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On Monday morning my Beagle, Pikey, woke me up shivering and panting. I was trying to figure out the problem when I heard a clap of thunder and quickly understood. Once before he had started to shake when he heard thunder. Alarmingly, he would not be consoled although I did everything I could think of to assure him there was no danger. He tried to find a place to hide and even went into his begging position as if there was something I could do. After about an hour, the thunder stopped and he calmed down.
Pikey was age 7 when I adopted him and I have no information about his background. My guess is that, sometime in the past, he was abandoned and had to ride out thunderstorms alone. Anyway, I'm very thankful that thunderstorms are not frequent in our present location.
 

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I've tried many things but Vegas, my lab/pointer mix is still terrified of thunder, fireworks and other loud noises. We also have a gun range not far and sometimes he doesn't want to come outside because of it. I've tried count conditioning him to it but it doesn't work for him. Though I would suggest you try it. I've gotten the thundershirt, which has helped a bit, along with rescue remedy. He will then remove himself to the bathroom and lay there until it's over. Without these things he barks and barks and shakes.
 

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How frequent is thunder where you live? There's really nothing to do except try to be with him, comforting him, and showing him that there is nothing to be afraid of.
 

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Hi there,

My dog Bella is afraid of thunder too. She hasn't always been.. but one time (about a year ago), all of a sudden a huge clap of thunder occurred and not only was it extremely loud and sudden, but our satellite dish made a really loud screech. Ever since this happened, she has been extremely terrified of storms, and the satellite squeak.

She shows the same signs - excessive panting and shaking, and she likes to be close to me. She knows the words "It's OK" because my partner and I often tell her that when she gets scared. But I have noticed that when we say that she shakes more, so we have had to be more aware of what we say to her when she gets scared of thunder. We also would snuggle her real close and keep petting her and it didn't seem to work for her - but not to say this won't work for your pup. You could try it.

After researching ways to help her get over this anxiety (or at least minimize it) I came across this article that said that you should pay no more attention to the dog than usual. It said let your dog know that you are there and briefly acknowledge them (so they know you are there with them) but don't overly pay attention to them during this time because it makes them feel that something is wrong. Not only does it make us feel uneasy that they are uneasy (and they sense how we feel) but apparently they may feel that something is up by us petting and paying more attention to them than usual and telling them "its OK". About a week and a half ago, we had a thunder storm and Bella quickly snuggled up to me. I told her to lay down beside me and I petted her for a bit (a couple minutes). I didn't say anything, I didn't act different or concerned, etc. and she was MUCH calmer than usual. I really noticed a difference this method made. Then, the other night we had a small thunderstorm and Bella didn't even make a peep. It was really strange but exciting to say the least.

Now, I am not saying entirely ignore your dog - but maybe try not to pay too much attention to them aside from acknowledging them briefly when this occurs. Just treat it like any other time. Maybe this could work for your dog, or you could try a Thundershirt. I was thinking about purchasing one too and may do so if Bella goes back to being afraid.

In my situation, the only other thing I can think about with Bella is not that she is afraid of thunder but rather the screeching noise the satellite makes during storms. We have recently started watching NetFlix when we realize a storm is coming. I don't really want to test it because I don't want to upset her. If it ever happens unexpected though, I will be sure to let you know! :)

Hope this helps,
Kerri
 
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Most of my dogs are scared of thunder. Susie, my Bernese cross, is the worst. She has run right through a solid board gate when she heard a clap of thunder. My little dogs all try to climb on me especially if it is at night and I am in bed. I bought some Rescue Remedy and will try that this year when we start to get thunder as we have not had any since I bought it. Hopefully it will help because it is hard to ignore them when they are all trying to climb on me at once. So far my Doberman is the only one who just ignores it and I don't know about Bonnie as there has not been any since she was born.
 

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I've heard that the Thunder shirt works well(Amazon.com: thundershirt). All my dogs are scared of thunder too. I think @KerriAnn is on to something as well. I think it turns into a feedback loop where we get anxious because we know they are getting anxious so they get more anxious because we are anxious (LOL)
 

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I'm going with KerriAnn on this one. Indifference is the way to go. Comforting your dog and coddling it when it is scared mostly reinforces the fear in the dog.

My first dog was so fearful of the thunder and fireworks, it would jump up on the bed and sleep on my head it seemed like. Somebody told me to not give comfort to the dog, which I was doing of course. I did a bit of the tough love axiom and it did seem to help over time but that dog never completely got over those summer thunderstorms and 4th of July fireworks.
 

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I'm going with KerriAnn on this one. Indifference is the way to go. Comforting your dog and coddling it when it is scared mostly reinforces the fear in the dog.

My first dog was so fearful of the thunder and fireworks, it would jump up on the bed and sleep on my head it seemed like. Somebody told me to not give comfort to the dog, which I was doing of course. I did a bit of the tough love axiom and it did seem to help over time but that dog never completely got over those summer thunderstorms and 4th of July fireworks.

Exactly. A confident handler taking the dog for walks during thunderstorms helps as well. Comforting a scared dog will only make it worse.
 
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