Why my dog scared of thunder? It is quite common, many dogs are scared during storms and other situations that produce noise ,such as fireworks or firecrackers . It is not a rational fear, since this does not pose any danger to them, but a phobia. What can we do? We talk about it.
Fear of thunder is a common phobia in dogs. It usually manifests as it hides, moans, barks, scratches, or even urinates.Fear of thunder and other thunder can have various justifications, such as past traumatic experiences or even genetic predisposition. Not all dogs are equally brave! Some breeds are more afraid of noise, such as Collies , some sheepdogs, or Golden Retrievers . On the other hand, dogs with erect or cut ears are more prone to suffer these fears, since their ears are wider and they perceive much more sound.
The most typical situations that cause fear in dogs are:
- Very noisy cars and motorcycles
- Planes and helicopters
- Vacuum cleaners
- Balloons exploding
- Loud noises when falling heavy objects such as saucepans.
How do I know if my dog is afraid of thunder?
The behavior of a frightened dog before an external stimulus such as noise is very easy to detect:
- Hide under furniture
- Try to run away
- Put the tail between the legs
- Nervous walking from one side to another
- Barking, growling, crying
- Pee and poop uncontrollably
- Drooling and panting
If there is some noisy or stressful situation and your dog behaves like this, he is certainly afraid of thunder!
What to do to make your dog lose his fears
Eliminating a phobia is somewhat complicated, since it is an irrational fear. However, it is not impossible! What we need is to get him to stop associating those noises with a negative experience , to modify his perception of those stimuli. It is what is called desensitization therapy:
- You’re going to use a recording of storm sounds, fireworks, or whatever your dog fears. In the first session, set it to very low volume, so that it is practically imperceptible. You will hear it, but you will not be scared.
- While you leave it in the background, do some fun activity with your dog, like playing . The idea is to leave the audio in the background, divert your attention to something else while it just plays.
- If he remains calm, offer him prizes and congratulations. If it feels uncomfortable, it is because you have exceeded volume, lower it a little.
- In the desensitization process you will have to repeat this activity several times , you can gradually increase the volume of the recording as you see that it normalizes and reacts well.
With this, in the next storm or fireworks your dog will no longer be afraid! We hope you will recover soon from your noise phobia.