I'm awale babysitting Ace..he's petrified of the stormy weather. He's a mess!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Ace has not gone outside since 9 am. He doesn't like to go out in the rain. No, that is not true...he will not go outide when it even sprinkles. Hmm....he must have a huge bladder. But then, tonight, for the first time ever he jumped up on the bed between us because it thundered. We were in that wonderful first deep sleep when PLOP here's Ace shaking like a leaf. husband stroked him, spoke softly as always, and told him to get down. NOT! It took at least five full minutes and more than a pep talk before the bed was ours again. Ace was shaking and pacing. husband patted him and thought he was calmed. I moved his blankets so he would be near husband.

    Back to sleep we went and THUMP....guess who was back. Yep Ace was back in the bed and determined he wasn't getting down. Once again with a little sternness husband tells him to get down. Very, very, very reluctantly Ace got down. Then what happened you might ask? Soft thunder! Yikes.

    Ace and I are now in the computer room with the curtains drawn (MBR has sheers)
    and the soft illumination of the easy child has allowed him to go to sleep. If we had a bed in here I would be snoring away...but we don't. I know when I move the dog is going to follow me to the room and then with the next noise it will start again. I'm too old for all nighters on a work night. Actually, any night, sigh! on the other hand, I am not going to share my bed with this big scratching, licking, snoring boxer. No way!DDD

    PS: I have no idea what "awale" means. I'm assuming it is a synonym for "awake". I don't know how to edit the title line. All I know is I'm sleepy!
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Poor Ace. I had a dog who was scared to death of thunder boomers too. My little dog wont go out in the rain either. Personally I think he thinks he thinks he is to good to get his little paws wet...lol.
  3. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    If I remember, Ace is a boxer? This is VERY typical of boxers. I've had two (one currently) that were "gun shy". Buddy will let us know about 30 minutes before a storm comes, he starts pacing, whining and shaking. All of our boxers have hated going out in the rain (they also don't like pools, etc., but are ok with a bath in the tub).
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I had big dogs that LOVED going out in the rain. Hunting thing, I guess, since it cleans up the smells. But thunder? Oh man.... soon as the thunder started it was back in the house, a soaking, shaking, muddy almost 100lb dog trying to crawl into your lap.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I had a Samoyed years ago that LOVED water - but thunder? OH NO. I was somewhat spoiled - I had a waterbed as a kid (helped me sleep... After my parents saw how quickly I fell asleep on theirs, suddenly I got one) - and a 70-lb fluffball in bed with a kid... It was funny. But she had a kiddie pool to dig in (and drink from - UGH), and would chase the sprinkler - and dig at one on the ground, so dad got one of the oscillating ones and attached it to the fence.
  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I have had the same problem with 2 of the 4 pyrs that I have had in the last 4 yrs. Lizzie is inconsolable when there is thunder and lightening. She whimpers and paces and drools. Your vet will give you sedation for your dog if he suffers from that degree of anxiety. It's not uncommon.
    The last time, even Cowboy was shaking and frantic. I made a big bed on the floor of my bedroom, pulled the heavy drapes across the window and slept on the floor with them until the storm was over. They seem to settle if I was there to assure them they were ok. We were the pack and the pack leader had to tell them it's ok. (I guess. I'm making it up as I was going along at the time)
    If you have an internal room with no windows, like a bathroom, you may want to put his blanket and a chewy treat in there before the storm hits. My dogs are too aggitated once the sounds have started to settle down.
    Good luck with that. : )
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I won't be much help here. My little band of heathens is all over the place about storms. Freebie (who was a stray) is terrified of thunder, lightning, and the sound of wind. She will jam herself in as close to me as she can get and tremble. Bostons don't have much hair so they feel every little rain drop but Trace doesn't seem to care one way or the other. He's tough. But I'm wasting my time trying to take Ragan outside to potty in the rain because when the first drop hits her, she turns around and tries to drag me back in the front door. Katy LOVES the rain! It's party time for her! She dances around, spins in circles, and looks up with her mouth wide open trying to catch the raindrops! She has so much fun that she completely forgets that she's out there to potty. Let's just say that when it rains, I'm very glad that I have a carpet shampooer!
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Casper is my Thunderchicken......

    This takes time but it works. You just have to have patience, and a lot of pre-weather channel knowledge. And either steak, liver - or some very special treat. And I do mean special Dog biscuits won't cut it. Livers are good.

    When you know it's going to rain/thunder whatever the fear is - get out the EXTRA special treat. Approach the door - and call Ace - Let him see/smell and know you have the liver. BEFORE it starts to rain - put them in a baggie and go outside - taunt him with a bit of the treat. Give it to him. If he heads back to the door - sit outside with him - and hand him a bit of the treat and pet him. Talk to him in a calm, soothing voice, petting, talking, saying, GOOD boy, GOOD Ace - here we go - THUNDER okay, (hand bite to eat). When the bag is empty - the lesson is over and he can go back inside - to a darkened room - and you IGNORE him. You want to get the message across that NOTHING is wrong here it's hard,but paying attention to him when he's shivering and panting,and being scared tells a dog - this is acceptable behavior. It's the part of the training I hate the most. I want to cuddle him - ignoring him made me feel like a bad Mom. It was kinda like tough love for dogs, and I had already had a life-time of toughlove I wanted to cuddle something, but it's not any different with thunder chickens than kids - you do it for the best thing for your furkid.

    At this point - you COULD ask your vet for a drug like Hydroxyzine for anxiety to ride out the rest of the storm -but you really want him to start equating the rumbling and the rain with things like TREATS and playtime - EVERY time you are there - livers, bits of chicken/steak - and OUT to the yard you go. If it's pouring down and you want to continue the lesson - every time it thunders - and he shivers? Say GOOD - hand a bit of steak.

    It can take months to break them of this and for them to start knowing thunder isn't bad - it's SNACK time - and eventually less and less fear, and less and less snacks. Casper is still working on it, Pootie took about a month and she actually got it from Casper because...when the thunder started? I used to coddle Casper and she wanted her share of cuddle time. When the BIG rumblers start? She still gets panicky, but when that happens a few bites of a special treat? She's over on her blanket and sleeping. You can also stuff natural cotton in their ears to help. Not tons of cotton balls - but the surgical wads of cotton. Turn up the TV or even crate them with a blanket over their crate and leave the door open - then leave them. Just like what Fran said - dark, quiet and distracted with a favorite toy.

    Hope this helps.
  9. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I have actually been known to keep the local radar weather maps up on the computer when it's stormy so I know when it should start and stop raining, and I run them all outside accordingly.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    If TN was anything like OH... These would be more like decorative easy child wallpaper... LOL!
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Yes, Ace is our boxer. He has never liked rain, wind, storms but never has he gone bonkers like last night...and it wasn't that bad. I "think" that it may have been an accumulation of anxiety because we did not come home straight from work last night. He had almost two hours before we got back from dinner. The other problem is our house. We ony have one room (the computer room...formerly difficult child bedroom) that has carpeting and drapes that block the view. Everywhere else there are sheers or verticals that allow the flash to show and laminate which I assume triggers vibrations.

    I really believe that anxiety medications would improve his life. We're not exactly sure what happened in the 18 months or so before we got him but obviously his needs weren't met. husband does not want "his dog" to take medications. The Vet did prescribe doggie Prozac which he took for awhile but there didn't seem to be any improvement. He really is a needy dog. When we are at work he goes into his crate when the weather is bad. I truly am too "mature" to miss sleep and still function the next day so if it happens again I will override husband and get some Rx to ease his fears.

    Starbie, your method sounds terrific but since I'm not home it's not practical for me. Maybe a few years ago but I'm kinda sapped out from parenting. Understatement. DDD