Jump to content

Thunderstorms
Need quick advice


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 enigma

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:15 PM

The rescue pup we have is terrified of thunderstorms.
He use to be left outside all time regardless of the weather and had a muzzle put on him during a thunderstorm so he wouldn't bark.
We have had two storms since we have had him and both times he has been inside and freaking out, pacing up and down, barking and whining.
We make him sit next to us, telling him he is okay, patting him, and trying to calm him down. Have tried the thunder shirt but it doesn't make any difference.
Someone told me to put a blanket over his head??? To make him feel more secure. Haven't tried it yet, but any other suggestions?
The next few days we are meant to have thunderstorms and after last nights effort of being awake at 3.30am sitting with him I would love to be able to help him now instead of another early morning wake up from him.
I am going to get intouch with the rescue and see if they can help out in anyway.


#2 Kay1

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:24 PM

Just a thought but what about a white noise machine? We use one to block out noise at night. If you put him in a room with one (or a radio off tune) and gradually increase the volume so he doesn't hear the thunder?

#3 Paddlepop

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:25 PM

Doggy sedatives from your vet. My staffy was petrified of storms and in the end the only option was to medicate her at the first sign of a storm approaching. It would knock her out a bit and she would sleep. I'm pretty sure it was called clomicalm and was actually Xanax (antidepressant/sedative). It had to be given at least one hour prior to the storm to be effective for the storm.

Another option is a desensitisation CD of storm sounds, and working with an animal behaviourist so that the dog learns that storms are no threat to it.

#4 la di dah

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:25 PM

Stop patting him and telling him its okay, he thinks you're saying "yes, yes it is scary! we're scared too, oh god I guess we're all going to die!" and that, understandably, is not going to calm him down.

Carry on as normal. Do keep him in the house, don't punish him or get angry with him, but don't make a big deal of it and if he's barking and carrying on, tell him no. You do not want to reinforce that storms are terribly frightening but rather that they're nothing really out of the ordinary.

Is he crate trained? I had one dog that couldn't be, but crates can be helpful. If not, see if you can make a nice safe dark burrow like place.

#5 caninestorm

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:28 PM

I think all dogs are different, but this is our procedure for our thunder phobic dog (perfected over the 4 years we've had him):
1. Thundershirt and rescue remedy BEFORE the storm hits. Neither of these work on their own but seem to contribute to the overall reaction.
2. Make his favourite spot available and favourable for him (this is under the computer desk for my boy so we put down a rug and encourage him to go there). Some dogs like the bathroom, or a cupboard, or under the bed, etc.
3. Create some "white noise" to help block out the thunder. Close the doors and windows. Turn on the TV, radio or play some music. We also use a portable fan as it appears to calm him.
4. Encourage calmness... be calm yourself (very important). Talk in reassuring tones, not loud panicky ones and not coddling. Simply "Yes I know you're scared... but you'll be ok" with occasional pats.

Some people will probably try to tell you to ignore him, in my opinion that is not the best way to manage it. You cannot reinforce fear as it is an emotion. You can only work to reduce the fear itself and to be honest a lot of dogs just seem to be born with a fear of these things (my other dog just doesn't care).

Good luck. It's so hard watching them be so scared...

#6 enigma

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:28 PM

Thanks for that. I was thinking that the white noise might work. Will try it tonight. I don't want to give up on this gorgeous boy as then we are passing the problem onto another person. We are only fostering with the view to adopt him.
So it looks like I will have my work cut out for me this week, trying to get it sorted original.gif

#7 caninestorm

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:31 PM

This might sound silly, but the only time my dog actually slept through a (short) storm was when he was under the computer desk when my husband was playing computer games (war/shooting game) and had it turned up really loudly. Simply desensitising him to the noise of thunder wouldn't work for us as it is the storm itself that scares him (couldn't care less about thunder or any other loud noises on TV).

#8 enigma

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:34 PM

Apparently he is crate trained but we don't have one. (Sorry I didn't quote)
I feel bad that by saying he will be okay and patting hm may be giving him the wrong message.
I have heard about the rescue remedy and will look into it before I resort to taking him to the vet.
He is kept inside at night as well. If he wasn't he would be waking the whole neighbourhood up lol
Thank you to everyone's advice. I must seem so dumb asking all these questions. Our other pup sleeps through everything and is so placid and laid back you would think he was a statue lol. So this is all new to us.
If we can get the humping (which is starting to ease) and his fear of thunderstorm sorted out I think we will have a perfect boy lol

#9 caninestorm

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:35 PM

You say he's a pup... if the behaviour isn't too ingrained you could try some desensitisation. If you can catch him before he goes over his threshold (ie. when he still has enough of his brain to pay attention, take treats, etc) you can try to make the storm a fun time - get out his favourite toy, do some simple training with lots of treats, play a game with him. Oh, there's thunder? Well... it's time for a game! Yay!

#10 Unatheowl

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:44 PM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 26/11/2012, 06:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Stop patting him and telling him its okay, he thinks you're saying "yes, yes it is scary! we're scared too, oh god I guess we're all going to die!" and that, understandably, is not going to calm him down.

Carry on as normal. Do keep him in the house, don't punish him or get angry with him, but don't make a big deal of it and if he's barking and carrying on, tell him no. You do not want to reinforce that storms are terribly frightening but rather that they're nothing really out of the ordinary.


This.  It's basically thunderstorm training 101.  Don't reward his fearful behaviour.

This can turn into something that is unmanageable.  I would consult a professional trainier and implement a programme to train him out of it either with or without medication provided by a vet.  I wouldn't try to do it yourself with advice form a forum.

#11 FizzlingFireboxes

Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:51 PM

Our dog is scared on storms and runs around the house like crazy barking when there is thunder. The white noise is good, we actually go into our ensuite with the exhaust fan on and it covers the noise, give her a chewy in there to occupy her. Same withi firewOrks.

#12 enigma

Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:02 PM

I should say that whilst I call him a pup he is actually 6yrs old, it's just he acts like one lol
We have just had a storm and so far he is okay. It is tea time and the smell of chicken was a good distraction lol.
It wasn't a bad one this time, so I am not sure if it was because we got to him before it really started or if the smell of chicken helped out....stuff though cooking chicken at 3.30am in the morning lol

#13 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:47 PM

Ugh, I had a post and it got 'eaten'.

Anyhoo...

First things first, if he's crate trained, he will love being able to retreat to his crate during thunderstorms and when he just wants to chill. You can make a lovely soft cover for the wire crates, which makes it all cosy and den-like. My 3 dogs love their crates, and its their favourite place to be during a storm. They can curl up, and ignore everything. We don't get 3:00am wake-ups from the dogs, even when it goes off overhead. Crates are the bomb.

So get a crate if you can - there are cheaper crates around, some of the other ladies might point you in that direction.

Second, no patting during the thunderstorm. What you need to do is to implement 'business as usual'. Ignore the behaviour that is fearful, and acknowledge confident behaviour. You can also provide your dog with a distraction, by spending 5-10 minutes running through his training (with treats involved), and you can reward that with lots of praise and pats.

Third thing, avoid drugging the dog if you can. Given positive behaviour reinforcement a chance to work before stepping up the ante.

Final thing. I don't recommend you give any animal Rescue Remedy. First up, its a homeopathic remedy, so it relies on 'water memory' to be effective. Actually, scientific studies show that it is effective because people expect it to work - the placebo effect. Dogs don't understand placebos, so its wasted on them. In addition, some of the bases used for RR can potentially be harmful to dogs. Its not a regulated industry, and APVMA have not registered any of the RRs for use in pets. In other words, its not likely to be useful, but there is a chance of harm.

Read this, and this, before offering your pet RR.

The key bit is:

QUOTE
Effectiveness
In a 2002 database review of randomized trials Edzard Ernst concluded:

The hypothesis that flower remedies are associated with effects beyond a placebo response is not supported by data from rigorous clinical trials.[4]

All randomized double-blind studies, whether finding for or against the remedies, have suffered from small cohort sizes but the studies using the best methodology were the ones that found no effect over placebo.[13][14] The most likely means of action for flower remedies is as placebos, enhanced by introspection on the patient's emotional state, or simply being listened to by the practitioner. The act of selecting and taking a remedy may act as a calming ritual.[4]
A systematic review in 2009 concluded:

Most of the available evidence regarding the efficacy and safety of BFRs has a high risk of bias. We conclude that, based on the reported adverse events in these six trials, BFRs are probably safe. Few controlled prospective trials of BFRs for psychological problems and pain exist. Our analysis of the four controlled trials of BFRs for examination anxiety and ADHD indicates that there is no evidence of benefit compared with a placebo intervention.[3]

A newer systematic review published in 2010 by Ernst concluded

All placebo-controlled trials failed to demonstrate efficacy. It is concluded that the most reliable clinical trials do not show any differences between flower remedies and placebos.[15]


Hope this is of some use (and where are our pictures - you cannot post about a rescue dog and not post pictures!!!!!)

#14 enigma

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:27 PM

Thank you spikey original.gif
I have posted a couple of photos of my two dogs in the other post, but I will put them here as well wink.gif anything to show of my boys lol
This is bailey original.gif he is s sook lol. But he is currently sitting next to my partner chilling out and not fussed about that stupid thunderstorm. Lol


And this is my baby boy Oscar original.gif this photo was taken last year when he had his first hair cut.

Edited by enigma, 26 November 2012 - 08:28 PM.


#15 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:29 PM

They're gorgeous!

Thunderstorms are a stupid idea. All that noise, and not enough rain on my fruit trees.

#16 enigma

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:31 PM

Sorry I should have added. He is crate trained, so I will see about getting a crate for him.
With the crate is this what we would use if we will be out during the day and we leave him inside?

#17 enigma

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:33 PM

Yes I think they are gorgeous boys original.gif Oscar is a spoilt brat lol. Little bit worried about having a dog trainer coming in and seeing what we let him gt away with.....think we will be chastised for it oh dear!!!!
We are in for more thunderstorms on Thursday so by the end of the week bailey will be so nonplussed about them and will sleep through them hahahaa

#18 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:35 PM

Yes, I believe a few of the other ladies crate their dogs indoors while they're out. They might pop in and offer some further advice.

I don't crate them when I'm out - but I live on a 1 acre block, and my dogs have a very secure 10m x 5m run, with a shed and kennel in the shed, so its not necessary.

#19 MrsLexiK

Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:44 PM

My dog is a total scardie in storms and thunder and with one of those automatic air wick spray things (we had one last Christmas and New Years where there was both fireworks and storms and I think he associates the "swoosh" sound with thunder now) he is also highly anxious. We haven't crate trained him but there are two spots in the house that when he is distressed he goes to. (Or when there is a house full of people and he just wants to sleep he takes himself off to there)  We just make those places as comfy for him and try and carry on as normal.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Teaching our son to say no to violence against women

Today, on White Ribbon Day - and every other day - we're teaching our son to say no to violence against women.

Mothers told to breastfeed in 'spacious' toilet

If there is one thing the owners of Tillings Cafe can be certain of, it is that the eatery won't win the award for Britain's best baby-friendly coffee shop any time soon.

Mother gives name to son dumped down drain

A woman who admitted to dumping her newborn baby down a Sydney drain has reportedly been allowed to give him a name.

Taking small steps to reduce stress

Are you feeling used up by life's stress, family problems and a demanding job you can't turn off? Many people are way beyond work-life exhaustion. They are functioning as robots.

Bad news: we're running out of chocolate

The world's biggest chocolate-maker says we're running out of chocolate.

Born at 23 weeks, 'Chopstick Baby' survives first week

A baby who was born at 23 weeks has survived her first week of life outside the womb.

Manic stations: the nesting instinct in pregnancy

It might sound like temporary insanity, but almost obsessive nesting as you near your due date isn’t uncommon – even if you’re not usually a particularly clean person.

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

Love has nothing to do with mental illness. But love may drive a mother to do something about it.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong'

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

Christa Engles was changing her baby's nappy when tragedy struck.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.