swears up and down that they are extremely reactive to noises. Particularly Thunder storms. [​IMG] I'm apt to believe her as I have yet to meet a border collie or even a cross that doesn't react to one or the other (fireworks or thunder or other loud/odd sound) in some negative way.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  6. equine623

    equine623 Songster

    Mar 17, 2009
    NE PA
    There is a stress wrap basically looks like a giant ace bandage thing that is supposed to apply pressure to various acupressure sights, works off the Ttouch principle. Some people find that helps. Rescue remedy, certain homeopathic preparations may help too.

    Seems like its less a sound issue and more an electrical issue, some dogs want to "ground" themselves in certain locations (like the bathtub believe it or not!) There are different schools of thought on petting whether its comfort or encouraging the behavior. Do what works for your dog.

    As far as the flyswat....could be an early life trauma with one. Systematic desensitization might help with that, time consuming but usually effective.

    Good luck its tough when they get freaked about storms. Personally try to avoid anything sedative or anti anxiety that the vet might prescribe. Usually the dog is so stressed it won't work, or it takes effect after the storm is through and the dog is zonked out for no good reason.
  7. denasfarm

    denasfarm Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sweet Home Alabama!!
    I have two of those! Mother 7yo and Son 5 yo American Bulldogs. They are THE best storm detectors EVER! They start freaking out 30 minutes before it even gets windy or dark. They shake and whine and pant. They pace around in the house and will try to climb IN you if outdoors!
    Nothing bad has ever happened to them during a storm. We have tried all sorts of things that have never worked. They have even rubbed off on our sane weinner dog 7yo and now she hides during a storm. I usually crate them and cover the crates with blankets.
    They are also afraid of fireworks, guns, loud cars, sneezing and flyswatters! Any of those things even on the TV scare them (other than the fly swatter).

  8. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    Ironically, my dog Thunder was afraid of thunderstorms. As long as I was touching him, he didn't get frantic, but he would shake and tremble during really bad ones. Never did get it resolved.
  9. SallyF

    SallyF Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    My parents had a wire-haired fox terrier that was the same way. They fixed her a bed on the floor of their linen closet, which was pretty small. When the thunder started, she went into that space and hunkered down for the duration.
  10. thebritt

    thebritt Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    What about offering the best treats in the world as soon as you start to hear the far away rumbling? Like cooked chicken, maybe even a raw beef bone? Something the dog ONLY gets during T-storms? That's what I would try. Good luck - OH YEAH! There are some otc products you can try, eg. "Pet Calms", "Rescue Remedy" and the like might be worth a try.

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