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 Storm Anxiety - Family Reunion

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Madison Clary
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Join date : 2016-07-08
Location : Texas

PostSubject: Storm Anxiety - Family Reunion   Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:07 pm

Hey guys! I tried to find a thread that's already been started on the topic, but couldn't find anything. If anyone knows of one, please feel free to send me that way.

Lance seems to have pretty bad storm anxiety. Like, wake me and my boyfriend up whimpering wanting on the bed, then crawling in between us. Whenever he'd see the thunder or lightening (the bed is by two windows) he'd freak out and jump off then try to jump back on.

Since Lance already has anxiety in a lot of different situations (he has severe isolation anxiety and slight separation anxiety) I went to Petco and bought something called "Pet Calm" by Richard's Organics. It's an anxiety oil you squirt in their mouth that's supposed to calm them down without drugging them up.

The worker said not to waste money on the pheromone collar or the anxiety "treats" and that the oil is the most effective. My question is - do thunder jackets work? What all tricks have you guys tried to help muffle anxiety and storm anxiety?

My family is also requesting I bring him to a large family reunion where I would always have to either have him on a leash or have him near me in a kennel. I considered buying a muzzle but was afraid of him becoming more aggressive. I have no one who can watch him, so my options are extremely limited. His airline crate wont be here until Monday, and all I have his a flimsy metal crate he has bent the heck out of multiple times. Yes, I've tried the distracting toys and such. Would this also be a good time to use the anxiety oil?


Thanks for any responses!
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TwisterII
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: Storm Anxiety - Family Reunion   Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:57 pm

Don't muzzle unless you absolutely have to. It will make things worse on a dog that isn't really aggressive but might just be nervous or untrusting. Muzzles are for out of control dogs that can't be handled any other way because they will absolutely bite, no questions asked. I know a few people who swear by the the thunder shirt. My vets office can barely keep them in stock because so many people come in to get them for their new dog or because their dog outgrew their old one. I haven't tried it personally. At home, is his crate covered? Taking a sheet or blanket and throwing it over the crate to create a dark den should help out with the storm anxiety at night. My boy goes and sits in the hall during a storm because the lightning doesn't flash as bright there. Making him a similar spot should help.

As for the reunion, I would just tie him to your belt or stake him out. Have a bag of treats or his kibble with you and have the members at the reunion each meet him calmly and offer him a bite of treat/kibble to help him build trust with them before the chaos of the reunion gets going. Set ground rules for how everyone is to be around him and hold them to it.

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Madison Clary
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Join date : 2016-07-08
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PostSubject: Re: Storm Anxiety - Family Reunion   Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:25 pm

@TwisterII I have tried covering the crate. He ends up pulling the blanket in and shredding it. Again, only in 15 minutes. I love the family reunion idea. Thank you! Will probably post an update.
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aljones
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Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Storm Anxiety - Family Reunion   Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:43 pm

Like Jenn, I've never had to even consider something like the Thundershirt; Avalanche comes over and lays by me and isn't upset unless we get a big boomer right outside - 'course that "wakes me up" as well, Sasha, well she isn't much bothered by anything.

There have been threads on the forum in the past:

  1. ThunderShirt review!
  2. Thundershirt???? Read through this since most meaningfull comments are toward the end.

As far as a family reunion,  I'll tell you what I do when I'm traveling with my dogs and meeting family.
For my own peace of mind, they're either on leash and in hand or staked to the hitch on the back of my jeep which I park out of the high traffic areas - but still visible to me most of the time.  Since my kids go with me when I go out to a ham event, they're used to being 'staked out' on the Jeep - they know I'm not going to leave them and I will be back - at least for the Jeep.

I don't think I'd want to try that (tieing them to the jeep) unless I had first had an opportunity (or 4 or 5) in low anxiety areas - state park / campground / etc.

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TwisterII
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: Storm Anxiety - Family Reunion   Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:47 pm

I wonder if he would be able to shred cardboard. Maybe if you could get a hold of a large cardboard box and frame out the sides where the door isn't with the box. Shouldn't be as easy to get.

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MiyasMomma
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Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: Storm Anxiety - Family Reunion   Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:01 pm

I will add, do you know the proper way to introduce a new dog to new people? When meeting a dog for the first time it is very important that the dog is allowed to sniff the persons hand first, then treat like Jenn mentions, most importantly the person needs to be at the dogs level. Standing up over a dog makes a nervous dog more nervous, and a dog that is potentially fearful of people, a person hovering above them may make them reactive, since in a dogs eyes hovering = dominance from the human.

As far as thunderstorms, and anything that makes a dog nervous, first step as the owner is to make sure you act like it's no big deal. Baby talking and coddling will not make a dog confident, and less scared of the situation, only makes it worse. Act like it's no big deal. Building a dogs confidence, will go a long way in tackling any anxiety the dog has.
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Madison Clary
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PostSubject: Re: Storm Anxiety - Family Reunion   Sat Jul 16, 2016 3:16 pm

Hi all! Thanks for the awesome comments. All definitely things I never even thought of. However, I have decided to forgo going to the family reunion and to instead watch Lance. I am aware his training is not at the level it should be for that environment, and I refuse to ask for trouble on behalf of him.
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Artic_Wind
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Male Join date : 2014-07-23
Location : San Diego, California

PostSubject: Re: Storm Anxiety - Family Reunion   Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:35 pm

I'm surprised, with all the dogs that pull stuff into their crates, that no one has designed a crate with removable sides and top cover panels that can be snapped into place when needed!

I have two crates in my house, my current huskies only occasionally use them...like maybe once in 6 months, lol...but my previous female husky used both of them. They are side by side in the dining room next to the kitchen, with one being up against the wall and I noticed she was fairly particular about which one she used, and for what...the one up against the wall, seemed to be the one she preferred at night, I'm thinking because with one side of it being up against the wall, it felt more closed in, and the other crate she used throughout the day so she could be in her own little world, but still see everything that was going on around her. Maybe if you put the crate up against the wall, or even in a corner where the crate would have one side and the back *closed off*, the crate would feel more safe and secure for your husky during those lightning and thunderstorms, without having to find covers that will stay in place.
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