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Thread: Staffy Scared of the Rain..help!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Melbourne
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    Default Staffy Scared of the Rain..help!!

    Hey guys,

    I have a 2yo femal english staffy (Lexi) who has developed a fear of rain/storms. She was fine with the rain and storms (never a huge fan but not an absolute skitz like she is now) untill about 6 - 8 months ago and im not sure what started it all.

    I first noticed that she became scared of storms which i though was quite normal for dogs but it has escalated and now she is even scared of just rain.

    When it is thundering she goes absolutly psycho whether she is inside or outisde.

    When inside she paces around the house looking for a dark corner or small confined place to hide. She works herself up into a sweat, pants prefusley, shakes like an absoulte leaf and her heart races a million miles an hour. She typically ends up under our bed (which is only maybe 300mm off the ground, so a tight squeeze) and stays there panting until the storm passes.

    When it has stormed and we have not been home (so she is in the yard) we have come home to find her climbing the screen door like a cat, blood all over the decking from her cutting her mouth trying to chew through the metal door, the door on the ground where she has pulled it from its tracks, about 150 scratches on my car doors where she has been tring to get in etc etc she goes completly nuts!!

    As i said altho its very weird, i sort of thought 'all dogs hate thunder'. Now she goes equally as psycho just when its raining or even when its about to rain. Its becoming a real problem because the last two friday nights it has been just about to rain as iv been getting home from work and iv found a big hole under the fence and no Lexi! The first time she escaped she was sitting with the nighbours dog in their backyard which was lucky but the second time their dog wasnt home and the gate was open so she wandered off. She has no road sence and luckily a nice lady picked her up from the middle of the road.

    Im so worried about this and wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to stop this behaviour? i cant afford to have her escaping particularly because she has no road sence and we are on a busy road. When we are home and she carrys on like this we do not try and compfort her or anything, we just ignor her and let her be. If it is thrundering we have turned the radio on rather loudedly to drown the noise out which helped. Yesterday i tried leaving her outside in the rain whilst we were home, but im not sure if thats the right thing to do. It made me feel horrible.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Rural NSW
    Posts
    5,967

    Default

    I have no experience with this extreme. Some here have to sedate their dogs. My advice is talk to your vet (even just a phone call) before giving your dog ANYTHING that anyone (including me) would advise, natural or chemical as there may be underlying things that we do not know about or medications she may be on.

    Welcome to the forum.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
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    Default

    Thanks for the reply Di. If possible i would like to try and rectify this with training techniques or similar and do not want to give her any drugs or anything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Queensland
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    Quote Originally Posted by chooka_03 View Post
    Thanks for the reply Di. If possible i would like to try and rectify this with training techniques or similar and do not want to give her any drugs or anything.
    With extreme cases sedation can be necessary before training techniques can work. Speak to your vet first, then consult a behaviorist as there really isn't much we can do or say without seeing the behavior. Only the vet and behaviorist can tell you if that is the case with your girl.

    Does she have a 'safe' place of her own? A crate or kennel or her own bed?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
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    yeah she has a kennel but we have only ever seen her in it a handfull of times and everytime we put a banket or a mat in there to make it more compfortable she pulls it out

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Hawkesbury, NSW
    Posts
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    I think I have her sister here! Cindy is the same, except she will try to escape rather than find a safe place in the house.

    At least Lexi appears to want to come inside to seek refuge, any chance of putting a doggy door in so she can get inside when bad weather happens? You could try taking her out in the rain and playing with her, make it a fun thing.

    You can also get desensitisation cd's where it plays the sound of thunder etc, you start off with it very low and over a few weeks the volume gets turned up.

    As to what started it, maybe she got caught in a bad storm when you were out and something like a tree branch fell on her or near her, badly enough to scare her.

    I don't know how effective it is, but I picked up a brochure the other day about natural remedies and there was a product called Canine Tranquil Formula, which might be worth a try - made my Vetalogica. Someone here may know more about it, I'd never heard of them, but I'm a sticky beak, so I grabbed the brochure to see what their products were about. I may even give it go with Cindy - it can't hurt!

    In My Home Dog Minding
    www.greyhoundrescue.com.au

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