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Dealing with Storm Phobias

With the storm raging outside and a Storm Phobic dog beside me. It reminds me of  how easily and quickly a Storm Phobia can occur. Most of you know Kruger, robust and confident in ‘every’ situation – wrong! When a storm is raging he is a paranoid unconfident dog. It occurred smack bang in the middle of the Secondary Fear Period

(6-14 months); we had a storm, no more violent than previous ones, however this one differed in the fact that Kruger was ‘of age’ & when the wind caught an outside plastic chair – the chair appeared to chase him – he blamed the storm! Instantly a ‘Storm Phobic’ dog was borne!

What to do?

Do not pat your dog while he is exhibiting fear – storm or otherwise – you will only reinforce the fact that it is good to be fearful, & make the fear worse. Keep your dog safe; when a storm is forecast, ensure your dog is secure, if you are putting him in a shed, make sure the noise of the storm is not magnified! If you go outside,  attach a lead or your long line (even if your recalls are getting really good). Allow your dog to be close – Kruger gains comfort from being ‘around’, we allow him to sit next to us and press his body into our legs, we do not allow him to rest his head in our laps. We ignore him! He is neither good nor bad! This approach has enabled Kruger to overcome 80% of his fear. However he is not allowed to wander alone outside, all doors are securely shut. I would recommend if you have a Storm Phobic dog, follow the same guidelines.