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 Post subject: Thunder Storms
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:13 pm
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Location: Frederick, MD
My 6mo old puppy experienced his first thunderstorm this monring and i woke up to him at 4AM to him sitting on my stomach staring at me with his held held low enough that we were touching nose to nose. He carried on with whimpers and barks and laying on the floor (a big indication something is wrong 'cuz he is usually on my bed or pillow) with the thunder and lightening. When the rain died down and the thunder stopped, i took him out to #1 and #2. Then the rain picked up and the thunder started again, and there he was, curled up in my armpit.

Is it a puppy thing or are others afraid of the storms?

Suggestions? I wound up snuggling him like a teddy bear from 4AM on, saying "shhh" and stroking and rubbing his ears (stroking his ears calms him).


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 Post subject: Re: Thunder Storms
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:25 am 
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Good luck with this. My cocker has a horrific storm phobia. We've tried the thunderstorm shirt, massive amounts of indoor exercise during the storm, ACE, Xanax, amitriptyline, desensitization tapes and everything else we could think of with none of them really providing a good solution.

Puppies do often go through phases where they are fearful of certain things so your little guy may very well grow out of it. I wouldn't say being fearful during a storm is a puppy-thing per se but its certainly not uncommon.

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 Post subject: Re: Thunder Storms
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Location: Burnsville, MN
Odie is very nervous during thunder storms - he hunches up and shakes. Tango was much the same until he went deaf, then they did not bother him. He now has most of his hearing back, but we have not had any thunder since he began hearing. I have spent most thunder storms sitting on the floor reassuring both dogs that all is well. They are both rescues and 12 years old so who knows their experiences but at least they know they are now safe!

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 Post subject: Re: Thunder Storms
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:32 pm 
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Max freaks out during thunderstorms. We got a thundershirt and love it (plus they have a money back guarantee). Someone still has to sleep with him on the couch but no more panting, pacing, drooling or destruction and he can cope while we're at work. We had him on elivil for SA and tried ACE which just made him groggy and more scared. We discontinued the elivil under vet guidance and it hasn't made a difference one way or the other. You can do counter-conditioning but since he's so young it very much could be a fear period phobia. It's not a unmanagable issue but it is one to stay on top of. Good luck and know that you're not alone.

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Max "the ninja"- Am. Cocker Sp. G-day 3/17/2009
Charlie "the middle child- Orange Tabby G-day 7/4/2005
Sadie "the princess"- Grey Calico G-day 9/14/1996

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 Post subject: Re: Thunder Storms
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:36 pm 
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Your attempts to comfort him may actually be counter-productive, reinforcing the idea that there is something to be afraid of. I'd suggest a more positive approach, for example, when you hear thunder respond in a really excited, happy voice, and give him a treat. You want there to be a positive association to the noises.

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 Post subject: Re: Thunder Storms
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:02 pm 
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Location: Frederick, MD
Oh, okay. I will try that. I can be chipper and I have treats all over the place. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Thunder Storms
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:17 pm 
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He's young enough to train that it is a positive thing. I used to make it a game with my cocker. Thunder, helicopters, low flying planes (military town). I would just say, "what's that!" Her ears would perk and then we would run outside to see and she would run around the yard barking until I said that it was all gone. Game over.

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Missing my sweet girl with all my heart.


The day will come when people like me will view the murder of
an animal the same way they view that of a man today.
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 Post subject: Re: Thunder Storms
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:57 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:28 pm
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Location: Catalunya
I agree with Darra and Terry.

Rai is very, very afraid of thunder - and very loud noises, for that matter. When that happens, he just sits right next to me, waiting for it to pass, I guess. The thing that scares him the most, though, is fireworks. He can't help it, it scares the hell out of him. :roll


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 Post subject: Re: Thunder Storms
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Location: S.F. Bay Area, CA
And if you can be happy and Chipper at 4 a.m., you deserve a treat to.

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