So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind
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Thread: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

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    So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Yep, that's right. It starts to get even a little windier than a "breeze" and the dog starts to drop down and curl into a ball or try to hide/run inside.

    He's a 1 1/2 year old Dachshund, and I have no idea what to do. We went to the dog park while it was windy one day in hopes of him just getting used to it, but instead, he would be fine when it wasn't windy, then would hide/run to us/paw at us/etc for the full hour whenever the wind gusted.

    Anyone have any ideas? He won't do anything when it's gusting except try to drop to the ground or come hide between our legs or paw at us frantically. Can't get him distracted with anything else.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Desensitization and counter-conditioning is what this dog needs. You'll have to record the sound of the wind, play it on and endless loop in your cd player, and start at the lowest volume setting possible. Work with your dog on obedience with reward like you normally would. Periodically turn the volume up on the noise. If your dog starts to be fearful, it's too loud, and you'll need to go back to the previous level until your dog is proofed. It takes a lot of work, and it won't change over night. Good luck.

    dog clicker training desensitization counter conditioning

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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    Desensitization and counter-conditioning is what this dog needs. You'll have to record the sound of the wind, play it on and endless loop in your cd player, and start at the lowest volume setting possible. Work with your dog on obedience with reward like you normally would. Periodically turn the volume up on the noise. If your dog starts to be fearful, it's too loud, and you'll need to go back to the previous level until your dog is proofed. It takes a lot of work, and it won't change over night. Good luck.

    dog clicker training desensitization counter conditioning
    I think it's the actual wind and not the sound that frightens him. Might be the sound it makes as the wind blows across his ear canal, or maybe the wind across his body, but I'm pretty sure it's the force he feels more than anything

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    If it's the sensation of the wind, a variable speed fan can be substituted for the recorded noise, and it may be more practical as it could be the combination of noise and sensation. I have yet to figure out how to create wind on demand though, so a fan will have to do.

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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    I have yet to figure out how to create wind on demand though
    You're setting yourself up for all sorts of bad jokes here but this is a serious problem, so I'll go easy on you.

    Maybe in a previous life he was Toto (from the Wizard of Oz, for you youngsters.)

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by RonE View Post
    You're setting yourself up for all sorts of bad jokes here but this is a serious problem, so I'll go easy on you.
    It wouldn't be the first time I would have been the butt of a joke.

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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Do you console your dog when he runs to you looking for shelter when the wind starts?

    If so, that would only strengthen his believe that the wind is bad. A good reaction would be that you just ignore his anxiety. As soon as the wind starts give him some treats so that he associates wind with something good. Just be there but donīt comfort him with words and/or carress him - things like that would bring the dog to think you also believe the wind is evil and therefore you have to console him. Just stand/sit there talk to one another but try not to mind the dog apart from feeding him some goodies.
    I know of dogs who were fearful of one thing or another where that treatment worked like a charme.
    Maybe it will be helpful for this dog too.

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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    If you want a faster method you can leash your dog up and go to the park on a windy day...keep him on leash so you can control him and when he starts throwing his fit you just ignore him and let him throw his tantrum...let him throw his fit until he gives up (don't talk to him, console him, pet him, etc). It's a faster way of desensitizing him. It may seem like it's traumatic but the dog is never in physical pain. Some people won't agree with this method but the method of the fan may not transfer to the outdoors; and besides, it's not going to last very long. The fact of the matter is, you can solve the dog's problem and let it seem traumatized for five minutes or so (and have the 100% positive people scold you a little)...or you can continue to let the dog live in fear. If you do the technique right it will break the dog and the dog can live normally outdoors thereafter.

    Freeshadow was on the right track, just don't give the dog treats once it starts tucking its tail or throwing the fit.
    Last edited by GoodBullyLLC; 04-01-2007 at 04:56 PM.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Ya, brilliant idea...flood the dog. Take that chance in making it worse? And if it fails, what then?

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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    Ya, brilliant idea...flood the dog. Take that chance in making it worse? And if it fails, what then?
    Is wind harmful?

    The only way it will make it worse is if you console the dog. The behavior he is experiencing is happening because every time in the past the dog has been taught that the fearful reaction is good and it helps fix the situation.

    Flooding is a perfectly fine tool when the dog is not in danger of actually being harmed by something.

    The dog has been taught to be fearful of the wind and as soon as it realizes that it is still alive after five minutes of struggle and no consolation it's going to be fine.

    Do you have any evidence to back up that this technique will make the dog's fear worse?

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBullyLLC View Post
    Is wind harmful?
    Apparently to the dog it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBullyLLC View Post
    Flooding is a perfectly fine tool when the dog is not in danger of actually being harmed by something.
    It's a fine tool when other methods have failed.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBullyLLC View Post
    The dog has been taught to be fearful of the wind and as soon as it realizes that it is still alive after five minutes of struggle and no consolation it's going to be fine.
    So you've met both the dog and owner? I didn't know you were privy to the fact that the dog actually was taught by the owner, and it had nothing to do with the dog's age, environment, or early socialization. I wish the OP had informed us that you already met them.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBullyLLC View Post
    Do you have any evidence to back up that this technique will make the dog's fear worse?
    It fails when you know nothing about the dog or owner. The question should be who's more likely to succeed? Someone who takes baby steps, or someone who trys flooding first without any knowledge about the dog's history?

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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    Apparently to the dog it is.
    So we should feel sorry for the dog?

    So you've met both the dog and owner? I didn't know you were privy to the fact that the dog actually was taught by the owner, and it had nothing to do with the dog's age, environment, or early socialization. I wish the OP had informed us that you already met them.
    I'm assuming the dog has been comforted or removed from the situation time and time again.

    I'm also guessing the age and environment have nothing to do with it and that the dog wasn't specifically socialized to wind; though what dog is? It isn't normal for a dog to dislike wind, last time I checked, therefore no socialization to wind should be necessary. I'm also guessing that the dog has never had a bad experience with wind being that wind rarely injures dogs. I'm sure the owner would have told us if the dog had been subject to a hurricane or tornado at some point; though it still wouldn't matter, the treatment is the same.

    It fails when you know nothing about the dog or owner. The question should be who's more likely to succeed? Someone who takes baby steps, or someone who trys flooding first without any knowledge about the dog's history?
    Someone who is more experienced.

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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBullyLLC View Post
    So we should feel sorry for the dog?



    I'm assuming the dog has been comforted or removed from the situation time and time again.

    I'm also guessing the age and environment have nothing to do with it and that the dog wasn't specifically socialized to wind; though what dog is? It isn't normal for a dog to dislike wind, last time I checked, therefore no socialization to wind should be necessary. I'm also guessing that the dog has never had a bad experience with wind being that wind rarely injures dogs. I'm sure the owner would have told us if the dog had been subject to a hurricane or tornado at some point; though it still wouldn't matter, the treatment is the same.



    Someone who is more experienced.
    Flooding the dog first thing is not good. IMO desensitization is a MUCH better way. I mean come on! Lets say you have a big fear of water.....which would you rather do, start with calm water in a pool, then to a shallow end, then to the deep end, OR would you rather be thrown into the middle of the ocean?!

    You tell me which you would rather do.
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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBullyLLC View Post
    So we should feel sorry for the dog?
    Someone less knowledgable would make this conclusion. I'm guessing you suggested this merely to be sarcastic. Which is fine, but much like the dog that's afraid of wind, you're creating your own barriers.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBullyLLC View Post
    I'm assuming the dog has been comforted or removed from the situation time and time again.

    I'm also guessing the age and environment have nothing to do with it and that the dog wasn't specifically socialized to wind; though what dog is? It isn't normal for a dog to dislike wind, last time I checked, therefore no socialization to wind should be necessary. I'm also guessing that the dog has never had a bad experience with wind being that wind rarely injures dogs. I'm sure the owner would have told us if the dog had been subject to a hurricane or tornado at some point; though it still wouldn't matter, the treatment is the same.
    I guess your intent wasn't to actually help the OP. Therefore, I assume you have another agenda...maybe like promoting your website. It's just a guess, but you see how successful guessing and assuming can be. Maybe I'll be lucky and I assumed the truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBully View Post
    Someone who is more experienced.
    Again, if the OP was so experienced, why are they asking us for help? Doesn't training have to suit both the dog and owner?

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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    Someone less knowledgable would make this conclusion. I'm guessing you suggested this merely to be sarcastic. Which is fine, but much like the dog that's afraid of wind, you're creating your own barriers.
    Yes, it was sarcastic.

    I guess your intent wasn't to actually help the OP. Therefore, I assume you have another agenda...maybe like promoting your website. It's just a guess, but you see how successful guessing and assuming can be. Maybe I'll be lucky and I assumed the truth.
    My intent was to help the OP. I pay money to promote my site and we do just fine - why would I try to promote it on an international all-breed board when I specialize in bully breeds in one city? How would that help me?

    Again, if the OP was so experienced, why are they asking us for help? Doesn't training have to suit both the dog and owner?
    My suggestion suited both, that's why I gave it. The technique isn't complicated and is highly effective.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBullyLLC View Post
    My intent was to help the OP. I pay money to promote my site and we do just fine - why would I try to promote it on an international all-breed board when I specialize in bully breeds in one city? How would that help me?
    What's the point of including it in your signature then?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBullyLLC View Post
    My suggestion suited both, that's why I gave it. The technique isn't complicated and is highly effective.
    It suited you. You, like I, know nothing about the OP or their dog. The technique is only effective when deemed appropriate by a certified animal behaviorist in the presence of the dog and owner, and only after other techniques have proven to be less effective. I'm not making this up. I have Jean Donaldson, Ian Dunbar, and many many others who would say the same thing, and have said so on the topic of flooding. You may want to read their works too.

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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by Curbside Prophet View Post
    What's the point of including it in your signature then?
    Because I like to see the websites of other trainers and assume they like to see them as well.

    It suited you. You, like I, know nothing about the OP or their dog. The technique is only effective when deemed appropriate by a certified animal behaviorist in the presence of the dog and owner, and only after other techniques have proven to be less effective. I'm not making this up. I have Jean Donaldson, Ian Dunbar, and many many others who would say the same thing, and have said so on the topic of flooding. You may want to read their works too.
    Dogs aren't humans. They don't wake up the next day and say damn, my owner johnny really hurt me yesterday by making me suffer out in the wind. If the dog is rehabilitated, what does it matter if it was flooded for five minutes or baby-stepped over the course of 3 days? Rehabilitation is the goal right? I'd rather get it over with in five minutes than be subject to something I don't really care for over the course of three days. Not to mention the three day course has no guarantee, whereas flooding has a high guarantee when done properly. Many psychologists will tell you that baby-stepping a dog in a different environment with "similar" cues isn't nearly as effective and most times you have to resort to some level of flooding anyway.

    I think the baby-stepping technique is more about how the owner feels about the dog rather than how the dog feels about the situation.

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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBullyLLC View Post
    Yes, it was sarcastic.




    My intent was to help the OP. I pay money to promote my site and we do just fine - why would I try to promote it on an international all-breed board when I specialize in bully breeds in one city? How would that help me?
    you SARCASTIC? NAHHHHH

    IF YOU ARE TRAINING BULLY BREEDS WE ARE ALL INTROUBLE IM AFRAID AND WE SHOULD LOCK UP OUR ANIMALS AND KIDS RIGHT AWAY.

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    Super Moderator Curbside Prophet's Avatar
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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    Quote Originally Posted by GoodBullyLLC View Post
    Dogs aren't humans.

    Many psychologists will tell you that baby-stepping a dog in a different environment with "similar" cues isn't nearly as effective and most times you have to resort to some level of flooding anyway.
    I truly hope you're referring to an ethonologist and not a human psychologist. Because if you are, I'm afraid you may be guilty of anthropomorphizing dogs yourself. What ethonologist would suggest this?

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    Re: So, my gf's dog is afraid of the wind

    i await the answer with baited breath. I was thinking the same thing Curbside, thank you for vocalizing this for me. By the way are you a professional trainer? from the extent of your expertise i think either a trainer or behaviorist

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