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Thread: Australian Shepherd

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    victoria
    Posts
    5

    Question Australian Shepherd

    Hi There. Its been a while since I have been on.I would like some help, I have a 2 yr old Australian shepherd which is afraid of thunder & lightning and of course fire works. We got him when he was 15 months old. He goe's nuts when all of the above happens. But when he was with a friend of ours who was looking after him for us, who has a golden retriever and a big storm came through he did not worry about the thunder at all. We have never had a dog like this before so would like some help. If the neighbour is useing a nail gun he goe's nuts, but if I'm useing the lawn mower it is not a problem. He is my world , we love him to bits, a very spoilt dog, but do we have to think about getting another dog.Thx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Bundaberg QLD
    Posts
    3,301

    Default

    Hi tekki.

    This is a issue we covered in puppy kindy last night and they told us not to pick up, cuddle or pat the dog when they are frightened as it tells the dog it's good to be frightened because you seem to be rewarding the behaviour.
    A couple of things they said to try was if you see a storm approaching start playing with the dog and try and keep her occupied with somthing fun until the storm passes. Obviously will only work with those short, swift afternoon type storms.
    A radio or TV turned up a bit to hide the sound is also worth a try.
    Dont leave them outside where there is no place to hide. My last dog was a ridgeback that hated storms or loud bangs, he would throw himself through the flyscreen door just to get inside and he was always a outside dog. It got to the point where i would let him in and he would head straight for the shower where he would sit out the storm. I guess it was just somwhere he felt safe and secure. If its become a phobia instead of just a fear the first tips wont work but finding a spot inside might be the only option ?
    I know its hard but try not to make a fuss when he is scared it will only make the problem worse IMO. Good luck.
    Last edited by Sean; 11-04-2011 at 07:03 PM. Reason: spelling like a 2 year old.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    victoria
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thx for your advise sean. It just seems weird that he can cope with lawn mowers and any other noise, but if he hears a bang in the distance he goes nuts. But when he is with another dog he does not worry.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,290

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    I had a dog who was extremely scared of storms and loud bangs. Someone dropping a piece of wood on a building site a block away would make her bolt. During storms she would pant and shiver, stay low to the ground, try to hid in small spaces, but move to a different hiding spot frequently. It was very hard to watch... And when they get to that stage there are no quick fixes. I always ignored - from the first time she acted like that and she never improved. Another dog didn't make a difference to her, whether at someone else's place or at home. So I don't know much about that. I do fear that if you get another dog, it is probably more likely that they will take on your current dog's fears than that they calm your dog down.

    Some people here have recommended a "thundershirt" which I had never heard of. You might want to explore that?

    I think a nail gun probably sounds more like thunder than a lawn mower. My dog was only scared of bangs too, not continuous noise like of an engine. I think if you can find a solution to reduce his stress levels during storms and fireworks, you would hopefully find that his fear of other loud noises will decrease too. But I have never tried it.

    Good luck. It's very distressing to see your dog that stressed out.

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