Our Adult GSD TERRIFIED of storms. HELP! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Our Adult GSD TERRIFIED of storms. HELP!

Our adult GSD is totally freaked out by storms. Unfortunately living in Louisiana makes that rather difficult. Once he notices the temps and pressure changes of the weather, he runs away. I mean jumping, digging, anything he can do to run. As far as we can tell, he doesn't hide but just runs for hours and then comes back.

We've resorted to keeping him tied up on the back porch, but if the leash is long enough, he will jump the 3 ft railing to the ground 6 ft below!

He shakes because he is so scared, and barks uncontrollably throughout the storm.

I don't want to meds it's expensive and I don't want that in his system. I'd rather teach him. Bringing him inside, there's no problem, but he's not an inside dog and can't be in when we are not home.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 04:35 PM
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Your dog will hang himself like that. I would not leave a dog that was so terified like that tied up.
My oldest dog is also TERRIFIED of storms, when it starts to rain he hides in the bathroom. Can you put him in the garage or something?

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, we don't have anything like that. We tried blocking off the back porch at the steps and that's when he realized he didn't mind jumping over. I've built a place for him to hide on the porch to make him feel like he can hide from it, but it only helped once and he tried to use it to jump over again.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:39 PM
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Maybe a crate .. inside or even outside on the porch if you're not home? <just addressing the running/hanging himself>. My dog is afraid of storms as well (shih tzu), but does seem to feel better in his vari-kennel (not an open wire crate) that I keep in my walk through closet. More cave like and soothing I think.

Also being loose seem to ramp up his anxiety as he would start scurrying from room to room trying to find the best hiding spot so crating was actually kinder than seeing his anxiety scale.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:42 PM
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Thundershirt may help and melatonin is my go to for my storm fear dog.
I agree, tethering is just making the fear worse....let the dog in a safe 'den' bathroom is comforting to my girl.
I guess if you are adament on not allowing the dog inside, he's not going to get over it. Make sure he's microchipped so you can get him back if he doesn't find his own way home

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 05:47 PM
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Hanging is a real danger.

If you can swing it, buy him a crate he can be in and let him stay inside. I put a blanket over the wire crate, but I also have one of the hard plastic airline approved ones that feel a little more cavelike. You can try craigslist for a used one to save $$.

Like the others here are saying, mine prefers the closet or the shower stall in the bathroom. It's where she feels safest.

We're in E TX, so we get the crazy thunderstorms, too! Good luck.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 07:16 PM
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Ossie was scared of thunderstorms too. Not to the extent your dog is, but still scared.

I just held him and talked to him until it passed.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2013, 07:26 PM
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What do you mean by he's not an inside dog? He's scared, hopefully you can make an exception Maybe you can baby gate off a room in your house where he can stay on days you aren't home and it's going to storm?


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