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.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Exclusive Black Friday Sale!

Get over 40% off selected products, including prams, baby carriers, cloth nappies, sleeping bags and much more! 24 hours only, on May 6 - register now for your special code.

Kelly Clarkson shares first photos of son

Kelly Clarkson has shown off the first photos of her son, Remington Alexander Blackstock.

5 childbirth myths that need to be busted

Birth is an unpredictable, mysterious process that intrigues us all, and there is a lot of misinformation out there.

Mum of three fatally shot by toddler while driving

A US mother has been shot by her toddler while driving on a highway in Wisconsin.

All you need is one minute to work out

The seven-minute-work out is old news. Research shows the effectiveness of going hell-for-leather for just one minute.

Pregnant women needed to join diabetes study

Pregnant woman in country Australia will help Adelaide researchers figure out why cases of type 1 diabetes have doubled over the past two decades.

Just announced: the Mountain Buggy Unirider

It's the perfect solution to combat those toddler meltdowns when they no longer want to be in a pram but can't walk long distances.

Authorities euthanise dog that fatally bit a newborn baby

A pit bull mix that fatally bit a 3-day-old infant last week has been euthanised, authorities said.

The push for Medicare to fund lactation consultants

While meeting with a lactation consultant can make an enormous difference to a new mother, it's not a service that is available through the public health system.

Why it's perfectly natural to dislike other people's children

Members of a popular forum are fiercely debating whether it is acceptable to dislike a friend's child.

Woman gives birth on plane, names baby after airline

A pregnant woman who unexpectedly gave birth on a flight has named her new baby after the airline, Jetstar.

Heartwarming photos show the joy of adoption after foster care

Children living in foster care can feel like their future is less than clear. But that uncertainty disappears the day they are adopted by their "forever family" 

'Oh my god, it's a baby!' Mum shocked to give birth

When the cramps started to kick in, Klara Dollan just assumed a painful period was starting.

Mum's Facebook plea: 'Help me find my daughter's father'

Kerryn has a unusual present planned for daughter Imi's 13th birthday celebrations - she hopes to be able to be able to give the soon-to-be the teenager her first ever photo of her dad.

Is it possible for your house to be too clean?

Our houses are cleaner than ever before. But how clean is too clean? Could a sterile home be putting your family's health at risk?

Millions of Monkeys: puzzles that grow with your toddler

Here's a puzzle that grows with them; the Puzzle Grow Pack by Millions of Monkeys.

Baby names from Britpop

If you grew up in the 90s you might want to look to the genre of Britpop music for baby name inspiration.

What to eat and drink when you have gastro

When you catch a bug that causes acute infectious gastroenteritis (gastro), your stomach and intestinal tract become inflamed, causing diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and pain. The last thing you probably feel like doing is eating.

'To this day, I owe her my life'

Would I have survived if I hadn't crossed that street?

Why baby Sonny needs you to vaccinate your children

Caitlin is a firm believer in the importance of immunisation to protect children from harmful and deadly diseases.

Five-year-old's photo captures beauty of motherhood

There is no make-up or special outfits and hairdos, but the five-year-old boy who took this picture captured the essence of motherhood as well as any professional photographer.

Babies know whether you are naughty or nice

Studies have shown that infants in the first months of life try to avoid dealing with social wrongdoers - for example, sharing less with them and helping them less - and they expect others to, too.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The babies who are one in 70 million

Bethani Webb was excited to find out she was pregnant, but the first time mum did not realise she was carrying four babies not one.

Exclusive Black Friday Sale!

Get over 40% off selected products, including prams, baby carriers, cloth nappies, sleeping bags and much more! 24 hours only, on May 6 - register now for your special code.

Cafe offers breastfeeding mums a free cup of tea

A Sydney cafe is offering breastfeeding mums free cups of tea in a bid to show support for the right of women to nurse their babies wherever they choose.

To snip or not to snip? When the decision is not clear cut

Jamie Oliver, who considered a vasectomy, is to be a father again. A fellow dad reflects on his own decision 11 years ago

Doctors stunned by rare twins born almost six weeks apart

To everyone's surprise, Kristen Miller "kept doing better each day", keeping her second baby safe.

Baby book ideas for modern parents

Before my son was born I was given a lovely baby book full of blank pages waiting to be filled with weights and heights and first words.

The adorable smile of a baby seeing his mum clearly for the first time

There is no doubt seeing their child smile for the first time is an unforgettable moment for parents everywhere.

Mum tells how toddler 'nearly hung himself' in cot mishap

When Alison Johnson put her 18-month-old Caleb down for a nap, she had no reason to believe her son was in any danger.

Babies are still switched at birth? Yes, it can happen

All my panic and tears aside, my biggest question looking back is about the kind of security measures used in the maternity ward.

Doctors slammed for taking selfie with newborn

Everyone who visits a mum in hospital in the days following childbirth wants to get a photo with the new baby.

ergoPouch Twosie Sleepsuit for winter breastfeeding

Finally, there's a way to keep warm while breastfeeding through winter.

Health check: How long does sex 'normally' last?

What to do with this information? My advice would be to try not to think about it during the throes of passion.

When breastfeeding sucks: fixing common problems

From niplash to tight boobs, biting to milk supply issues, Pinky McKay looks at common breastfeeding issues and how to solve them.

10 things I've learnt in my first six months with twins

Six months on we're all still alive, and the more we get to know each other the easier the days become.

Mum's loving kiss leaves baby fighting for life

Kirsty Carrington thought nothing of giving her newborn son a kiss, little did she know it would leave the baby fighting for life.

When doing chores is your new 'me time'

After children, 'me time' looks a little different.

Get going: 14 travel strollers for families on the move

A stroller can make or break travelling with a baby or toddler. Here are 15 great single travel stroller options.

10 ways toddlers are terrific

It always pays to remind yourself of how terrific toddlers can be - they're little like this for such a short time

 

ENTER NOW

Do your kids love bananas?

This is the comp for you! We have $800 worth of Myer gift cards and boxes of Australian Bananas to be won. Entry is simple: just post a pic of your little one enjoying a banana in the comments of the FB post to enter.

 
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.