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!