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Gracie's Mommy
22nd April 2007, 08:40 PM
We're having our first summer thunderstorm today. It's the first time that Gracie's ever heard thunder. When it thunders she just starts barking...just a few times, nothing excessive. When I was younger, my family had a dog (a schipperke) who was violently afraid of thunder (and fireworks for the similar sound). He would whine and shake uncontrollably. In fact, we ended up losing him one Fourth of July because he got scared and ran away never to be found again. :cry*ing:

So, my question is, how can we help Gracie to not be overly afraid of thunder/storms? Thanks!

George19
22nd April 2007, 09:18 PM
I've only ever known about 4 Cavaliers well enough to pass comment but none of them have been bothered by thunder or fireworks. We used to take one of them to the top of the hill to watch the fireworks over the bay, he had a great time:wggle:I think most Cavs are fairly laid back, they're a level headed little breed. My rough collie used to get so distressed at thunder and fireworks, bigger breeds seem to worry more.

Joanne M
22nd April 2007, 10:27 PM
Thunder scares Tucker too. He whimpers and cries. Soon as I pick him up he's fine. No shaking or anything like that. But any loud sound will cause Tucker to bark, other than the vacuum cleaner which he loves and tries to play with while I'm vacuuming.

arasara
22nd April 2007, 10:50 PM
I hope Faith is a thunder lover - Kosmo couldn't care less.. but.. of course.. I LOVE the storms and last year all season I held Kosmo in my arms with my head pasted to the glass and looked out the window the whole time.. so I suppose he's probably used to it by now.. hehe ;)

Julie S
22nd April 2007, 10:58 PM
Growing up we had a FABULOUS Springer Spaniel named Bo who was terrified of Fourth of July fireworks (didn't have too many thunderstorms where I grew up, but I'm sure he was afraid of those as well). Poor thing - he would run to the basement and crouch behind the sofa when he heard them! We couldn't figure it out - he was the most well-adjusted dog and so wonderful in every way ... guess every dog has their quirks!

casshon
22nd April 2007, 10:59 PM
There are de-sensitisation CDs to help dogs get used to loud noises. You start off with them on a very low volume and gradually get louder.

We turn up the volume on the TV or radio during Halloween and that helps.

Joanne M
22nd April 2007, 10:59 PM
I hope Faith is a thunder lover - Kosmo couldn't care less.. but.. of course.. I LOVE the storms and last year all season I held Kosmo in my arms with my head pasted to the glass and looked out the window the whole time.. so I suppose he's probably used to it by now.. hehe ;)


LOL that cracked me up Sara. I love storms too. I love opening the drapes and drawing the blinds up so I can see the lightning flash across the sky. My father is the same way. Poor mum, she ran around the house during a storm unplugging things, telling us to stay off the phone and not to take baths or showers!

Justine
22nd April 2007, 11:32 PM
I hate thunderstorms,fireworks as a child i was so scared and i am still scared.if a big storm comes over for some strange reason i think the bogey man will get me,i think i have been watching to many horror films,i dont like fireworks because my birthday is on Guy Fawkes nite,so when i was little mum and dad allways did a firework display,never minding the fact i hated them as was allways under the kitchen table.i blame bad peranting,perhaps i should of reported them,so i feel for the poor dogs any animal infact.jus.

Karlin
22nd April 2007, 11:49 PM
The best thing to so is NOT comfort them or act as if there's anything to worry about -- if you reassure a dog, they understand you to be saying, "Yes, it is something to worry about and if you whimper and whine, I will pay you extra attention, too." This reinforces the fear.

Dogs, especially puppies, will look to you to see how they are to react. If you ignore the noise and go on about your business, your dog learns the thunder (barking dog, noisy car, children, big dog) is nothing to worry about. If you do this when the dog is young or first encounters these noises, you will go a long way toward having a dog that is not bothered by sudden noises.

There re ways of addressing this fear once it is established -- the first rule is still, to NOT rush to the dog or treat it differently. But you can blur out the noise by playing music or the radio, using dog pheromones (there's a dog equivalent of the Feliway plug-in called DAP). Some use a bit of rescue remedy or similar on the dog's tongue or in its water.

More info:


Aside from medical treatment, behaviorists recommend counter-conditioning and desensitization. "To counter-condition your dog, teach her to settle and relax on command. Train her to go to her bed and lay down on command when it's not thundering, so when the thunder comes, she already understands that command."

Carpenter explains that often pet owners do the opposite; by offering a pet treats, praise, and consolation petting when the animal is panting, pacing, and whimpering, they are essentially rewarding the pet for acting anxious.

Carpenter also recommends playing CDs or audio tapes of thunderstorms to desensitize a pet to the noise. "Start it out quietly, and then play it a little louder. At the same time, tell the dog to go to its bed and relax, and reward them for lying down and relaxing."

A novel solution that Carpenter has tried with Belle is a Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) diffuser, an over-the counter product available at most pet stores. "It looks just like a Glade Plug-In?," she says. The diffuser releases a pheromone that is similar to the one that mother dogs release when their puppies are nursing.


Full article:http://www.cvm.uiuc.edu/petcolumns/showarticle.cfm?id=499

Also see:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_FearOfThunder.php

Karlin
22nd April 2007, 11:52 PM
The best thing to do is not comfort them or act as if there's anything to worry about -- if you reassure a dog, they understand you to be saying, "Yes, it is something to worry about and if you are scared, or whimper and whine, I will pay you extra attention, too." It goes against what we may instinctually want to do to iignore rather than confort, but comforting reinforces the fear.

Dogs, especially puppies, will look to you to see how they are to react. If you ignore the noise and go on about your business, your dog learns the thunder (barking dog, noisy car, children, big dog) is nothing to worry about. If you do this when the dog is young or first encounters these noises, you will go a long way toward having a dog that is not bothered by sudden noises.

There re ways of addressing this fear once it is established -- the first rule is still, to NOT rush to the dog or treat it differently. But you can blur out the noise by playing music or the radio, using dog pheromones (there's a dog equivalent of the Feliway plug-in called DAP). Some use a bit of rescue remedy or similar on the dog's tongue or in its water.

More info:


Aside from medical treatment, behaviorists recommend counter-conditioning and desensitization. "To counter-condition your dog, teach her to settle and relax on command. Train her to go to her bed and lay down on command when it's not thundering, so when the thunder comes, she already understands that command."

Carpenter explains that often pet owners do the opposite; by offering a pet treats, praise, and consolation petting when the animal is panting, pacing, and whimpering, they are essentially rewarding the pet for acting anxious.

Carpenter also recommends playing CDs or audio tapes of thunderstorms to desensitize a pet to the noise. "Start it out quietly, and then play it a little louder. At the same time, tell the dog to go to its bed and relax, and reward them for lying down and relaxing."

A novel solution that Carpenter has tried with Belle is a Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) diffuser, an over-the counter product available at most pet stores. "It looks just like a Glade Plug-In?," she says. The diffuser releases a pheromone that is similar to the one that mother dogs release when their puppies are nursing.


Full article:http://www.cvm.uiuc.edu/petcolumns/showarticle.cfm?id=499

Also see:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_FearOfThunder.php

Caraline
23rd April 2007, 12:18 AM
My Boxers are absolutely terrified of storm, while the Cavaliers don't like them, but don't freak out as badly as the Boxers. I can tell by my Boxers behaviour, hours before a storm arrives. I have often wondered if the barometric pressure that occurs before & during a storm may actually cause them pain.

We try to act calm & normal during a storm, and I have found that during a mild storm that just has distant rumbling thunder, the TV turned on reasonably loud settles them somewhat. We do get amazing ripper storms here where it sounds like the gods are tearing the sky open. When we got those kinds, nothing is a comfort to the dogs and we just have to wait for it to pass. We get a lot of actual lightning strikes on our land, and I've lost count of how much electronic equipment I've lost (despite UPS & surge protectors), so I also wonder whether my dogs can sense a bit of anxiety in me, even though outwardly I try to look calm.