Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone....I'm having a big problem with my dog --- I didn't have him last Air Conditioning season...so I didn't know that this was going to be a problem.

Yesterday -- it got really hot ...so I put my A/C on -- and my dog freaked -- he took off with his tail between his legs into the other room & wouldn't come back --after I shut the A/C off -- he finally came back, but continued to be very nervous for awhile...

I've tried this a few times today -- to see if things would change -- and tried to comfort him and talk to him and tell him it was OK while I stood near the A/C -- but he still wanted no part.

What should I do?!.... now I'm freaking out!....I can't live without my A/C when it gets hot out!............HELP PLEASE!!!!!!:confused::(:eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
I am no expert. Just a dog owner with a fearful dog. What works for me may be different for you and your dog. My experience with Nanuq is that any attempt to soothe or calm her when she is fearful only makes it worse. It's kind of like my giving her attention is a reward for the fearful behavior. If she calms down I can give her a pet or treat as a reward for the calm behavior. If Nanuq were afraid of the air conditioner I would just turn it on and ignore both her and the air conditioner. Send the message that it is no big deal. If she quit freaking out I would reward her like crazy for being calm. I think it would take a day or two but eventually she would figure out that the thing wasn't out to get her. I don't know if this would work for you. Every dog is different but it works for us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
I agree with w8ting. I do the same thing with Tiberius. I ignore him, and whatever is scaring him. Usually he calms down fairly quick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,474 Posts
i also had a fearful dog and i, mistakenly, thought that i should ignore the behaviour. it was a big mistake imo. iorek got worse, not better. i believe i read this in "bones would rain from the sky" by suzanne clothier, she said that you wouldn't ignore your child if s/he was afraid, you would comfort them and make them feel better about the situation. i always felt horrible ignoring iorek's fear and making him walk down the street anyway, i felt like the worst person in the world. anyway, after comforting him and sitting with him on the sidewalk until he wasn't scared any more he really grew, he started to come out of his shell. my husband and i actually commented today how different he is from when we first got him, he was even afraid of the fire hydrant on our street. he is a confident dog now who is completely turned around. i believe that the comforting was what did it. i know that this is not a common opinion in the dog world but i am a person who has a dog that this really worked for. his fearful behaviour is gone now and i didn't have to ignore it away.

i am really sorry i don't really have any advice on how to get your doggy not to be scared of the ac any more. what i would do is go in the other room with my dog and start going through your "tricks" with the dog and get someone to turn on the ac in the other room. i would continue getting the dog to run through his/her tricks in the other room and ignore the ac but not the dog. i would keep up the tricks and gradually move closer to the room with the ac.

good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
bones would rain from the sky
IMO, this is exactly what should happen.

When your dog is afraid of something, you need to change his perception of the threat. Turn the a/c on, and food should rain from the sky. Awesome treats, really good stuff. For my dog, this would be cheese, hotdog, lunch meat, ham, etc. Your dog needs to learn that when the a/c turns on, it means great treats are coming.

Obviously, don't expect your dog to feel comfortable enough to eat right next to the air conditioning unit. You will have to feed your dog these amazing treats where your dog feels comfortable at. After a few days, try to move closer by a few feet, until eventually your dog has no problems with the a/c at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
999 Posts
IMO, this is exactly what should happen.

When your dog is afraid of something, you need to change his perception of the threat. Turn the a/c on, and food should rain from the sky. Awesome treats, really good stuff. For my dog, this would be cheese, hotdog, lunch meat, ham, etc. Your dog needs to learn that when the a/c turns on, it means great treats are coming.

Obviously, don't expect your dog to feel comfortable enough to eat right next to the air conditioning unit. You will have to feed your dog these amazing treats where your dog feels comfortable at. After a few days, try to move closer by a few feet, until eventually your dog has no problems with the a/c at all.
I wish I could get this method to work with my husky and parked cars...*sigh*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,622 Posts
I don't know, I can see both points of view. Maybe it just depends on the severity of the fear. I've done both methods. I've ignored things before that kind of freak my dogs out but I have also tried to show them that whatever they are scared of isn't "scary". Uallis doesn't like unfamiliar objects "suddenly" showing up in the yard...like the lawn mower. If we leave the mower in the yard, Uallis will be terrified of it. I don't really "cater" to his fear because that's pointless, I don't want to show him so much attention that it reinforces the fear BUT I will sometimes though walk over and just stand next to the mower or whatever he is afraid of. That is all I have to do, just walk over and stand next to it and eventually he'll follow suit and investigate it. I don't really talk to him or anything...I do everything in a very low key, calm manner, to give him the signal that there is nothing to be scared of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much for all the ideas on how to help my dog get over his fear --- but I'm not having any luck at all -- he's really upset --- luckily today it is freezing out -- so I'll wait again until it gets warmer again and try again gradually -- but I don't want him to be so scared (it's not healthy for him) --- but it's not healthy for me or him (he's a siberian husky) -- not to have A/C in the hot temps....

I never thought a dog would be afraid of an A/C --- it's not really loud.:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,474 Posts
Put a leash on him. Take him near the air conditioner and then turn it on. Reward good behavior when he is calm.
imho this is a recipe for disaster. if i did that to iorek when he was still very nervous he would shut down and it would never get better. ignoring fear does not make it go away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
imho this is a recipe for disaster. if i did that to iorek when he was still very nervous he would shut down and it would never get better. ignoring fear does not make it go away.
Whole-heartedly agree with this. If you lock me in a room with a bunch of snakes, I guarantee you it is not going to help me overcome my fear. But man, would I be ticked at you when I got out!! :)

Is the A/C central air or a window unit?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
749 Posts
imho this is a recipe for disaster. if i did that to iorek when he was still very nervous he would shut down and it would never get better. ignoring fear does not make it go away.

Absolutely correct. Ignoring the fear does not make it go away. That's why it has to be dealt with. Letting a dog run from it's fear will not help either. What would you suggest? Petting the dog and telling the dog everything will be ok? That's a great way to reinforce the unwanted behavior. If you have the dog in a crate or on a leash and it is near the problem the dog will see that the air conditioner is not going to hurt him at all. The one thing I would do though that was not mentioned is have his ears and hearing checked. Perhaps the noise from the air conditioner causes his ears to have pain. If that is the case then go with Central AC if you can. I'm assuming that you are referring to the noise from a window unit that is bothering the dog.

If it were my dog and his ears checked out then I would do what I suggested. Granted I never dealt with a dog that was fearful of an air conditioner but I did meet a dog one time that would growl when you petted her on her back. The owner said she did not like being petted on her back and I started showing the dog treats and when she was letting me pet her on her back without growling she got the treat. The owner continued that for a few weeks and now you could pet the dog on the back without the dog showing any fear or aggression and you do not have to give the dog treats anymore. She would also become possessive of her ball. I would show her a treat and say drop it. When she dropped the ball and allowed me to pick it up it's when I gave her the treat.

When Lola had SA I did not console her and tell her it was ok and pet her etc. I took her SA and dealt with it head on in a slow manner getting her used to me not being here a little at a time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,474 Posts
Absolutely correct. Ignoring the fear does not make it go away. That's why it has to be dealt with. Letting a dog run from it's fear will not help either. What would you suggest? Petting the dog and telling the dog everything will be ok? That's a great way to reinforce the unwanted behavior.
actually i would do what i suggested above. i would desensitize the dog to the sound by working with the dog in another room and treating for the work and then move closer and closer to the source of the sound.

i am sorry to disagree with you again, but yes, in a sense, i would pet the dog and tell him it is going to be ok. when iorek was scared to walk on the street i tried ignoring it because i thought that was what you were supposed to do. it got to a point where i would have to drag him down the street if i was going to get anywhere. i felt awful and iorek was so scared. so, when i read that book i realized that i should be comforting him and i felt horrible for putting him through what i did. i sat with him on the sidewalk until he was feeling better and within a few days he was confident enough to walk down the street and within a month or so even the things like buses and stuff didn't even scare him anymore. i comforted him when he got scared and the behaviour went away, it didn't get reinforced at all. he is a confident, happy dog now.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top