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Thread: Thunderstorm Fear.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    South Coast NSW

    Default Thunderstorm Fear.

    Kimba has become increasingly afraid of Thunderstorms.
    It starts before (well before I know/hear) the storm starts.
    She starts to pant and shake (like shivering) and practically sit on top if you and if that fails proceeds to hide under a bed/chair/table.

    She seems to only be afraid if the actual Thunder (she doesn't like getting wet but she isnt afraid of rain or lightning)
    She isn't afraid of loud noises in general, sometimes things will startle her but she doesn't fear them. She is ok with general loud noises from the kids, fireworks & TVs/xbox game bass..

    I have never had any experience with a dog that is afraid of storms like this.
    My question is, What do I do when she is like this?
    Do I ignore her, comfort her, ignore the situation etc?
    I really want her to be okay during a storm as I cannot always assure I will be home during them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Sounds exactly like Roly. Techincally cuddling and giving attention reinforces the fear, but he's 12 now, and has the right to be cuddled when he's scared
    How old is Kimba? If its a new thing I guess its still possible to train her out of it. Unfortunately I have no tips though...
    Education not Legislation

  3. #3


    My partners dog Nuffy was terrified of storms & we never cured it & I tried everything & anything. Ignoring him just didn't work in this case & in the end the best soloution was a small crate fully covered with a blanket. He would continue to shiver & pant but wouldn't get as frantic as he did out of the crate.
    Dogs make everyday life enjoyable...........

  4. #4


    Yes they pick it up way before we do. Just provide a safe haven for Kimba. If you use a crate leave the door open.
    I dose Maggie up with Troy Behave paste, works for us as it takes the edge off.
    Still waiting for the Thunder Shirt.
    Maggie is 6 and she started 2 years ago out of the blue. It's being seen more now due to the increase of storms and humidity. More dogs are ending up in pounds and lost after storms.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Gippsland, Victoria


    Thunder is one if the harder, if not hardest, fears to desensitise... You can purchase cd's ( which I would only really advocate with the support of a behaviorist ) but unless you have quite an impressive sound system, they are relatively ineffective. My best advice is a small crate (small as you can realistically get away with because a) dogs do like small, confined, dark places for comfort and b) to prevent room for too much panicky movement which can allow dog to hurt him/her self), covered with a blanket, in an inside room of the house to limit noise as much as possible, and perhaps a mild sedative or relaxant ( ask your vet, or perhaps try Rescue Remedy which works for some, not at all for others). The idea of a thunder shirt makes alot of sense to me, but have not known anyone yet to use one. Will be waiting on Molly' feedback when hers arrives......

  6. #6


    I've been using a dog rashie, in a smaller size, which fits quiet snug and we can see a difference so I'm guessing we are going to see good results.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Rural Western Australia


    One of my dogs used to be terrified of thunder. She still doesnt like it but copes much better these days. A covered crate or a small dark space is where she would head for.

    A couple of my dogs got over their fear by me sitting with them. They liked the cuddles. One old girl would leap on to my bed or wherever I was sitting and my BC comes and sits pressed up against me. I just act very calm and dont make a fuss and they seem to gather around me.

    The idea of a calming tee shirt is good or you can get a calming cap which fits on their head and is supposed to be good for some dogs.

    The flower essences is something other people swear by.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Carl developed a thunder/lightning/storm phobia one weekend while I was away. Prior to that, he'd been fine with them. Now he pants excessively, trembles, clings to the closest person (which is huge for him because he is very very very fearful and aggressive with anyone else).

    So I bought the Thunder Shirt...with some practice, it has really made a difference, even to the new wind phobia he developed--doors slamming. I can't recommend it enough. It basically acts like a big massaging blanket and calms anxiety... There's a whole thread on it in another forum if you want me to dig it up.

    like a rolling thunder chasing the wind...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Northern NSW


    No answer for you but can understand the stress your dog has.

    My ex had a maltese pup, its first experience with a storm was when my wife ran about the house like a lunatic shutting windows & blinds, grabbing candles & torches etc. Was yelling at me to run downstairs & check car windows etc....The dog was in a panic following her everywhere.

    I remember being sooo angry with her stupidity. (Flame me if you wish)

    BTW....Bindy & scotty are kenny casual in a storm, they just carry on as normal.
    Last edited by Chipps; 01-25-2011 at 11:35 AM.
    ... Jade ...

    Aha yeah me too! wee wee or pee pee and poo poo's or poopie

  10. #10


    I really beleive this can have alot to do with some dogs fear to storms.
    Dogs make everyday life enjoyable...........

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