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Discussion Starter #1
Blue is with us 6 months now and has calmed down a lot. She still has accidents in the house here and there but I suspect that they are anxiety related (i.e. when things get loud in the house because the kids won't stop fighting or when there are changes, like when we had our in-laws staying for a while).

The newest thing we learned about her is that she is terrified of thunderstorms. She pants and shivers, has a glazed over look in her eyes, and her ears touch behind her head. The first time she hid under a bed for hours, but the next time we were able to coax her out and we held her and pet her. Yesterday night she came to us, shivering and panting and I was really proud of her. I did realize this morning though that she had both pooped and peed in one of the bathrooms (likely yesterday night, but I am not sure).

I am going to get her a Thundershirt today, since we are expecting more storms. We live in an area where they are often unexpected, or rather we know one is likely to happen but not when (plus they tend to be short affairs) so meds are not really an option since they take a while to work.

Has anyone tried Bach rescue?

I thought maybe I should get some wood and build her a closed crate (with the side facing the wall with slats for ventilation) with a bulls eye in the front just big enough to get in for her to have a safe place for when we are out.

Any ideas are welcome.
 

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My old dog was like that. It was awful. I tried ignoring him, as people tell you to do, it doesn't work. Petting him and stroking him helped a bit.

I've heard wonderful things about the Thundershirt, but I didn't learn about it until shortly before he died.

The closed crate might work. Muggsy liked to wedge himself between the couch and the shelves in the living room.
 

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I used to have a black lab (RIP Chipper) who was terrified of storms. He'd let us know an hour in advance before one actually happened by pacing and panting - I think he could sense the electrical charge from the impending storm in the air. When he'd start panting and pacing, I gave him a low dose of medicine that my vet gave me to take the edge off and help him to stay relaxed (1/2 the dose the vet told me to give him b/c we found out that a full dose put him out - lol!).

I've heard good things about the ThunderShirt. Supposedly, if it doesn't work, the company will refund your money - it's worth a shot!

I wouldn't give him too much attention when he freaks out, other than calmly petting him. You don't want to reinforce this behvavior.
 

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I second the stop petting her as you will be reinforcing the behavior.

Thunder shirt will work if your dog's stress levels are not excessive. You could also try DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheremone) This comes as a spray or a collar. Spray would give quicker results. Bach Rerscue Remedy also works with some dogs but again depends on their stress level.

Dogs will tell you there is a storm coming well before you can even see it. Changes in barometric pressure triggers the stress and they start walking in circles, salivating, tail down, ears back. The earlier you pick up the signals the easier it will be to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I disagree about not holding/petting the dog unless your dog doesn't want to. I don't think that panic is reinforced by attempts of comforting. The behavior is irrational and beyond their control. To us it feels that she is helped by being held. I can't express that in degrees because she is still panting/shivering but the mere fact that she sought us out the third time we had a thunderstorm since she's been with us says it all IMO.

Thanks for the other tips.
 
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