Dog afraid of thinderstorms

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Spooky Action, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. Spooky Action

    Spooky Action Member

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    My girl is a German Shepherd,family protector, and Afghanistan veteran.
    She is older and extremely calm and well-trained.

    She is powerfully afraid of thunder.

    What works for your furry friends when the Gods go bowling?
    You guys know anything that calms your dogs during storms?

    Thanks in advance.

    btw I read an interesting idea it could be linked to low frequency sound we do not hear and/or static in their ears.
     
  2. dohmar

    dohmar Member

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    Its not so much that its the frequency, though they can certainly hear more than we can, its a volume issue. It sounds a lot louder to the dog than us. Same goes for fireworks, cars backfiring, anything that sounds loud to us is very loud to a dog.

    We just let ours come inside when theres a thunderstorm. Being close to a human seems to reassure them that nothing is wrong. Our Kelpie/Collie likes to also bay along with sirens from Ambulance/Police/Fire and she can hear it way before we can.

    -D
     
  3. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    We used to have a bold, strong, and beautiful Doberman that feared nothing…….except thunderstorms. He (Walter) would sit or lie up against us and shake like a leaf. It was incredible, he'd actually show the first signs long before anyone could tell any storms were coming.

    We always just calmly comforted him and tried to respond as though nothing unusual was happening, but he never really got over it. He's gone off to dog heaven, but we know he was appreciative of our efforts.

    Now our 15 pound, plucky Toy Fox Terrier is absolutely fearless of everything, even the worst of thunderstorms!
     
  4. whitepapagold

    whitepapagold Member

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    You need to sing the thunder song with her-

     
  5. ELmiguel

    ELmiguel Member

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    There are products called Thundershirt and Anxiety Vests that help some dogs. They are like hunting vests for dogs. My dog didn't like having a vest on. So, she just panted and shivered during bad storms. It helps if they have a "safe place" to retreat to, like kennel or crate. I used to throw a couple of towels in the bathtub and she'd lay in there and seemed to tolerate it better.
     
  6. Tylenol Jones

    Tylenol Jones Member

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    There's a product called the Thundershirt that some people say helps. I ordered one and it did absolutely nothing.

    I just bring my dog downstairs where it is the absolute quietest and put on some music at a volume loud enough to drown the noise. That does the trick.
     
  7. amstrtatnut

    amstrtatnut Member

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    You could always let dog up on couch or in bed with ya.
     
  8. Hack Prophet

    Hack Prophet vile mighty wretched Silver Supporting Member

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    is she not gun shy too?
     
  9. rkymtnhi

    rkymtnhi Member

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    I had a golden retriever that went crazy when it stormed. By crazy I mean absolutely destructive--broke a car window escaping, destroyed the drywall and casing around our fire access/garage door, chewed an escape hole in our fence, ran away repeatedly before we even knew a storm was coming. We tried everything available to us at that time. It got so bad that we had to start considering drugging him with Benadryl to get him to calm down. Nothing really worked--the drugs were a last resort option. He died very suddenly of cancer before we had to go down that route.
     
  10. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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  11. Che_Guitarra

    Che_Guitarra Member

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    Our dogs are aware (read; frightened) of approaching storms front a good 20 - 30 minutes before i'll perceive any audible/visible signs of activity (beyond an obvious cloud or rain front). Both of them will sit shivering and take the first chance to hang around my heels until the storm has passed over.

    They obviously have a heightened sensory perception i'm not privy to. But the most puzzling thing to pique my curiosity is why they have a fear attachment to storms in the first place - it's not like they've ever had to face the wrath of wild weather - they're always inside being pampered. Hmmm.

    I guess if humans knew the reason behind everything, predictability would make the world boring.
     
  12. HammyD

    HammyD Supporting Member

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    Had a Labrador Retriever when I was a kid that was terrified of thunderstorms. Some jerk kid in the neighborhood tied firecrackers to the tail of the mother and lit them when she was pregnant.... We had to get tranquilizers form the Vet and give them her overtime there was a storm. Whole liter was terrified overtime there was a storm.
     
  13. wilto

    wilto Member

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    No guns in this household, But when thunder or fireworks around i put the canines in the back room with the radio playing, oh and stay with them for company.
     
  14. noctilux1

    noctilux1 Member

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    the thundershirt/thundervest did not work for our dog
     
  15. jimmyj

    jimmyj Member

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    We had an Akbash mix for many years who was terrified of thunderstorms. She would hear them long before we were aware of an approaching storm.
    Our current pal, a St. Bernard, has amazing hearing but she's not the least bit fazed by thunder. She does hate trains, though. She throws her head back and howls in misery when they blow their horn.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  16. TheClev

    TheClev As seen on TV

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    I've read that part of a dog's dislike of thunder is the static electricity that builds in their fur and causes them pain. Try rubbing your dog down with a dryer sheet when it storms. It may not curb the fear, but it will make the dog more comfortable.
     
  17. JackStraw12

    JackStraw12 Supporting Member

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    miss Daisy and I would share a doobie and she was fine, but maan was she a beggar when the popcorn came out.
     
  18. bgh

    bgh Supporting Member

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    When a storm was near, our neighbor's dog (a stround) used to run into our garage and hide under our car. For some reason, our garage was safer to her than her own. Whenever we saw Wishbone under our car, we knew a storm was imminent!
     
  19. Tonekat

    Tonekat Supporting Member

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    When I was a kid, the neighbors a couple of houses down had a black & white sheepdog mix named Susie. The neighborhood was pretty small at the time, so people let their dogs run free. We had a basement garage and often left the door open. When a thunderstorm was coming, we knew that if we went downstairs, there'd be Susie, curled up under the heating oil tank, where she would stay for the duration of the storm.
     
  20. tommc

    tommc Member

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    The Thundershirt didn't do much for our 35 lb mixed lab. We have some chews from Pet Naturals of Vermont called Calming which are said to "support stress reduction", recommended by our vet. They work better than the skirt. According to the package they are useful for separation anxiety, nervousness, pacing, etc. Doggie valium I guess. Google "Pet Naturals of Vermont" for more info.
     

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