Are Your Dogs Scared Of Thunder And Lightning?

Dogs Scared Of Thunder and Lightning

My two lhasa apso dogs even at five years of age, are scared of thunder and lightning.  After our long Canadian winter up here near Toronto, we had our first bout of thunder and lightning overnight for the season.  Interestingly enough, although my girl Roxie is usually the more dominant between her and her brother Chester, she’s actually more scared of thunder than her brother.

In the middle of the night when the thunder started, she moved from her crate to underneath my bed.  That’s what she usually does when she’s scared.  I think her brother stayed in his crate.  By the way, the crates I have in my bedroom for my dogs are always open as they come and go as they please.

Desensitize Dogs To Things They Are Scared Of

Some professional dog trainers suggest that as a way to desensitize dogs to things they fear such as thunder is to gradually introduce them to a bit at a time.  They suggest to play a recording of thunder but at a very low volume level.  At the same time, give your dog something nice like a treat or toy.  Therefore, your dog has something positive as they hear the sound of the recording.

As they get use to this, the volume of the recording is turned up gradually on subsequent sessions.  This is how we gradually desensitize dogs to events like thunder.

Roxie is scared of fireworks too which is similar to thunder.  Actually, many dogs are scared of such noise too.  In our case, we never did go through the steps to desensitize my dogs to such noise since the occurences of fireworks and thunder are not that common here.  So after such an event, my dogs recover quite nicely.

What about your experience with your dog?  Do you have a dog that is scared of thunder?  If so, what usually happens and are you doing anything to desensitize your dog?  Feel free to leave your comments below to share with others.

By the way, if you haven’t seen my free basic dog obedience training video yet, get access at the blog sidebar up top or visit my dog website.

dogs scared thunder lightning
Creative Commons License photo credit: Lightning_Todd

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