My dog was a difficult child last night.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Mom2oddson, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    We have had 5 wind/rain storms in the last 6 days. If the wind blows around here, the power goes out. :windy:

    Well, my Daisy (the fearless? pitbull) is scared to death of the power going out. When the lights go out, she runs out the doggie door and sits in the middle of the backyard in the wind and rain, with all the trees swaying over her head and refuses to come inside.

    Well Annie, the Black lab, is a good Big Sister. She won't leave her little sister sit out in the rain alone. But, Annie preferrs her comforts of the house so she will sit outside and bark like crazy until we get Daisy inside.

    Getting Daisy inside involves chasing and cornering her in the yard (rain, wind, falling branches).

    So, last night, about an hour into my sleep, the power goes out. So there I am in my jammies and shoes, chasing Daisy through the yard to get her inside so that Annie will be quiet and Daisy will be safe.

    Get the dogs inside. It took an hour to settle Daisy down enough so that I could go back to sleep. Then, an hour later, the power goes back on and that scares Daisy just as much as when it goes off.

    And the rain/wind is going to continue for the next couple of days. Uhg....
  2. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Was she a rescue when you got her, or a stray that might have been outside on her own for a while? My mixed breed, Freebie, was a little stray who came in to my yard when she was a 6-7 month old pup who apparently had been dumped and had been wandering on her own for a while. She's ten now but has always been very afraid of storms. She's thoroughly a house dog now but when I lived in the country she preferred to stay outside all day but would sleep in the house. For years, if there was a storm when she was outside, instead of wanting to come in the house, her first instinct was to crawl in to the bushes and hide there, just terrified. It's what she learned as a puppy when she was on her own. I was out there so many times in the rain and the wind, trying to entice her out of the bushes and in to the house. But she finally got over it. Now if there's a storm, she still doesn't like it but she will crawl into the security of her crate and watch TV!
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Awwww! The poor baby! :(

    I know that has got to be heck on you though, having to go chase her to get her back inside in the middle of a storm. But sort of makes your heart ache she gets so scared.

    What would happen if you blocked the doggie door for the next few days during the storms so she can't go outside just when she wants?? Maybe that would help, especially at night.

  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Years ago, my Samoyed was petrified of thunderstorms, and of fireworks, too.

    She was purebred - AKC and all that - just weaned when we got her. So there wasn't anything before... But MAN, she would crawl into/under ANYTHING to escape the thunder!
  5. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    Donna - Daisy has been with us since she was 3 months old. A pampered pitbull for sure. It isn't the storm that frightens her, it's the power going off that does it. If the power stays on, she is content no matter how bad the storm. If the power goes off and there isn't a storm, she runs outside and shakes like a leaf. And all of this is new. Just started happening this year.

    Lisa - since it's the power going out that is the problem, it's hard to know when to close the doggie door.

    If I'm awake and the power goes off, the first thing I do is grab onto Daisy and close the doggie door. It's when I'm asleep and don't know the power went out until Annie starts barking is when the adventure begins.
  6. elizabrary

    elizabrary Member

    First I have to say since the weather has gotten warmer here all 3 of my usually very well-behaved dogs have turned into difficult children. They are running off like idiots and refusing to come back when we go on our runs- I'm pretty sure they would last in the woods about an hour and then want to return to the comforts of home and have their food given to them in nice, clean bowls.

    I did want to mention you might try giving your poor scared baby melatonin when you expect storms. It is natural and I gave it to my Chow to lessen her separation anxiety when we moved and to the pit when she was first abandoned by Kat to help ease her stress. I give all of my dogs 9 mg but they are 60+ pounds. Dosage depends on size anywhere from .5 to 9 mgs. Make sure it's pill form and not capsule (I'm not even sure they make it as a capsule to be honest). Also, I take 6 mg myself when I can't sleep. At least when the dogs are difficult children it only lasts for a short time and then they are back to being wonderfully perfect!
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    When ever a storm comes up? Keep some special snacks (liva snaps or something really good like bits of real steak or bacon) at the ready. When it storms and the pit goes outside? Get the baggie out and tempt her. She doesn't get these at any other time but when a storm comes. Talk to her in a low calm voice and tell her she is a good girl, and with each snack - walk closer and closer to your house. Calling her with "Come". Each time she comes, you give her the special snack, and "Good girl" - maybe even a pet of reassurance. If it's raining or storming - and you have a porch - you can sit on the porch instead of being out in the rain with the door open and the bag of snacks in your lap and tell her "Good girl each time she comes in from the yard, and gets a snack."

    Eventually the idea is to retrain her brain to recognize that storms are associated with special good snacks. It's not so much that she likes storms but that the fear of storms is replaced with the association of something good. In a dogs mind - if you do this with each storm - instead of flight? She'll think 'treat' and eventually if you continually work with her when it storms she'll just start looking for a reward instead of running.

    Hope this helps. It takes a long time - but it's so worth it for her.
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's because when the power goes out, all the usual little "house sounds" like the TV, refrigerator running, etc., stop and all she hears in the storm? Suddenly everything is dark and quiet? It could be almost anything! Wouldn't it be great if you could know what was going on in their heads, even for just one day? With mine, I might be better off not knowing!