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He has always had trouble with loud noises. He does not do well with fireworks, thunder storms, vaccums, slamming doors etc. He barks and barks and barks. It's unbearable most of the time and now, with the combination of the 4th of July and the run of thunderstorms he's just out of control. If someone drops something in the house he starts barking from the noise. I don't know what to do for him, nothing helps. In the last few years we have tried, ativan, melatonin, benadryl, Thunder jacket, crating in the A/C to buffer the noise and NOTHING helps. I just don't know what to do anymore. We need some help. I'm afraid he's going to give himself a heart attack :(
 

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I'd start small. Is he food motivated?

I, personally, would try starting with some treats - have someone drop a coin on the floor while giving a treat for a while...then move up to something like a spoon...then a tin can...etc. It may take days, weeks (who knows), but keep making the sounds a little louder as he becomes non-reactive to the current noise level

It doesn't sound like something other than time, patience & more time will solve.

How old is the dog? How long have you owned him?
 

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he is 6 years old and we've had him since he was 14 weeks old. He's always done this but it seems to be getting worse. He actually started messing the last few storms too which he never did before. I think it's because we had so many in just a few days?
 

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i have Border Collies and all of them are very sensitive to the storms and fireworks (want to shoot my neighbours...ever try to sleep w/ 3-4 Border Collies laying on you, mostly your head?)

anyway, i use a calming supplement as much as possible and they work well if i can give them at the right time (and sometimes that ain't easy).....you could try the thunder shirt...i've heard great things about it.....right now, i'm putting mine on a VERY lo dose of melatonin to see if they will be good on that.....you could talk w/ your vet about that possibility.....
 

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your collies are beautiful! I have tried both the thunder shirt and melatonin and had 0 luck :( I know what you mean about wanting to shoot your neighbors. The other night we had to take the dog out of our room and put him in the livingroom because dh and I both had to work and we couldn't sleep with all the barking, we felt terrible :(
 

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Love2nicks, most of the calming medications, herbs and shirts will usually only work where the dogs stress levels are low.

Sounds like you have gone past that level well and truelly. Have you tried the Thunder SHirt and Melatonin together?

Have you tried DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheremone)? This comes as a spray you spray in the dogs face so he breathes in the spray, or in a collar that is impregnated with the pheremone.

Again though, at the level your dog is you may need to use multiple things - thunder shirt, melatonin and DAP together.

Timing the application of the shirt and medication is important. Dogs will know there is a thunder storm coming hours before the clouds show up. Watch for him starting to react - lots of licking lips, salivating, walking in circles, trying to get into cupboards etc. The earlier you can get him settled the better.
 

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One thing you don't want to do is let him run around barking, you want to disagree with the behavior right away.
Getting him by his collar and not allowing him to run around is a start.
Correct the behavior by giving a little tug to the side to make him lose focus. Reward with a high quality treat when he focuses on you, or just away from the sound.
You can also use the high quality treat to get his attention if he is food motivated enough.

Try getting him to sit or lie down and reward every time he stays sitting or lying down. Eventually you can move onto sounds like "AH AH" when he gets more calm, and reward him for doing looking at you or just ignoring the sounds.

The more your dog barks and runs around, the harder he is to control. I had to do this method on my own dog this July 4th, since he had never been around fireworks much.
This is just a way, listen to the other suggestions in this thread as well, whatever works for you.
 

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Abbylynn has fairly severe anxiety over thunderstorms. I know when they are coming because she becomes "needy" and pants ....this is when I give her the medication. I know it is on it's way!

Also .... our community fireworks show is tonight ... I am trying the meds and a new approach with very high value treats, training, and some loud television shows. ( I also will be experiencing this with Eddee for the first time! :/ )

I can see the show next year. :)
 

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You may need to get a stronger medication from your vet. I once had a lab that couldn't handle thunderstorms and would start pacing/panting about an hour or more before they started. I got a "doggie downer" from my vet (ACE - just never give it to a boxer, b/c it can kill them!). We ended up only needing to give him 1/2 a pill to get him to chill out.

Your dog may need an anti-anxiety medication, at least for awhile, along with behavior modification (like Bellapup mentioned) to get a handle on this behavior, especially since it's escalating and frequent. Talk to your vet to see what he/she has to say about it.
 
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