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Thread: Thunderstorm & A safe place.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    South Coast NSW
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    Default Thunderstorm & A safe place.

    Kimba is terrified of Thunderstorms, I'd like feedback and advice to see if I am doing the right thing.
    The majority of the time when she isn't doing anything she is really peaceful, finds a nice place to lie down and is happy. When she sits with me she puts her head on me or will sit curled around behind me. She doesn't annoy me for attention, if she wasn't touching me I wouldn't know she was there.


    As soon as she hears a distant thunderstorm her ears go back, she starts panting.
    As it get closer she starts pacing as well, then as the storm arrives she starts to hide. She tries to sit on me, hide under my arm and if I am not around she tries to get under anything. There aren't any real places for her other than under my parents bed. After she tries to hide she start trembling. Een if she finds a place to hide she wont rest, she gets out panting and pacing, sits back in her hide gets out again etc..



    I will help her hide but I don't pat or try to comfort her as I don't want her to think I am praising her behaviour.

    Last night we had a storm and I was looking for one of the kids pop up tents in the laundry cupboard and she climbed up beside me and hunched in the cupboard. I emptied it out and put a dog mattress in the bottom along with her pillows and she actually lay in there. She sat in the cupboard for over an hour and then slept in there. She was still panting and trembling but had halved in the severity it was earlier.



    I have thought about buying her a crate as her safe place but was wondering if the cupboard was ok or the same thing? I should have mentioned that there are NO doors, the junk is concealed by a curtain so she is free to leave whenever she wants.
    Is crate training in a case like this different, are they 'locked' in?

    Are there any other thunderstorm 'treatments' that I don't know about?
    I have ordered her a thunder shirt as a last ditch effort before we discuss it with a vet.

    It might help to know that other loud noises dont phase her at all. She has been exposed to- loud V8s, motorbikes, fireworks, cap guns, bass from surround sound. I have played thunderstorm youtube vids and the noise had no effect on her. Its just thunderstorms.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    SE QLD
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    I think the cupboard would be fine. My mums dog use to hide in the pantry when storms hit. I was talking to a lady once when out taking Bella for a walk and she has to give her dog anti anxiety medications if she even thought a storm was coming.

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  3. #3
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    Aug 2011
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    Bundaberg QLD
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    If she's done this for a while now it may be to late to stop. Fears can be worked on with time, phobias are near impossible to fix IMO.

    My old dog Scooby would throw himself at the glass door or through the screen doors and then hide in the shower. It got to the point where it was so bad i just gave up and comforted him anyway. Plus i liked having him inside as he was a outside dog and the wife would only let him in during a storm because she felt sorry for him.

    I like your closet idea, thats a cool picture. I think its the enclosed feeling that they like so a crate might need a cover over it to help her feel safe.
    Mojo isnt fazed by storms or fireworks as i just recently found out so i'm looking forward to not having that worry but i know how you feel for your dog and it's not nice seeing them stress out so much over somthing you cant stop.


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  4. #4
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    Her reaction sounds like how my old dog used to act during storms. She also would rarely stay in one spot for more than a few minutes.

    So if this is a spot where she feels safe enough to stay put and sit out the storm, I would just stick with that for now. It is still sad - I hope the thundershirt makes a difference - but at least she will wear herself out less if she doesn't run around frantically finding new hiding spots.

    I wish I had tried a crate with my old dog though. I would have bought one of those soft sided ones as they really look like little cubbies. I think my dog would have liked it, but it probably would have had to be in the right spot in case of a thunderstorm still.

    It is so hard to watch them being so terrified and stressed. My current dog, Banjo, doesn't even look up when she hears thunder and it is such a relief.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Southern NSW
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    I would give the "thunder shirt" a try on this dog.........If you were local to me, I could show you some figure eight bandaging, which I was taught at Tellington-Jones clinics I have done. It was the beginning of Thunder=shirts and works very well on anxious dogs.

    Crate training, with a blanket over the crate, with the door open would give her a very secure place that you can take anywhere......... So wherever you go, if you have your crate and thundershirt, she would be comfy.

    Now I think you can look up the bandaging on youtube. Everything in the world is on you-tube LOL
    Pets are forever

  6. #6
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    Nov 2011
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    South West WA
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    Gypsy is storm phobic, firework phobic, loud noise phobic and life in general phobic and she has taken to hiding in the pantry... shes too freaked to even consider stealing food!
    She also has a bed in the bottom of my closet that she goes in.
    As long as she has a secure support to cuddle up in it will help her, even if only a small amount.
    Owning a dog should be a partnership. Much like a good marriage it should be based on love, trust and devotion until death do you part.
    R.I.P Dali: 10th May 1998 – 20th December 2011

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
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    1

    Default Thundershirt

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharoo View Post
    Kimba is terrified of Thunderstorms, I'd like feedback and advice to see if I am doing the right thing.
    The majority of the time when she isn't doing anything she is really peaceful, finds a nice place to lie down and is happy. When she sits with me she puts her head on me or will sit curled around behind me. She doesn't annoy me for attention, if she wasn't touching me I wouldn't know she was there.


    As soon as she hears a distant thunderstorm her ears go back, she starts panting.
    As it get closer she starts pacing as well, then as the storm arrives she starts to hide. She tries to sit on me, hide under my arm and if I am not around she tries to get under anything. There aren't any real places for her other than under my parents bed. After she tries to hide she start trembling. Een if she finds a place to hide she wont rest, she gets out panting and pacing, sits back in her hide gets out again etc..



    I will help her hide but I don't pat or try to comfort her as I don't want her to think I am praising her behaviour.

    Last night we had a storm and I was looking for one of the kids pop up tents in the laundry cupboard and she climbed up beside me and hunched in the cupboard. I emptied it out and put a dog mattress in the bottom along with her pillows and she actually lay in there. She sat in the cupboard for over an hour and then slept in there. She was still panting and trembling but had halved in the severity it was earlier.



    I have thought about buying her a crate as her safe place but was wondering if the cupboard was ok or the same thing? I should have mentioned that there are NO doors, the junk is concealed by a curtain so she is free to leave whenever she wants.
    Is crate training in a case like this different, are they 'locked' in?

    Are there any other thunderstorm 'treatments' that I don't know about?
    I have ordered her a thunder shirt as a last ditch effort before we discuss it with a vet.

    It might help to know that other loud noises dont phase her at all. She has been exposed to- loud V8s, motorbikes, fireworks, cap guns, bass from surround sound. I have played thunderstorm youtube vids and the noise had no effect on her. Its just thunderstorms.
    I have had the thundershirt for my Brittany, Kimber, for about 6 months now. I have been very surprised by the results. Seems to work for my dog almost instantly. But I must say it wasn't as effective New Years Eve. Don't know about your area, but here New Years Eve sounded like WW3. The thundershirt was not as effective that night.
    But what the product has done, is allowed me to take Kimber off the meds the Vet had prescribed to calm him. Which was great because I didn't like the effect the drugs had on him.
    8Jims brittanyflagfade.jpg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Geelong, Vic
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    871

    Default

    apart from something like a thundershirt try a couple of ml's of Troy Behave paste as soon as you notice her stressing or in the days you know it will be stormy. You can go up to 3ml if you like, it's all natural and not actually a sedative. Find it quite effective on my stress head bitch.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    South Coast NSW
    Posts
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    Default

    Thankyou to everyone who replied.
    There is a Storm coming here atm, there was a distant rumble and Kimba ran downstairs. I went down to make sure the door was open and it was and I found her in her cupboard, she looked at me and then looked at her blanket so I covered her up and left her.
    She looks scared but is peaceful. She isn't panting or overly freaking out. I have put a radio on in the laundry to block out some of the noises.

    The difference her cupboard has made is amazing. Her thundershirt should be here any day.

  10. #10

    Default

    Everyone I know who have dogs who get stressed by storms swear by Rescue Remedy (available at Chemists).

    Think the Thundershirt is a great idea.

    I do know of dogs who were severely storm phobic who have been rehabilitated but it takes a fair bit of dedication (like getting up in the middle of the night if their is a storm) and a lot of time.

    My older dog has become storm phobic since she was hit by a piece of hail last year during a storm prior to that she was fine. Now she is like Kimba is.

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