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Hello all,

I am new to this forum and hoping I can gain some advice about my dog Chandler. He is a mixed Terrier that I adopted over 1.5 years ago. Over the last few months, his fear of fireworks and thunderstorms has esclated to the point of destruction. I have talked with my vet and we are working on crate training. The problem is I know he will never go in his crate as a safe place. He's making progress with the crate, but will never go in by himself. My fear is when I do have to lock him in there during a storm and I am not home, he will hurt himself trying to get out. I've tried clicker and whistle training but nothing is working when he is in his "zone". Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can work with him to be less fearful during these situations? He is a fearful dog by nature and I'm working with him all the time on socialization. Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

LLL210
Chicago, IL
 

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I don't have a suggestion but we have a similar problem. No destruction involved but our dog becomes very agitated and seeks comfort and "cover" during prolonged loud noises of any kind (thunder, fireworks, etc.) I know our 4-legged buddies have a much keener sense of hearing than us but still it is puzzling why loud noises bother some dogs and not others. I hope someone posts an answer or possible explanation regarding your post soon.
 

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Well, you can try counter conditioning by playing the noise or being present during it and feeding treats every time the noise occurs (start when the noise starts, keep feeding until it stops).

Since it's so specific, though, you could also ask your vet if they can suggest any calming medications you can give when you know it will storm or during times fireworks may happen. Or, you could even look into a dog walker that comes over just during these times to check on your dog and/or administer medication as needed.
 

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Thanks for the advice. We have medication we give him when we know it is going to storm. The problem he will not react to anything....even steak, when he gets in his zone. I do need to try counter conditioning but for now it's really hard if a noise or storm pops up when I am not home. I am crate training him but fear he will freak in his crate if he is in there when a storm or noise occurs.
 
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