Storm Anxiety

Go Back   Dog Forum > Keeping and Caring for Dogs > Dog Training and Behavior

Storm Anxiety

This is a discussion on Storm Anxiety within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; ...

User Tag List

Like Tree5Likes

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-23-2017, 10:51 PM
  #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Storm Anxiety

Hi everyone!

I am looking for suggestions on ways to help my dog cope with/eradicate her storm anxiety. Everyone I have spoken to says that there is no real way to 'fix' a dogs storm anxiety but I wanted to get some more opinions on things you may have tried and had success with as well as things that I could be doing to inadvertently make things worse.

Some info on my dog and I:
Nova is a 3 year old border collie. She goes with me everywhere and always has. She was very positively socialized as a puppy (aside from a couple bad experiences with some small kids) . We go for walks every day that I don't work and we play frisbee several times per day even when I do work (she also always has full run of the house at all times). She gets a good amount of exercise but I am a full time student also, so she gets pretty bored when I'm working on the computer. I'm thinking that could possibly be contributing to the issue? She is bored so she fixates on one thing and it starts freaking her out. Any ideas on ways to distract her while I do my work? She doesn't chew for very long; I've tried bully sticks, trachea's, pork ears and antlers. She LOVES nose games. 'Find it' is her absolute favorite, but I can't do that all day long with her while I have 15 assignments due.. I feel bad for her and I want to do everything in my power to keep her physically and mentally active but it is difficult.

The issue:
Whenever there is a storm headed our way, or even construction down the road Nova will run into the bath tub/closet under all of our clothes or behind/under anything she can squeeze into. She hides and sometimes trembles - she is not destructive or anything. Some days it is to the point that she will hear our surround sound system upstairs and she will hide and only come out of her hiding place for 5-6 hours in the day (to potty and snack). Part of me wonders if she is just starting to enjoy those places so she hangs out there when she is scared but then stays?

I have not tried a thunder shirt for her, I have been considering it! Has anyone tried it? Does it work? I've heard pretty good things!
I don't really want to put her on any of the medications available; I don't think it is bad enough for that. I don't really like the idea of 'bandaiding' the situation, I would love suggestions on small things I can do every day to get her desensitized.


Sorry for the book! Has anyone else had this or a similar issue with their dogs?
myoreospaniel likes this.
Kateej94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2017, 11:29 PM
  #2
Senior Member
 
JohnR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 332
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Actually, medications do work as part of a desensitization plan. I've worked with dogs that had severe storm phobias, and we wound up putting them on valium when a storm approached. After a few treatments, the dogs became accustomed to not being afraid during a storm and stopped being bothered by them.
cookieface likes this.
JohnR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2017, 11:34 PM
  #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: BD
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
Actually, medications do work as part of a desensitization plan. I've worked with dogs that had severe storm phobias, and we wound up putting them on valium when a storm approached. After a few treatments, the dogs became accustomed to not being afraid during a storm and stopped being bothered by them.
Do we need any vet guidance for this type medications?
gemma23426 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 09-23-2017, 11:38 PM
  #4
Senior Member
 
JohnR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 332
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Yes, you absolutely do. Talk to your vet before attempting this, and get a prescription. Most off-the-shelf "calming" treatments are snake-oil.
cookieface likes this.
JohnR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2017, 06:17 AM
  #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,418
Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Usually meds are used in conjunction with training. When dogs (or people) are highly aroused (e.g., excited, scared) they are not in a frame of mind to learn - it would be like trying to learn algebra while having a panic attack. Meds can take the edge off the arousal so that training can work. Sometimes meds can be eliminated, sometimes they can't. It depends on the dog.

This is a nice piece about behavioral medication:
Behavior Medication: First-Line Therapy Or Last Resort? – Dr. Jen's Dog Blog
cookieface is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2017, 09:19 AM
  #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
At the moment I'm not wanting to put her on any kind of sedative or Sileo. I understand that may very well be the only way for some dogs; however, to start, I just want to try desensitization or something without sticking her on any drugs. She is still VERY responsive when she is in that state and when I distract her she is completely normal (all it takes is a toy! lol). Training can work now without meds which is why I'm hoping to get some suggestions on the actual training methods. It is only when I am working that she reverts back to her hiding.

I do appreciate the suggestions.
Kateej94 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2017, 11:33 AM
  #7
Senior Member
 
Bordercollie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa
Posts: 713
Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
OP, oh boy, do I feel your pain! As the owner of five BC's I can really relate. Rusty, one of my bitches is extremely noise phobic, a lot of BC's are BTW, it's nothing strange and often starts around their second to third year.
Something that really helps for my dogs is a herbal calmative called Calmeeze coupled with a bandana with a few drops of lavender oil on it. It's a natural way to just help take the edge off. It's not a solution, I know you're looking to desensitize her, Unfortunately I have never gotten that far, so I can't advise you there. If your woolly finds a safe place to hide out the noise and she seems calmer in there, let her hide in there, a lot of people recommend using a cage or similar to create a "den" for a dog that's noise phobic or storm phobic.
Good luck and enjoy your woolly
Bordercollie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2017, 10:39 AM
  #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 2,418
Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Some info to help you get started:

https://eileenanddogs.com/2013/11/10...rconditioning/
cookieface is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2017, 04:28 PM
  #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
I have a border collie mix that has storm anxiety + Separation anxiety and we have been seeing a behaviorist for her.

The vet said that Noise phobia is something that often never completely goes away. They work to find a way to make it more manageable. Generally that is training + Meds

For us, we struggled with the meds. A lot of what is used caused negative reactions in our dog. We finally have found a combo that seems to work well which is a very low dose of Clomicalm and Clonazepam.

With training we have been working on conditioning her to a safe place (her bed). I've heard that a lot of dogs seek out bath tubs in storms. I was told that if she has a safe place, let her go and let her be there on her own.

We are also training for what we call thunder parties. When there is a storm coming, we turn on music, we get treats and toys and me and my husband play with them. We don't force the dog to join, but she gets mega praise if she does. It took time, but that can work if we start before the noise does.

I have a thundershirt. It did nothing for my dog at first, but now combined with meds, it seems to calm her even more. It is worth a shot. A lot of people say it works well for their dog.

My vet talked about counter conditioning with storm noises and treats, but didn't seem to into it. Not sure why. I've heard it can be very helpful.

Noise phobia is awful. I hope you can find some things to help. I agree about most of the over the counter options... they seem like a waste, but do smell nice The key to all of it though is patience....
pineapple likes this.
chiggins82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2017, 01:24 PM
  #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Hi there,
Just to say that I tried a thunder shirt with my last dog who was terrified of wind. Sadly, she passed away not long after we started with the shirt, so I didn't get a chance to try it out during a storm. Though every time I put it on in a 'test' situation she zenned out completely and was asleep within 5 minutes. The shirt is very soft and wraps them as though they are being cuddled. Plus, they are really quite inexpensive. I would give it a try. Good luck!
mayamoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anxiety keeps keeping worse no matter what we try... a647383 Dog Health 2 05-30-2017 12:44 AM
Puppy Blues & Separation Anxiety? Please Help :( sorsha Dog Training and Behavior 5 08-28-2016 11:08 AM
Puppy with anxiety and odd defecating behaviour Siazo Puppy Help 0 07-24-2016 10:50 PM


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:08 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.