Hi all-

My corgi gets very scared when there's a thunderstorm/lightning outside.  He'll go into the bathroom, and shivers quite a lot.  Is there something I can do to calm him down? 


Thanks.

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Have you thought about the newest thing, a Thundershirt?  I just ordered one from Amazon online, and am anxiously waiting for it to come in the mail.  I was NOT thrilled about having to medicate Odie whenever he had a little anxiety going on.  He is also terrified when there's thunder, we discovered recently.  But we don't have a lot of thunderstorms.  He also has high anxiety when going on long road trips, and I'm sure 4th of July will be a joy (not!), so far he hasn't had a problem, but this year.... I'm not so sure.  Go on Amazon and read the discussions about it from people who have used it.  Sounds like it might be a solution in some situations!  Good luck...

There's a discussion in Cheesehead Corgis about the Thundershirt. I just bought one for Lilliput. Thunder and fireworks season is LONG here, and drugging her is tricky because of the timing (how am I supposed to give her the meds 1 hour before the storm?) There is a store here that sells the shirts, so I was able to try it on her. She's fine with it, so now we just wait for the next thunderstorm. (We had our first already, then the blizzards came back :))

I've used weighted vests with children with disabilities, and they definitely work. Temple Grandin used deep pressure in her work with cattle, and also autism. So, maybe...

Other customers in the store liked the shirts. Any one here have any experience?

http://www.thundershirt.com/Default.aspx

Edit: as I reread these posts, it seems everyone else has a short thunder season. We have thunder and blizzards at the same time. How fair is this????

You must be in the midwest!  Same here.  Yesterday I was laying in the sun in a tank top and shorts.  Then we had thunderstorm, hail, tornado warnings, then to top it off we had flurries this morning.  And back to a winter coat..

Anyway, I don't have any additional advice on thunderstorms.  When she was younger (she will be 14 this month)my dog Hershi would go outside in the storm and run back and forth in the yard chasing the rain and barking... amusing.  Scout seems to tolerate anything, storms included.

We get the storms 1st and then they head your way Julia! The only dog I have a problem with is my rescue Wiley and I believe she may have been in them or maybe a metal shed Mariah another rescue from the same place as Wiley spooked and ran away (sqeezed under the garage door I thought was closed enough) but luckily someone found her 2 days later:(. All my own that I've had since pups have grown up with storms and are fine.  With Bella we had a drought until the night I came home with her and then I swear it rained and stormed for 2 weeks straight so she loves the rain:) I guess it may matter when they were born and how much exposure they get to thunder.
Hmm, good point. My Bruce (the only one afraid of thunder) spent time at a shelter on the marine base (Camp Pendleton) where they do large ordinance training. We can hear and feel it at home, some 20 miles away. I can only imagine how scary it was for him to be in shelter right ON the base! Maybe thunder takes him back to his hard time in the pen.
How has the thundershirt been working for your dog?  I am seriously considering getting one for mine who hates t-storms, fireworks, etc, and I'm also wondering if it will help with her other people/dog fears as well as get rid of some excess barking.  My biggest question though is can you use the shirt as a training aid and eventually wean the dog off it, or is it something that always has to be worn?  Also, corgis are notorious for difficult-to-fit bodies, so what size did you get?  In any case, I'd better get crackin' as 4th of July is fast approaching!

Hello Brian,

The thundershirt did absolutely nothing for Odie.  At first, I thought it was calming him down, but I think he got too used to it after wearing it just a few times... because it doesn't work for him anymore.  But who knows?  It could vary from dog-to-dog, and may benefit your baby!  I didn't return it, because he does look pretty "stylish" in it!  I ordered the medium size.  It fits a LITTLE snug, but I think they are supposed to.  I'm a little worried about the 4th of July as well... but the last time we were at the vet's office she gave me some mild sedatives, so I guess I'm going to try 1/4 of a pill for him...  Good luck!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Thundershirt! Hunter (my red & white) is noise adverse. It works well for him. And I am finding that it helps Pippin (my tri) when we have to clip his nails (which he hates). Seems to really calm them both - I only have one now, but I will certainly order a second.
I have used Bach's Rescue Remedy for years ( as well as other Bach Flower Remedies) with people and dogs, even plants (when transplanting) and birds that bang in a window and fall stunned, or injured wildlife.  It helps in so many situations it's worth reading more about it, I cannot do it justice here.  You just give a few drops in the mouth, the effect is very quick, it will take the edge off the anxiety and  make it more manageable.  It's very gentle, no  worry about overdosing, no side effects, safe even with small children, it is not an herbal product.  I would also definitely try the "thundershirt", if it does not work for your particular dog, you can return it!  Don't fuss over the dog, remain calm and matter of fact yourself or it will reinforce the behavior you're wanting to avoid. There is a genetic component, so you need to work that. Good luck.
Our Great Dane will go lay in the bath tub during thunderstorms.  We have never been able to calm her down.  Most of the time we are laughing so hard at the sight of her peeking over the edge of the tub with that worried look on her face that we are unable to help her.  I guess if we ever have a storm that is bad enough for us to have to hide in the tub she'll be the one laughing at us.  Good luck!!!
@ Tammy:  Do dogs have past lives?  She certainly seems to have picked a safe place! :-)
Well, I'd probably go under the bed or in his crate with the Corgi during the thunderstorm.  I'm scared of them too:)  We could shake together!!  And he could distract me - that would be his job.  LOL!!

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