We had a thunderstorm yesterday arvo and we were very close to the action, lightning was striking ground within 400 metres of our house.
My pup started acting up which is very out of character as he is normally very calm and collected when he's inside (except the first minute or so after coming in)
He was barking very loudly and I tried twice with the "no bark" command but it didn't work which is out of character too, and when I checked on him he was showing signs of distress.
I didn't want to baby him or reinforce the behaviour in any way so I ignored him for a while, but he was getting more frenzied by the minute.
I don't want a dog that goes silly in storms so I thought it would be a good opportunity to help correct his behaviour.
I couldn't think of much else so I decided a training session would be a good distraction and at least he wouldn't be fretting while I was training him.
I got a handful of treats ready and just started a training as normal, he was more enthusiastic than normal (because of his high stress levels I think) and he responded to the training better than ever. I put a few long stays with food in his sight and his focus changed to the food.
It worked great for a distraction and calmed him down a lot, then we had our usual post training tug of war, I told him "over" like I always do after we finish anything and he gave the rope back and went to sleep on his bed.
The storm lasted for around another 15 minutes and it got even louder at one stage and he just slept calmly on his bed the whole time.
It's too early to say he's storm proof, but I think he's well on his way.
Has anyone else got any advice to break the cycle of fear from storms & fireworks etc ?