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Storms Freaking out Retriever



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 22nd 03, 01:56 AM
Cary D. Beuershausen
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Default Storms Freaking out Retriever

Please help! Our 4-year old retriever is destroying our home. She also
seems to be getting worse. It started with some simple baseboard
chewing, but now I can only imagine that she's costing us thousands in
future repairs. She's only destructive during storms (although distand
thunder is enough to start freaking her out).

We've made the mistake of leaving her in the house when we left and now
she's completely chewed up both sides of the doorway going into our
bedroom. She's also clawed through our carpet exposing the concrete and
tack strip. She has been staying in our lanai during the day, so she's
completely chewed up both sides of the door trying to get into the
house. She's left blood (most likely from the now-exposed nails) and
I've come home twice and found wood stuck in her bottom teeth. Tonight I
came home and she had somehow managed to peel the corner of our metal
door out.

I'm clueless as to what to do. If we decide to sell the house I have
huge repair bills to look forward to, and there's no point in fixing
anything because she'll just destroy it.
  #2  
Old July 22nd 03, 03:13 AM
montana
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In article ,
Cary D. Beuershausen wrote:

I'm clueless as to what to do. If we decide to sell the house I have
huge repair bills to look forward to, and there's no point in fixing
anything because she'll just destroy it.


Talk to your vet about sedatives (although we use Benadryl) and see
about keeping her crated (although she may destroy the crate as well).
Is there a place where she could be when you are gone where she can't
destroy things?

We have a storm phobic dog as well and we keep a full supply of benadryl
on hand at all times and a close eye on the weather reports.
  #3  
Old July 22nd 03, 03:49 AM
chowmom
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"Cary D. Beuershausen" wrote in message
...
Please help! Our 4-year old retriever is destroying our home. She also
seems to be getting worse. It started with some simple baseboard
chewing, but now I can only imagine that she's costing us thousands in
future repairs. She's only destructive during storms (although distand
thunder is enough to start freaking her out).

We've made the mistake of leaving her in the house when we left and now
she's completely chewed up both sides of the doorway going into our
bedroom. She's also clawed through our carpet exposing the concrete and
tack strip. She has been staying in our lanai during the day, so she's
completely chewed up both sides of the door trying to get into the
house. She's left blood (most likely from the now-exposed nails) and
I've come home twice and found wood stuck in her bottom teeth. Tonight I
came home and she had somehow managed to peel the corner of our metal
door out.

I'm clueless as to what to do.


Re. the thunder problem: Are you familiar with systematic desensitization?
Have you tried that?
Is the destruction also occuring when you are not home (separation anxiety)
but when storms are not occuring?
I wasn't clear if you were describing 1 problem or 2.
Can you tell us how you have dealt with the situation so far?

Margaret



  #4  
Old July 23rd 03, 06:56 PM
kassa
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We had a veterniarian/behaviorist from Tufts University speak at our
breed club and she said she had about an 80% success rate using
melatonin for thunderstorm phobia. You might check their website, or
Nicholas Dodman's various books. I know he also posited the theory
that a lot of dogs are reacting to static electricity and the panic it
sets off. For those dogs, confinement in a bathroom helps because so
few surfaces conduct static electricity. (I guess they came to that
conclusion after noting many dogs seeking out the tub or the space
behind the toilet during a storm)

If I can come up with her name, I'll post it for you, but she
trained/worked with Dodman at Tufts.

kassa
  #5  
Old July 23rd 03, 09:15 PM
Chris Williams
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Do we gather you don't have the option of being home with her when a
storm approaches? This makes desensitization difficult, and it's
tricky. What we think the dog is reacting to and what it is really
reacting to are often not the same. We make think storm-phobic dogs are
reacting to thunder because that's what's most obvious to us, but it may
be changes in air pressure or, as someone writes. static electricity.
I'd start my making her a 'safe room' (those are common in Florida,
aren't they?) that she can always get to. Can you get a plastic
travel-crate into a bathroom? Wrap it with extra sound deadener, and
leave a radio on in there.
Benadryl helps ... a little. Prescription drugs help .... a little.
An article about melatonin appeared in the journal of the AVA about 3
years ago, but I've never seen it -- it's not available online to the
public. Let's go in search of info about it.




















Just because humans are slow and can't smell or hear
very well doesn't mean they don't possess a primitive
type of intelligence.


  #6  
Old July 23rd 03, 09:55 PM
Chris Williams
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Here's an article about melatonin:
http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-.../melatonin.htm
Makes it sound like a wonder-drug. Didn't know it had so many
applications.




















Just because humans are slow and can't smell or hear
very well doesn't mean they don't possess a primitive
type of intelligence.


  #7  
Old July 23rd 03, 10:46 PM
Melinda Shore
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In article ,
Chris Williams wrote:
Here's an article about melatonin:
http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-.../melatonin.htm
Makes it sound like a wonder-drug. Didn't know it had so many
applications.


I don't think I'd give it to a dog, myself. For me it's the
jet lag wonder drug (although not so wonderful at the
moment), but the potential to screw up your (and presumably
your dog's) sleep cycle is huge.
--
Melinda Shore - Software longa, hardware brevis -

If you don't understand how things are connected, the cause of
problems is solutions -- Amory Lovins
  #8  
Old July 24th 03, 01:40 AM
Supergoof
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"kassa" wrote ...
that a lot of dogs are reacting to static electricity and the panic it
sets off. For those dogs, confinement in a bathroom helps because so
few surfaces conduct static electricity. (I guess they came to that
conclusion after noting many dogs seeking out the tub or the space
behind the toilet during a storm)


heh

Maybe having your hair (or fur) stand on end causes panic, not the other way
around!

Murphy builds up static in the car, and usually releases it by touching her
wet nose behind your ear, or whacking you with her tail. )



Rachel
(New Zealand)


  #9  
Old July 24th 03, 01:44 AM
Supergoof
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"Chris Williams" wrote ...
reacting to are often not the same. We make think storm-phobic dogs are
reacting to thunder because that's what's most obvious to us, but it may
be changes in air pressure or, as someone writes. static electricity.


I personally think it's thunder. Murphy was fine with storms until recently,
when we had a really bad storm and there was one clap of thunder that was
practically overhead. Murphy leapt off her beanbag, and ended up sleeping
down on the floor beside my side of the bed for a few hours afterwards.

More recently when we had a much less severe storm she got up and slept in
the same spot until after the storm had passed.

The thunder is so loud it shakes the whole house, perhaps it's not only the
sound but the vibration - I know a certain pitch of sound can make you quite
anxious, don't they use that in horror movies (or is that urban legend?).

Rachel
(New Zealand)


  #10  
Old July 24th 03, 02:21 AM
Chris Williams
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perhaps it's not only the sound but the
vibration - I know a certain pitch of
sound can make you quite anxious, .......

Agreed, Rachel. My Mac was traumatized by fireworks several years
ago. Desensitization didn't work because no recordings caught the
concussion that follows some explosions.
Tried all the distractions with limited success. Seemed better this
year after I taught him to bark back at them. Oddly, that was difficult
for him to learn -- he's a quiet dog.




















Just because humans are slow and can't smell or hear
very well doesn't mean they don't possess a primitive
type of intelligence.


 




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