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Question
Posted by: Bev | 2012/01/12

Corgi X Terrified of rain and thunder

Dear Sir
We are at our wits end, we rescued a stray corgi X 3 months ago.
A wonderful lovable dog. This dog however is terrified of rain and thunder and now with the rainy season upon us we have not slept in days.
She sleeps in her own box in our bedroom and the moment she hears a thunder clap miles away she starts to hyper ventilate, shiver and Has to climb on our heads.
I have tried everything from sedatives from the vet to patting her, to stern words to treats during the storms to no avail.
I suspect this is how she ran away in the first place, if we leave her outside during a storm she will find a way out of our property and just run. We put a chip in her so we have already had to fetch her from strangers.
I feel terribly sorry for her and lately I feel sorry for my sleepless self, I am prepared to do anything.
Regards
Bev

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Bev, I really do feel for you and the dog as this is a really terrible phobia and the dog is reacting out of sheer terror. The trouble is that this condition tends to worsen over time.
Having said that, dont worry, there is a way you can help her but it involves a lot of input from yourself as well as staying on medication (at least in rainy season) and perhaps considering a product such as the Good Behaviour Pheromone collar as well.
However, what the dog needs more than anything else is behaviour modification to lessen the fear as well as the implimentation of a modality such as TTouch.
This condition is far too severe to be dealt with in a forum. Please feel free to access my free website for all dog lovers www.friendsofthedog.co.za. Go to the section called Dog Stuff and under S, you will find an article called Storm Fear Phobia. Simply follow the instructions in it (and if possible get in somebody to teach you TTouch) and you will be able to help your little one.
It does involve a lot of work but doing this will help the dog cope with the storms. There is no guarantee of a complete 'cure' but I have never worked on a dog wherein the condition has not improved.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you are battling or do not understand anything.
In the meantime, dont leave her outside, rather supply a 'hideyhole' for her such as a cupboard that is kept open with a blanket in it that she can cuddle up in. Also dont pet her or pay attention to the behaviour. Although we would go and comfort a human that was fearful, when we try to comfort a fearful dog all we do is to reinforce the fear - the dog thinks we are concerned as well. Good luck and really, just shout if you need assistance. Thanks Scotty

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2012/01/12

Hi Bev, I really do feel for you and the dog as this is a really terrible phobia and the dog is reacting out of sheer terror. The trouble is that this condition tends to worsen over time.
Having said that, dont worry, there is a way you can help her but it involves a lot of input from yourself as well as staying on medication (at least in rainy season) and perhaps considering a product such as the Good Behaviour Pheromone collar as well.
However, what the dog needs more than anything else is behaviour modification to lessen the fear as well as the implimentation of a modality such as TTouch.
This condition is far too severe to be dealt with in a forum. Please feel free to access my free website for all dog lovers www.friendsofthedog.co.za. Go to the section called Dog Stuff and under S, you will find an article called Storm Fear Phobia. Simply follow the instructions in it (and if possible get in somebody to teach you TTouch) and you will be able to help your little one.
It does involve a lot of work but doing this will help the dog cope with the storms. There is no guarantee of a complete 'cure' but I have never worked on a dog wherein the condition has not improved.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you are battling or do not understand anything.
In the meantime, dont leave her outside, rather supply a 'hideyhole' for her such as a cupboard that is kept open with a blanket in it that she can cuddle up in. Also dont pet her or pay attention to the behaviour. Although we would go and comfort a human that was fearful, when we try to comfort a fearful dog all we do is to reinforce the fear - the dog thinks we are concerned as well. Good luck and really, just shout if you need assistance. Thanks Scotty

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