Controlling dog in storms, Queensland
I have a 2 and a 1/2 yr old border collie, he gets very excited when storms come, if he can hear thunder or even see lightning, he will run and chase it until the storm has completely past. He barks while doing this as well. He worries me because he will not stop for a drink or even sit down. When he is tied up, he barks and gets very anxious, he won't even sit down. I imagine he has been annoying the neighbours as well, when he is running around barking in the middle of the night. I have been thinking maybe I need some sort of sedative to control his behaviour, however I am unaware of what the other effects would be? What should I do?
ANSWER: Controlling dog in storms, Queensland
The highly developed hearing and scent senses in a dog often have them alert to things earlier than humans. Many dogs are frightened of thunder and lightening, fireworks and storms. Many dogs escape from their homes when these things are happening as 'flight' allows them to escape from the event. Dogs will jump fences etc - and little will stop them, which is why a proper desensitisation program is imperative, and because of the fear level, they cannot focus on anything else. Sedatives would be one option, but I would recommend getting a thunder & noise desensitisation program. Your vet and/or a good dog trainer may be able to help.