Does anyone have any advice for helping with a fear of thunder? Emmy is terrified of it. We had our first thunder storm of the season today while we happened to be working a booth at the Pet Expo. I think I got some extra donations for the dog park because I had this terrified, shaking, panting, pathetic looking corgi clinging to me, but in all seriousness I feel so badly for her. I try to ignore the behavior and just act as though nothing is wrong, but it does not help. Any advise would be most appreciated! Thanks!!

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You did the right thing by ignoring her and acting like nothing is wrong. You never want to "baby" a fear. Unfortunately you were in an uncontrolled environment, so her fear may have been worsened by being in a strange place.

You can work with her at home by buying one of those "nature sounds" CD's of a thunderstorm. If you play it at a soft volume while you play a favorite game with her, then increase the volume a bit over time, she should soon figure out that thunder is nothing to fear.

We had a storm last night with lots of lightning and almost constant thunder that lasted about 20-30 minutes. Charlie's ears perked up a couple of times, but overall he didn't seem to have any major fear. That made me happy.

How old is Emmy?
She will be two in June. I will definetly try the CD, that sounds like a great idea. My vet suggested giving her half a benadryl to make her sleepy during a thunderstorm so that she will stay calmer, but I would prefer not to drug my dog if at all possible. Thank you for the advise, I will give that a try. Glad to hear Charlie is a brave Corgi! :-)
I don't like giving drugs either if there is any other option. She is old enough to have outgrown her second fear imprint period that puppies and young dogs go through. I bet with a little conditioning you'll get her over her fear.

Charlie was brave with the thunderstorm. But try opening an automatic umbrella within three or four feet of him. Phew!!! Man that's terrifying! LOL
Ha Ha... an umbrella fear - poor Charlie.

Thanks again... Emmy loves nothing more than playing fetch, so I think this sound technique might work perfectly for her. I'll let you know!
Vienna used to hide behind our sofa or crawl in a dark place somewhere when thunder occurs, we lured her out by offering treats, so from then on, she just have her butt parked right next to my leg when it happens.
We have a Golden/Black Lab cross that is terrified of any loud noises and thunderstorms are abosolutely terrifying for her. She once chewed through an aluminum screen door and partially through my wood door trying to get into the house when there was a storm way off in the distance. For her it didn't go away until she lost most of her hearing. Now at 15 when it storms she rests comfortably. I thnk she was hyper sensitive to loud noices at a certain pitch. She would also react the same way if she could hear shotgun blasts or fireworks. Trying to condition her to sounds didn't work. Lizzie went through a brief time where she was also afraid of thunder and conditioning worked for her. She still doesn't like the sound of hunters off in the distance.
Oh yes, I had forgotten about fireworks since it hasn't been that season in a while. Emmy is terrified of fireworks as well. Maybe I can get a CD of fireworks sounds too - LOL. I wonder what makes some dogs so fearfull and others not in the least.
You could try getting a good CD of the 1812 overture and play it loudly. LOL It has those cannon shots and that might help since it also includes the music! Timmy barks when he hears loud sounds. If people are shooting rifles down by the river, car backfires, fireworks or a thunder storm. Charlie is right though, some exposure, softly at first and then increasing in intensity should help to desensitize her.
I asked this question on Corgi-L email list, and a few people recommended rescue remedy
from the Bach flower essences, so many drops every 15 minutes. also if that doesn't work
I as told another flower essence, Mimulus, works. the vet suggested I give liquid
children's benadryl: i gave it to Court one evening, and it did not change his behavior
one bit.
The other day I went to a dog park and a man showed me how to use Caesar Milan's
method of how to draw the dog's attention to his (Court in my case)'s barking:
it was so hard for me to be top dog, but I actually used the technique (very quickly
after the dog bark's (or other behavior), lightly touch him around the neck area with
the tips of your fingers of one hand, and immediately make a sound and consistently
use it: Milan uses something like pssst). During thunder I gently used the technique
a few times, then praised Court a few minutes after. He came near me and licked me
then settled down. It was if he wanted to be reigned in, to have his reaction
decreased, to be helped to calm down. of course a squeaky toy, a pig's hoof (
from the USA) and your dog's beloved chewing toys might help as well.


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