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 Sudden Fear of Thunder???

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Demon&Dakota
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PostSubject: Sudden Fear of Thunder???   Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:05 pm

Up until recently, we've been really lucky with our pups in that they don't react one way or the other to loud noises (thunder, fireworks, etc). All of a sudden though it seems as if Demon is afraid of thunder. Has anyone else had this fear develop later on in their dog's life? Demon's 5 and at least half blind (I don't know whether that would be a factor or not). He's managed to break out of the house twice and tried it a third time yesterday and flooded our kitchen in the process. We need to find a fix!
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden Fear of Thunder???   Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:16 pm

I can tell you that about a yr ago Sierra started to react to loud noises more then she used to and will go pee upstairs now Sad we have to block the steps now if we are home during storms now (its blocked when we are not home)

I know the layout of your house kim and since our storms hit when we are at work you have 2 options, block them in dinning room and risk him getting out the front window and dakota following or block them downstairs and doggie proof down there and if he gets out a window at least he is in the back yard. not sure how you can secure your sink and that window as it is now...

if you do get to the kitchen remodel let us know, we need practice before we do ours Wink

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Demon&Dakota
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden Fear of Thunder???   Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:34 pm

We were already figuring on you guys for help on the floor. AFter all you're pros! Smile

Scott turned off the water to the sink today so at least we couldn't get flooded again. And of course, no thunderstorms helped the matter tremendously. My poor boy...I just don't understand his need to get outside INTO the thing that is scaring him. Sad
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden Fear of Thunder???   Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:24 am

Kim, I feel so sorry for you. Has Demon's vision just turn bad recently or has he always been partially blind? I'm asking, because if it's a new thing he can't see the storm hence his fight or flight response is kicking in. Not seeing that his space is safe he will flee the loud noise not realizing that he is headed for it. When he could see, he could tell the loud noise wasn't coming from the inside. His hearing has probably intensified and he may perceive the thunder is closer, like in the house.
This is the way I would try to understand the problem, and Jennifer gave you some ideas on containing him. Poor baby, your three "terrors" are beautiful.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden Fear of Thunder???   Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:10 am

Ami started to become anxious in thunder storms a month or two ago. I attribute it to me being stupid and taking him to fireworks or alternately - since we bring him in if it's storming, and since I don't want a wet dog in the house, as soon as I hear thunder, I run out to get him - so now, I'm guessing that he makes an association between me running and hurrying to the thunder. Again, stupid me Rolling Eyes 

What happens is, he starts to pace and every time he hears the boom, he wants to run in the opposite direction of the sound. What I've found works best is to tether him to the pedestal foot of our kitchen table where he has a blanket under the table and then hang a towel over the edge so he has sort of a cave. (A crate draped with a blanket would do the same thing - our crate is too big for the kitchen.)

I'm guessing that Demon wants OUT because he hears the thunder IN and wants to be away from it - once he's out, I'm guessing he will just keep running, hoping to get away from it. Maybe crating on days thunderstorms are expected?
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MattV
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden Fear of Thunder???   Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:11 pm

The only thing I would say is to be careful bot to reinforce Ami's being fearful. In other words, don't try to comfort him by giving positive attention. Maybe try playing with him, or even putting his collar and leash on him and trying some basic obedience review. If he sees the thunder as "normal", he may not get so anxious.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden Fear of Thunder???   Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:30 pm

@MattV wrote:
The only thing I would say is to be careful bot to reinforce Ami's being fearful.  In other words, don't try to comfort him by giving positive attention.  Maybe try playing with him, or even putting his collar and leash on him and trying some basic obedience review.  If he sees the thunder as "normal", he may not get so anxious.

Exactly what we do - he's given his spot, if he chooses to use it, I go about my business...provided Mr. Dog does not decide to challenge his flimsy cardboard barriers and bolt into the family room lol! 
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Demon&Dakota
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PostSubject: Re: Sudden Fear of Thunder???   Sun Aug 10, 2014 4:26 pm

Renee, Demon developed cataracts before he turned 1, so it's not new. The only thing I can think of is maybe his eyes are getting worse so he's relying more and more on his hearing and it's more sensitive, like you mentioned.

We've talked about getting another crate, as right now the only one we've got is for Diablo. Putting both boys in there together is a recipe for disaster. Smile

We don't reinforce his antsy behavior during thunderstorms when we're home. We either ignore him (especially if we're eating), try grooming him or play with him. All normal things. Smile

For the time being the only thing we can try is to rearrange the barricade like Jenn suggested. At least until we can figure out what we'll do for the long term.

Thanks everyone, it's a bit comforting just to know that he's not the only one to suddenly show increasing agitation during storms.
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