I Wonder Why Dogs Are Afraid Of Thunder?
There’s a storm outside, the rain is coming down very hard, thunder is booming like crazy and the dog is hiding under the bed or behind the couch, terrified and whining like a small puppy. It’s a situation most dog owners are very familiar with. Many dogs are afraid of lightning and thunder. There aren’t any concrete evidence as to why that’s so, but most theories seem to diverge in two groups.
One theory goes that it’s genetics that makes dogs predisposed to fear of storms. Storm phobia is common in sporting and working breeds that are bred to react quickly to stimuli, but not to be aggressive. It could be that herding dogs, for example, react strongly to the startling noises and flashes of a storm, but they repress any aggressive response to it, therefore causing anxiety.
The second theory goes that dogs are afraid of sudden sounds because they link them to an unpleasant event in their past. For instance, dogs that were neglected in their past and left outside, often in bad weather, can be more anxious and prone to all kinds of phobias.
How can you help your dog? Taking him to the vet for a chek-over and a talk is always a good idea. You can also train your dog to be used to the sounds of a storm – you can tape a storm and then replay it to your dog at a lower volume so that he can get used to it. Be careful to not to do it in too frequent intervals and always remain calm and assertive. Remember, dogs react to your behaviour, so react in a way that will relax your dog and tell him there’s nothing to be scared about.
Do you and your pooch have any shared experience with storm phobia ? Leave a comment and let us know!