Our expert says:
Dog 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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