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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I have a 6 yr old staffy, entire bitch who is terrified of certain noises such as thunder, machinery reverse beepers, treadmill beeps, whips, guns etc. She has a 8 foot tall run which includes a bay of a shed. I have another two staffies, each has their own run side by side ( the other 2 don't have the same behaviour though). Whenever there are any of these noises around, "Sascha" starts jumping up her enclosure, biting the wire to shreds until she makes a hole to get out of, or simply jumping beserkly until she climbs and jumps out. She will then either stay around the yard or go up to the neighbours place. She has just recently with the last storm ripped out her nails (she only has 3 left now!), cut her face etc with the last storm on Wednesday. I'm at my wits end with her, as I don't want to see her hurt but don't know what else to do. I work fulltime Monday to Friday so unfortunately am not home most of the time that this is happening although her behavious is the same even if I am home. For example, the other morning I start the treadmill up and straight away with the beeping to turn it on and increase the speed I looked out and there she is, jumping madly. I turned the treadmill off and went out and went mad on her and she went and laid down. When I got home that afternoon I found her out of her run, so she climbed out which showed that she continued her behaviour even after I'd left. The vet now has suggested Clomicalm which I've had her on for a few days to trial. He also said valium is better for anxiety but is only short acting so hard for me to administer when I'm not home. Please help me help her. Many thanks
 

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Look into thundershirts, Ive heard they work well, but have never tried one my self. Clomicalm depending on how many you are giving and the dosage should help big time. Ive used it and knocks my dog out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have looked at the Thundershirts on the internet but worried they may be too hot. I live in the tropics and it is close to 40 degrees celcius here at the moment, hence the thunderstorms. Yes, I am hoping the clomicalm works for her.

Thanks
 

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I'm not so sure that "going mad on" a dog with phobias is the right way to handle things.

But, yeah, if it's gotten to that point I think meds will be necessary at least to start off. But in the long term other changes will probably need to be made as well.
 

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Could a lot of that be prevented by crating her inside instead of having her in a run outside while you're gone? We had a dog that was the same way, vet eventually gave us xanax for when storms were coming and we couldnt be home, when we were there we just had her on a very short leash right next to us. At her age I would imagine the fear is somewhat engrained, and at this point its more about managing it then trying to train her out of it. Talk to your vet about meds that have immediate action (versus something like prozac that makes a difference when given over time). Our dog would be somewhat calmer when inside- she could still hear the noise, but she recognized that this was the environment that she was familiar with.
 

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Buy the Thundershirt, but put it on her on a day when you are home so you can monitor how hot she gets. I don't think it would make a dog too hot, and they do work wonders from what I hear.
 

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The situation your dog is in right now is extremely dangerous. I am really not a fan of the idea of a fearful dog being left outside alone while no one is home because, as you know, it is very, very easy for them to hurt themselves or escape.

The vet is on the right track in regards to meds; however, meds alone won't solve the problem. A thundershirt won't solve the problem, either - not in a reaction this bad. The dogs' constant exposure to these sounds without any way to escape from them is what's causing these extreme behaviors that you're seeing, and meds may temper the behavior a bit, but will not alone change the scary associations she has made with these sounds.

The dog needs to be taken out of this environment so that her stress hormones can get back to normal levels (I'm sure they're way elevated if she's at the point where she's in total panic very often) and slowly introduced to the sounds by pairing the sounds with food. You can accomplish this by going on YouTube and finding sound clips of similar sounds and playing them at very, very low volumes while continuously feeding her as she listens to them.

Is day care an option? Can she stay with a friend or family member while you're not home?
 
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