Many dogs fear thunderstorms move even before it starts, because their senses are more developed than ours, and allow them to collect atmospheric pressure changes that precede the arrival of disruption. If they are free, they are trying to flee, if they are locked in a pen, they scratch the ground and bite the grid to open a passage and escape.
If they succeed, they run for miles, trying to away from them the blows of Thunder and lightning, possibly also get lost. Others took refuge in a dark place, in own and trembling for the duration of the storm.
Some dogs seek their master; for this reason, that if they are locked out, they furiously scratching doors, or try to enter through Windows, do be calming when they manage to lie next to him.
Cure dog of his phobia of the storm, to get him used to the anxiety-provoking stimulus (the sound of Thunder) to eliminate fear. There are two techniques:
1. Desensitization systematics which is to hear the noise at very low intensity so as not to scare, and then increase it gradually until you reach the intensity that triggers the phobic behavior.
2 The deconditioning that is to him to listen to the noise while he is held in a pleasant activity, like eating, so that it associates the thunder with a positive experience. Although it is possible to desensitize and decondition a dog who fears the storm, it is a long process that requires a lot of patience. Prior to this therapy, evaluating the severity of illness, and if the sound of Thunder is not frequently repeated, it is better to find another solution.
It may, for example, install a niche in the House where the dog will be able to take refuge when the storm breaks. It is best to choose this solution rather than trying to tranquilliser it stroking, which could pass for a ‘reward’ and produce effects contrary to those desired.
The fear of the storm can hide other problems of behaviour of the dog as early sensory deprivation syndrome, post-traumatic phobia or which is the result of a State of psychic excitement, to individualize by having recourse, if necessary, using a specialist.
How to desensitize and repack the dog?
1 Dim the room and find a place where you put with the dog.
2. Stay close to him, and be prepared to intervene at each of the reactions of the dog.
3. Prior to starting therapy, teach him the meaning of “Sit!” and “Lying!”, orders you give at the beginning of the meeting.
4. Prepare the scene, make him listen to the recording of a thunderstorm by lowering the volume, almost imperceptible to the human ear. Stroke and give her treats to keep it quiet – you can also prepare it while it consumes his daily meal-. If it shows signs of nervousness (it moves, it breathes faster), turn off registration and resume lowering more volume.
5 Let it listen to the sounds of the storm for 5 minutes; If it jiggles, wait for 10 minutes to see if he calms down, but if it is not relaxing, yet turn the volume down.
6. The sessions must last between 10 to 15 minutes and be near one another. It is possible to not always train the dog at the same time, and in different rooms, or link the record to a timer (so that it starts automatically, and you can check the reactions of the subject from the outside of the House).
Finally, you can also add other elements of the storm, for example lightning, using a flash. Whenever you add a new item to the scene, turn down the volume. Should avoid real storms in the dressage lesson, but if there is one that breaks out, immediately calm your dog, administering him tranquilizers if necessary: if he relives a frightening situation during the therapy, his apprenticeship may regress.
In this case, it must be resumed training the dog since the beginning, but do not be discouraged, because time lost will be recovered quickly. When your dog looks healed, refresh his memory with a few sessions. If, indeed, too much time elapses between the behavior therapy and a real storm, your loyal friend can forget some of the things he has learned and become fearful again.
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