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Dogs Frightened Of Fireworks and Thunder

Dogs behave in various ways to indicate stress or anxiety. Dogs Behaviour during Thunderstorms or fireworks depends to some extent on his personality but also on past experiences and the trust your dog has in you, if you show your dog that whatever it is frightened of you’re there for it and with you he can relax and know all is well. So what you do when your dog gets upset is important for it to trust you and feel your calm, this reduces the puppies anxiety knowing you are there to guide it and help it, in a way it understands.
When we are scared we often feel better if someone puts a reassuring arm around our shoulders or offers a few soothing words. But dogs are not humans, so silence is important when you are trying to convey a message of reassurance. The key thing to remember is not to engage verbally with your dog when it is stressed. This may be initially very difficult for many dog owners but it becomes second nature with a little practice.

If he runs into a corner shaking, don’t react, but do go to him and sit there and place you 
calming hand on him, maybe gentle circular massage on the muzzle and ears ( this releases the happy hormones endorphin's). If the dog comes to you, just hold the dog still in a ‘Calm Hold’. Take hold of his collar and draw him close to you, gently placing the palm of your hand over his 
shoulders, making gentle contact and wait for him to relax, not stroking him or engaging eye contact or vocals as this may been translated as concern by your dog.  Draw your dog close and sit back on the sofa with your legs resting on the dogs side, you are relaxed and your dog will 
come to understand that you are calm and unphased. 

If you’re not worried then he need not be either. You are saying silently that you are there. You say it best when you say nothing at all, Ronan Keating springs to mind.
It is not merely the noise with thunder, the dog will become agitate long before the storm hits. The atmosphere is different. Some humans get headaches prior to a storm. So ensure you exude calmness. Add in some soft classical music and calming herbs wafting in the air to the mix as an 
extra, but not the solution.

More Information in "Why Does my dog do that?” By Caroline Spencer

AUGUST 11TH, 2013 @ 14:58:09 BST


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