Is Curing Your Thunder Phobic Dog a Total Lost Cause?
And if so, what do you do to cure or even calm your thunder phobic dog?
Really bad storms recently ravaged through the Texas Hill Country and other parts of Texas leaving many very concerned dog owners to wonder just that.
If your dog’s anxiety level “over the top”, and you’re confused and worried. Here’s what I would recommend for your dog.
Change the Emotional Response of Dog to the Thunder
What this simply means is that instead of your dog getting emotionally distraught with the sound of thunder, you connect something “high value with the thunder.
Something that your dog likes, NO, LOVES (treats, food or even games)
Listen, this is important: Whatever you choose as a reward should be reserved for thunder storms only.
As soon as you hear the thunder in the distance, that’s your cue to get busy.
Here’s how to do it:
As soon as you hear thunder, or any other sign your thunder phobic dog reacts to, you will say: , “Yes! Thunder treats!” or “Let’s play thunder ball!”
The order is important.
- Thunder first,
- then praise,
- then treat your dog with that high value treat or game.
The goal here is to get your dog to connect or predict something really good when he first hears or senses the storm.
Don’t forget: Consistency, repetition and being happy and up-beat is key.
Some additional steps to Help Take His Storm Anxiety Down A Notch
Use Sound Therapy. There are music CD’s designed to create calm in thunder phobic dogs.
An excellent resource for this is Through A Dog’s Ear
Look you can’t always be home when thunder starts right?
Get in practice before storms with pre-recorded thunder sounds.
Practice with the volume low at first and increase it as your dog’s tolerance increases.
This works very well with dogs that have mild or medium thunder phobia.
Create a “safe place” A safe place can be a crate, covered with a blanket with the door open can provide a shelter-like den for your dog.
A big fluffy bed in a walk-in closet can also provide a safe haven for your dog.
As long as your dog is comfortable with the safe place, remember the sequence: thunder sound, go to safe place, praise and treat with high
value food treat.
While in his safe place also practice simple obedience training on sits and downs.
If your dog know a “Watch Me!” or “Look!” command then work on that as well.
It’s a wrap: Try putting a thunder shirt or anxiety wrap on your dog during these stressful times as you work with your dog. It’s worth a try.
Holistic remedies: People have been taking Bach Remedies for years to help with depression, fear, anxiety, stress, lack of confidence and
many more things and it’s now available for dogs. Check out the miracle of holistic flower essences for animals.
The Bottom Line on Dogs Afraid of Thunder
There is no guarantee that your dog can be cured. There are however, many things you can do to help him weather the storm. You want your
dog to feel confident and secure during these stressful storms.
Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog
You got your dog for a reason. You wanted to share your life with a happy and loving dog. But now, your dog has big problems and life is not happy.
I can help you get that happy, well behaved dog back no matter where you live. We’ll do private lesson in your home OR we can do private video lessons where geography is no longer a roadblock.