Okay, so you’re well into your new conditioning plan, with graduated protocols in place to reduce your dog’s noise fears or phobias. You’re taking it slowly and making good progress. But suddenly it’s Independence Day or Guy Fawkes, with fireworks going off all around, and a thunderstorm rolling in to boot, and you know you’re not ready for all this. How do you survive tonight? Continue reading
You’ve tried everything — desensitization, counter-conditioning, safe places, and more — and it’s not enough? Or you know your panicked dog needs relief now while you start other protocols? Here are some more tools to consider.
As I write this post, thunder is rolling overhead with enough resonance to shake the house. As I write this post, a Doberman is curled up at the foot of my bed. That’s our only storm coping tactic at the moment. How does this work? Continue reading
So you’re ready to get started combating storm fear, right? Of all the various tools we’ll cover, these will be the most generally useful for the most cases.
Desensitization and counter-conditioning are often confused, and indeed they can be similar. Both involve starting at a very low level of exposure to the trigger and gradually raising it. But they are different processes. Continue reading
Before we start with the nuts and bolts of helping pets with storm fear or phobia, we really have to discuss the emotional aspects of fears and phobias. No matter how much has been written or described on this, I still encounter an amazing amount of misinformation which slows or counters owners’ best training efforts. Continue reading
It’s been a very stormy year across the country, and in the Midwest in particular. Since I have three dogs with three variants of sound/storm phobia or sensitivity, my former love and thrill for dramatic weather has degraded to a dejected, “Oh, more storms?!”
But storm fear or sound phobia doesn’t have to be the end of the world for your pets or the end of sanity for you. There are many options now to help fearful or sensitive dogs (and cats!), and no reason to tolerate unnecessary suffering in animals or humans. In the next few posts, I will share what is working well for us and for others, and you can be the hero in your own household! Continue reading