Why is my puppy so afraid of thunder

We modern humans learned what causes lightning most likely in elementary school science. Most all of us don’t fear thunder because we understand the cause. I’m not sure when this science became common knowledge globally but it wasn’t a historic long time ago. Consider back to the Norse civilization whose answer to the cause of thunder was the god Thor and his mighty hammer. Other ancient human beliefs around the world can be sighted as concocting various mythical examples of our ancestors attempting to make a phobia less threatening. If lightning strikes close enough the results still startles most of us even though we know what causes it. I don’t have a dog’s brain and since they can’t talk, no can say exactly why thunder scares most dogs but considering their far superior hearing, close thunder is likely very startling and it is reasonable that they don’t enjoy the audio shocks especially given the fact that they have natural reflexes and reactions to external stimulus just as humans do. My puppy also dislikes fireworks for most certainly the same reason.

I grew up with apolice K-9 and went with my dad on training exercises on weekends. All 11 of these German Shepards were trained to react entirely differently to certain loud noises, namely gunfire. Every one of those 11 dogs reacted with fierce aggression/hate for the gun causing the loud noise but were trained to react to the sight of the gun and keyed on the gun, not the loud noise it made. They showed no fear what so ever to the blast from gunfire. (That training saved my dad’s life on at least one occasion.) Our highly trained K-9 still did not like the sound of thunder or fireworks noises, just as my lowly Chow mix, whom I love just as much as I did the shepard. I do respect lightning at a distance and fear lightning when it strikes very close. Lightning can kill pretty well any living creature on earth and perhaps dogs instinctively know that when there is thunder, death is almost certainly close at hand.

Thank you, Daniel Dudgeon, for your A2A: Why do dogs freak out during storms?

Storms, especially loud and noisy ones, can trigger fear in dogs and cats. Most cats don’t care for big storms either. I’m not a puppy expert and the last time I had a dog I was still in high school, but I tried a bit of research and can hopefully give you plausible reasons.

Thunderstorms are the worst for dogs, likely because they are the noisiest. Your good, well-mannered dog suddenly goes into full-blown panic mode when one of these storms comes through. Your dog may pace, become clingy, pant, or hide. It is possible that your dog may grow out of the fear over time as it both ages and gets more used to storms. However, it also may not.

Dogs have better hearing than humans do and, therefore, be aware of a coming storm before you are. Darkening skies, dropping barometric pressure, increased wind speeds and the distant rumble of thunder tell them that the outdoor world is suddenly changing. “Thunderstorm phobia in dogs is real, not uncommon, and shouldn’t be ignored, experts say … Why does storm phobia happen, and what can you do if your dog suffers from it? … Veterinarians don’t know all the triggers but suspect the dogs are set off by some combination of wind, thunder, lightning, barometric pressure changes, static electricity, and low-frequency rumbles preceding a storm that humans can’t hear. According to one theory, dogs experience painful shocks from static buildup before the storm.” Worse still, as the season progresses, the dog’s anxiety may also grow and the behaviour get worse.

Dogs often start having storm-related panic attacks seemingly out of nowhere, says Barbara L. Sherman, PhD, DVM, associate professor of veterinary behavior at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a past president of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

“Owners come in and say, ‘He wasn’t like this last year,” Sherman tells WebMD. “It’s really heart wrenching to see these dogs that are usually calm companions become severely affected by thunderstorms.”

Herding breeds, such as border collies, may be predisposed to the problem, according to an Internet survey by Tufts University researchers. Dogs with other fearful behaviors, such as separation anxiety, also seem more prone to panic.

Some dogs with storm phobia are also frightened of other loud noises, such as fireworks or gunshots, but others are only afraid of storms.” How to Help Dogs That FearThunder (Storm Phobia)

“In a Cornell University retrospective study of over 1,644 dogs presenting with behavior problems over a ten-year period, 2.3 percent were seen for storm phobia.

Research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association looked at a possible link between storm phobias, noise phobias and separation anxiety in dogs.

The study revealed there is a high probability (0.88) dogs with noise phobia also have separation anxiety.

The vast majority of dogs with thunderstorm phobia also had separation anxiety.

In dogs with separation anxiety, there was a 0.63 probability they also had noise phobia, and a 0.52 likelihood they suffered from storm phobia.

Dogs with thunderstorm phobia had a 0.90 chance of having noise phobia, but dogs with noise phobia had only a 0.76 probability of having storm phobia.

Another interesting conclusion was the response to noise is different than the response to thunderstorms, likely due to the unpredictability of thunderstorms, according to study authors.

The researchers recommended that dogs with any of the three conditions should be checked for the other two, and that the interaction among the conditions is important for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Another peculiarity of thunderstorm phobia is it often escalates. Dogs that have been mild to moderately upset by storms can suddenly experience a significant increase in anxiety.

This jump in anxiety level can often be linked to a particularly severe storm and perhaps a static electric shock the dog is exposed to during the storm. Many storm-phobic dogs seem driven to find areas where electrical grounds can protect them from static charges – places like sinks, bathtubs, shower enclosures, under toilet tanks, or next to metal radiators or pipes.

It’s a fact that static electricity fields build up during storms and some animals become statically charged.” How to Help a Dog Suffering from Storm Phobia

The Healthy Pets web site of Dr. Mercola notes that there are ways to help your dog to get through the ordeal. “Every storm-phobic dog’s response is different, so therapy should be customized to the individual animal and the intensity of his or her response.

  • Make a “safe room.” This is a place your dog can escape to when a storm is approaching, and it should be available to her at all times – especially when you’re not home. The idea is to limit her exposure to as many aspects of thunderstorms as possible. The room would ideally have no windows, or covered windows so the storm can’t be seen. If necessary, sound-proofing wallboard can muffle the noise of a storm. Put a solid-sided crate in the room with the door left open, along with a bit of food, water, treats and toys.
  • Pheromone diffusers. Species-specific pheromones are chemical substances that can positively affect an animal’s emotional state and behavior. Dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP) is a synthetic form of a pheromone secreted by the mammary glands of nursing dogs. Studies have shown DAP diffusersiii are effective therapy for dogs with firework phobias and separation anxiety.
  • Behavior modification. One type of behavior modification for storm phobias is to engage your dog in a behavior that earns a reward. Ask your dog to perform a command he’s familiar with and reward him if he does. This technique distracts both of you – the dog from his fear of the storm, and you from the temptation to inadvertently reinforce your pet’s phobic behavior by petting and soothing him while he’s showing anxiety.
  • Desensitization. This therapy involves using a CD with reproduced storm soundsiv to attempt to desensitize your pet. It’s best to do this during times of the year when actual storms are few and far between.
  • Storm jackets. There are a number of different brands of storm jackets to choose from these days, and they have proved very helpful for some dogs with thunderstorm phobias. Storm jackets are designed to be snug-fitting to mimic the sensation of being swaddled, a feeling that is comforting to dogs. You might also consider a calming capv.
  • TTouch and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). TTouchvi is a specific massage technique that can be helpful for anxious pets. EFTvii is a tapping technique that can be used to deal with a wide variety of emotional and physical problems.
  • Natural supplements and remedies. Talk to your holistic vet about homeopathic, TCM and other natural remedies that may help relieve your dog’s stress. These should be used in conjunction with behavior modification. A few I like are the nutraceuticals l-tryptophan, valerian, GABA, homeopathic Aconitum and the TCM formulas that Calm the Shen.

A U.K. study evaluated a treatment program that used two self-help, CD-based desensitization and counter-conditioning programs, plus DAP diffusers, plus a “safe haven” for dogs with fireworks phobia. The severity of the dogs’ phobias was significantly improved, as was their generalized fear.” How to Help a Dog Suffering from Storm Phobia If these suggestions don’t work then the site recommends talking to your veterinarian about a temporary course of drug therapy using anti-anxiety medications or anti-depressants or consult with an animal behaviorist through the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists or the Animal Behaviour Society or similar bodies in the country in which you live. However, the site also claims that by combining some of the above therapies you should at least increase the likelihood of bringing your dog’s phobia under control.

One additional suggestion made by WebMD is to reward calm behaviour throughout the year, getting your dog to settle on command when there is nothing to fear. That way your dog can practise the positive behaviour and be rewarded. In a storm you then reward the dog as long as it stays calm, and you may also wish to use toys to assist in distracting it as the storm builds. How to Help Dogs That FearThunder (Storm Phobia)

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Not all dogs do. Our shepherd never did. None of our Goldens ever have.

My best advice is to crate your dog (one of the benefits to crate training, one of many so I highly recommend it). Cover the crate with a thick blanket, leaving enough room at the front so air can get under. Play a loud movie but nothing violent. This will work with fireworks too.

But your dog has to be crate-trained, and the crate never used for punishment. They should consider it a safe place.

Never ever comfort the dog or cuddle it at this time. You’re only rewarding the behaviour and reinforcing to them that they are right to be afraid, something awful is out there. This is why I think so many dogs freak out. Their owners have treated them in such a way that they’re convinced storms are very scary.

Some dogs with larger ears will have more sensitive hearing because their ears are like dishes that catch the sound. Think of a chihuahua’s ears. They are disproportionately large compared to their bodies. Loud sounds can potentially upsetting. You still can’t comfort them, or make them believe bad things are happening. Don’t reward the behaviour.

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Most dogs are not afraid of storms, like thunder and lightening. But when it does happen, it most likely is caused by a bad memory, or traumatic event in the dog’s life.

For example, if the dog was left outside during a storm with no shelter, or confined in a kennel during a hail storm, and not brought in to house, this could cause the dog to have a life long fear of storms.

Likewise, it is important to understand that dogs are animals and cannot rationalize certain circumstances.

For example, dogs cannot understand that fireworks will not hurt them and are only for fun. Some dogs, and most especially rescued dogs, have literally been shot at or even actually shot before, so the sound of fireworks can be very frightening to them.

What to do?

Pay attention to what the dog wants for comfort. Some dogs will want to go to a basement or bathroom, or hide under furniture, and this should be allowed. Definitely do not try to “hug” or restrain the dog in any manner.

Calmly talk to the dog and say: “Not going to hurt you. You are Ok”. But don’t over do it. Don’t panic the dog.

Some products are advertised as being soothing to dogs, and these might work, or they might not.

If you don’t want your dog(s) to be afraid of storms or fireworks, never leave them outside or unattended when these are happening, and most definitely don’t leave them confined in area where these are going on.

Dogs are very sensitive animals and they need human companionship to feel secure.

I have never heard of Astraphobia before but the following information is quite interesting.

What is astraphobia?

Astraphobia is extreme fear of thunder and lightning. It can affect people of all ages, though it may be more common in children than adults. It’s also seen in animals.

What are the symptoms?

In people without this phobia, news of an impending storm may lead you to cancel or relocate outdoor plans. Or if you find yourself in a lightning storm, you may seek shelter or move away from tall trees. Even though the chances of getting hit by lightning are slim, these actions represent an appropriate response to a potentially dangerous situation.

A person with astraphobia will have a reaction that goes beyond these seemingly appropriate acts. They may have feelings of panic, both before and during a storm. These feelings can escalate into a full-blown panic attack, and include symptoms such as: (I bolded the behaviors seen in dogs)

  • all-over body shaking
  • chest pain
  • numbness
  • nausea
  • heart palpitations
  • trouble breathing (increased breathing)

Other symptoms of astraphobia may include:

  • sweaty palms
  • racing pulse (increased heart rate)
  • obsessive desire to monitor the storm
  • the need to hide away from the storm, such as in a closet, bathroom, or under the bed
  • clinging to others for protection
  • uncontrollable crying, particularly in children

Astraphobia: Understanding Fear of Thunderstorms

However, the sound of thunder (gun shots and fireworks) could also hurt a dogs’ ears.

I didn’t really get this emotionally until moving to the Midwest. Here we have thunderstorms that earn the name “thunder.” In fact, my particular little part of heaven, because of where it’s located, is blessed with multiple direct lightning strikes and thunder rumbling for minutes at a time thereafter.

One night I was sitting where I and my entire pack of eight dogs had accumulated, so that we were in the quietest room in the house. Enter the lightning and thunder barrage. It sounded to me like the poundings that my father had described standing next to the big guns on an military ship. And he lost his hearing from that.

I’m looking at my dogs, knowing that my ears were ringing, and all of a sudden realized that what sounded like cannon fire to me must have been fifty times louder. And the static created by the ozone changes and lightning were making the fur of my longer-haired pups float and twist. They were even sniffing the air, trying to suss out what else was coming and when — presumably because they can smell the ozone changes that occur after each lightning strike. All of them were in agony.

Just imagine having senses, like whiskers, ears and noses that make touching, hearing and smelling something going on around you over which you have no control so immediate and dangerous without anywhere you can run to hide.

I train dogs and the Dogs Train ME…

Storms and Fireworks can be INCREDIBLY de-stabilizing for dogs… Several of mine have been terrified of them…

I suggest that you:

  • Try to anticipate the events when the storm is going to start or when fireworks are going to be used and keep the dog indoors (walk the dog before the event)
  • Provide a quiet dark place for your dog to hide in… you can drape his crate with some blankets or provide a pile of blankets on his bed, favorite chair etc…
  • DO NOT OFFER CONSOLATION – Petting and consoling your dog is viewed as APPROVAL of the dogs agitated state by the dog rather providing the comfort you intend…
  • Follow your normal routine… If you watch TV together on the couch…?? By all means do so… If you have a good bond, your calm presence alone may be enough to provide all the “treatment” needed…

I’ve spent quite a few nights sitting on the couch eating popcorn with my “storm averse” dogs…

(…and my non-averse dogs too, if truth be told…!)

In extreme cases, don’t be afraid to talk to your Vet about using short acting sedatives to reduce the dogs reactivity during these events… there are several over-the-counter human medications that can be used for this purpose, but only on the recommendation of your VET as they can have interactions with other medications and may exacerbate some medical conditions PLUS you will need the Vet to recommend a dose…

This is a very difficult condition to deal with, so BE PATIENT…

Good Luck with your Dog…!

Dogs hearing is utterly insane.

They can hear noises humans cannot. Whether that be too low a pitch for us, or too high. Doesn’t matter to a dog. They hear all of it.

They hear thunder way before we do. Well before the rain even starts. They can hear the low rumble of electricity in the air.

They can also hear bats as they fly past.

A dog hears noises 500% louder than us.

They do not miss a trick. This is why they bark if someone walks past your driveway, or even just walks down the street.

My dog has come to learn the noise of my mums car. She can hear her driving down the street. She gets excited to see her before she’s even pulled up on the driveway.

One time, I was laid on my bed with her. My room is right at the back of the house. The door was closed shut. We also have double glazing all the way through. She barked to tell me someone was near the house. Jumped off the bed, made me open my door, ran down the stairs and motioned that someone was definitely outside. I looked out the window. There was nobody there.

She wouldn’t give it up. I stupidly opened the door to show her there was nobody around. She bolted, ran straight to my next door neighbour.

They had workmen in their front driveway, delivering gravel.

How she heard all this in a closed off room, at the back of the house in a double glazed property and not even on our driveway is beyond comprehension. But it made me realize her hearing is something else.

For much the same reasom millions of humans are, and many other creatures – they are LOUD, explosive, sometimes you can feel the thunder rock the air, and the lightening rock the ground. The winds can come up incredibly fast, and it can be hard to find cover. Very loud, sudden noise is frightening to everyone – it’s for our own protection. The noise can be thunder, but it can also be a volcano, an earthquake, a rockslide or avalanche… so we pay attention.

Storms can result in flooding, drowning (a dog or wolf or bobcat or rabbit or …. can lose their babies), in fire (wildfires can ravage hundreds and thousands of acres of grazing or hunting land, can burn down shelters, can kill….), storms can knock down trees and break a back, kill, trap…

There are extremely rational reasons to be afraid of storms, and unfortunately, most animals can’t understand rational explanations, and so their instincts tell them to fear, to seek shelter. Some dogs are confident enough, or have solid, steady nerve, and can tolerate – especially when they are with their person. But most dogs are at lease uneasy, if not terrified.

My current 2 dogs were both terrified, but slowly they are calming down to the point where they are nervous and a bit shaky, but no longer panic. I’m proud of them! One is 6, the other 5 … maybe one day they’ll lose their fear.

Loud noises trigger dogs’ nervous systems, which cause them to feel anxious or afraid. This trigger is a survival instinct that’s deeply embedded in a lot of dogs. This survival instinct is what causes your dog to run from the noise or seek shelter under a bed.

Even the most well behaved dog can forget his training when he feels his life could be threatened.

For example, you may have a dog that walks beautifully off the leash. He knows how to not wander away, how not to chase birds or squirrels, and how to cross the road with you. However, you may be outside walking one day and hear a clash of thunder. Before you know it, your dog is nowhere in sight.

This isn’t your dog being naughty.

Your dog ran in an effort to protect himself. In fact, he’s probably looking back trying to find where his human went and is wondering why you didn’t run for your safety as well.

Because this is such a deeply embedded trait in many dogs, it can be challenging to stop unwanted dog behaviors that arise due to loud noises. There are, however, many things you can do to help decrease your dog’s stress levels so naughty behaviours don’t occur.

They are just more sensitive and intuitive to the threat of a storm. My yellow lab is extremely nervous during thunderstorms and fireworks but the odd thing is he wasn’t when he was a very young puppy. It wasn’t until about age 2 that he began to become very nervous and fearful. So I am guessing that it has to do with the sense that an adult dog has to understand when there is danger and they should hide. One time for the 4th of July we got medication for our dog..not for a storm but for fireworks but his behavior was the same ,and we never want to take that route again. He was still just as nervous only drugged and nervous and it was terribly sad to see him like that. I do give him 2 benadryl though because it makes him tired and he can rest without being overly drugged. Other than that we just try to reassure him. I realize that your question was why the act this way though and I would guess it goes back to their ancestors in the wild and how extremely sensitive to changes in the atmosphere they are

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Thunderstorm phobia is quite common in domestic dogs 🙂

According to Justin Jordan, a dog behaviourist, “They hear the loud noise, feel the vibrations of the house shaking and the static electricity that comes with a storm and consider it threatening”.

The exact cause of thunderstorm phobia is unknown, but contributing factors include a predisposition towards anxiety, lack of exposure to storms in early life and reinforcement of fear responses by the owner.

If your dog already suffers from storm phobia, here are some recommended steps to help ride storms out:

#1. Stay calm

Owners can inadvertently pass their own fear of storms to their dogs, so keeping calm is crucial.

#2. Adjust the surroundings

Give your dog a safe place to hide.

#3. Divert their attention

Distract your dog with fun activities or a favourite treat to help take their attention away from the storm.

You can find more about how to take care of your dog in the stormy weather from the article below.

3 tips for surviving storm season with your dog

We had a Westie who would go crazy in a storm with thunders. He even went to the kitchen’s window to wait for a lighting and the thunder. We would then bark like crazy, waving his tail madly. The same with fireworks in New Year or when one of the favorite soccer teams won. He seemed to love it. I know of dogs who hide under sofas or beds or get into wardrobes to hide. Unfortunally he got very sick and had to be put to sleep. We then purchased a female Westie. In heavy thunder storms (and Brazil, especially our city, São Paulo, detains the world record of lightnings) she couldn’t care less. She just remains where she is, not even noticing the loudest thunders.

I have two dogs. One hates thunderstorms while the other tolerates them. The one that freaks out knows that storm is coming before there is any thunder or lightning in the immediate area. He paces throughout the house and starts to pant. My assurance that he is safe means nothing to him. I know the thunder hurts his sensitive ears and the lightning scares him but there is something else that affects him. Static electricity is in the air and he feels it. I can only turn up the TV volume, close as many curtains as I can and calmly tell him we are all safe while petting him. I’ve given him prescribed Valium before but don’t like a stoned dog. Besides, he still paces, he just stumbles while he does it. He’s a member of my family and we get through it together.

Animals are much more sensitive to the energies around them. Dogs know a storm is coming long before it starts. For wild animals this is essential for survival. Now they don’t necessarily understand it’s a rain storm coming but when the feel the change in air pressure and the static electricity in the air, instinct tells them to seek shelter. This behavior is completely normal and can’t be broken. Giving medication, as some people do, just dopes them up, I don’t really believe it actually takes the “fear” away. To us it looks like fear but for them it’s just following instinct. Letting them hide is the best way to help them. Dogs that pace do so because they should be hiding, as they would in the wild. The “thunder shirt” does work to an extent because it reduces the static electricity they feel.

I’ve only had one dog with this fear. I downloaded an app for my phone that plays the sounds of a thunderstorm, including wind, thunder and rain. I close all blinds and curtains, turn on inside lights and I started playing it really low volume. Then I gave him some treats and we sat around and watched tv. After 15 mins or so when he wasn’t even paying attention to the sound I increased it a little and gave him a couple more treats (I use really tiny liver treats from Petsmart-low calorie and dogs love em). I did this every couple of days and gradually kept increasing the volume. After a week, when he heard the storm sounds being played he’d come over to me waiting for a treat instead of barking and being scared.

When we get bad storms, I still close all the blinds and curtains and have the tv or music playing to help all my animals not be stressed. This worked for me. Your mileage may vary.

My theory is that it is instinctual, from the days when they were wild. Notice how they tend to find a place to hide. Usually it’s as cave-like as they can find. For land animals living in the wild, thunder and lightning is very dangerous. Since our dogs are not wild and, generally, do not live outside all the time, the behavior doesn’t seem to make much sense. Unless it’s in the genes.

I have only had one dog that is afraid of thunder, and he was a rescue who most likely spent a few weeks outside during the rainy season. But, even he doesn’t freak out. I didn’t train them not to freak out. I just got lucky.

Ancient memories is one theory. That in their very genes, they “remember” events from eons ago. Like the fact that a wild dog can be killed by lightning or the flooding that can result from a storm. They hear that crack, and it triggers ancient alarms to run. Similar story: my little Sheltie, to my knowledge had never seen a rat. But when she had pups, there was a large rat in the backyard; I did not see it at first, I saw HER sprinting as fast as I had ever seen her run. She killed that rat, then stood there, shaking like a leaf. She was not proud like a terrier, she was so upset and stayed upset for a long time afterwards. My wife postulated (who knows?) that maybe she “remembered” an ancient memory, coming home from a hunt, finding dead puppies and the smell of rat. Could that be? Who knows really, but somehow, in some way, animals “remember” things they have not seen themselves—I think anyway. The very sight and smell of that rat shook her up—this was far more than a killing instinct. That little Sheltie LIKED the cats, liked little rabbits, but that rat, oh my.

first of all not all dogs freak out over thunderstorms and lightning and as far as why the dogs do freak out they’re just like you and I. They are just as sensitive as you and I can be like a human there just a human in fur coats. I’ve seen some dogs like the storms I’ve seen some dogs jump over and hide in the storm’s so not all dogs are the same just like not all people are not the same. Most dogs that are scared of lightning is because they are gun shy and there been either left out in the lightning or been shot at it’s the sound the most like the thunder sound that they’re really afraid of depends on what happened in their past

“Why do dogs freak out during storms?”

Considering that storms can be very frightening to some humans why wouldn’t they be frightening to dogs?

My own pack of five see me as the safety zone and will crowd around me. If I’m not freaking out (I like thunderstorms for instance) they are in turn calm.

When we had Hurricane Sandy come through years ago my Australian Cattle Dogs picked up on my mood toward the storm and stuck by my side the whole time.

Many dogs are afraid of thunder simply because they do not understand what it is. Dogs hear this loud noise and perceive it as something threatening.

Some dogs try to go under tables, in bathtubs, or in any other places that make them feel secure. It is ok to allow them to do this.

It is important, however, not to try to soothe your pet too much. Doing so can actually encourage his fear if he senses any insecurity in your voice.

During a thunderstorm, try to provide a background noise for your dog, such as TV or radio. This may help to somewhat drown out the noise of the thunder. You can also try to get your dog’s mind off the storm by playing with him.

There are some dogs that require sedation when there is a storm. Consult your veterinarian so that they can prescribe something to

I am the Alpha in my pack of dogs. What I noticed was at the first crack of thunder (in the Spring our first year here in the country), the dogs all leaped up and looked at me. Well, I LOVE thunder, and when the dogs saw that, they realized there must not be anything to worry about. We are now several generations later, and each new generation learns from the older dogs.

The important thing is to try to not react at that first crack of thunder. I might jump a bit if I am surprised, but I try to never show any other reaction and just go about my business. It does help that I am a weather-watcher, so I usually know the times when storms might be passing through.

Does there have to be a reason? Thunder is scary. I understand what Thunder is. I know the science behind. Thunder still scares me.

Now imagine you’re a dog with super sensitive senses. Your senses are so good that you can detect an Earthquake many seconds before Humans. There’s extremely loud booms, the place you call a safe home is shaking and your fur is standing on end. Yet you can smell no intruder.

Don’t know about you, but I’d probably whiz on the floor too.

A: Many dogs are afraid of thunder simply because they do not understand what it is. Dogs hear this loud noise and perceive it as something threatening. … During a thunderstorm, try to provide a background noise for your dog, such as TV or radio. This may help to somewhat drown out the noise of the thunder. Go to my Profile and you can find all dog material there…

It’s part of their natural instincts. In the wild storms were danger to wolves (or wild dogs) and they would immediately seek a sheltered spot to weather out the storm and protect them. Domesticated dogs still have that natural instinct and will hide under the bed or cuddle as close to you as possible (as their leader) for protection from the scary elements and loud sound of thunder and lightning.

I’ve answered this before but you need to realize each dog is different. What works for one dogs might not work for others. I had one female that would go into her crate in the basement. I had other crates in the house but the basement crate was her safe place. She didn’t need the door to be closed and didn’t care if the light was on or not but her crate was her safe place.

I have a female now that has decided the car is safe. So, when she hears thunder she heads for the garage and wants to get in the car. Once inside, she’s fine. She doesn’t tremble at all.

I have a male who wants to be on my lap or sitting right next to me, but we need to be touching. He doesn’t tremble but really loud thunder gets a couple barks back.

My sister has two dogs who found the “thunder shirt” works to help calm them down.

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Let me answer your question with another question.

Why aren’t YOU scared of thunder?

Is it because you know that thunder is just a sound wave produced by the expansion of rapidly heated air? Because you know that it is not the bark of an incredibly large dog, or the growl of an incredibly large predator, or the sound of a car crashing into your house?

Yeah. Your dog doesn’t know that.

It’s because dogs are more sensitive to sound than humans. They can hear far better than us, which isn’t always a good thing. If I had sensitive hearing, I’d be terrified of a loud and sudden bang too!

To top it off, dogs cannot anticipate thunder like us humans. If we see lightning, we already expect thunder to follow soon; which minimizes the shock value of the loud bang because we’ve already mentally braced ourselves for that particular sound. Dogs on the other hand, do not understand this like we do. For them, thunder happens at random everytime it rains.

A dogs hearing is amplified. They can hear 4 times further than a human and they can hear higher frequencies. They can as a result also distiguise between more sounds.

During a storm, especially and electrical storm with thumder, the sounds are so amplified that many dogs become terrified of the sound rather than the storm.

Sheryl Matthews | Owner
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Dogs ears are really sensitive, so if your dog is relaxing and it suddenly listens a really loud noise, (in this case the thunder that for the dog is almost as loud as a bomb impact) it will get scared.

That’s a normal fear. They’re scared because they don’t know what it is. It sounds rather like angry shouting, and they’re not sure if it’s directed toward them. One of my dogs is afraid of thunder. It seems like she can hear thunder even when the sky above is clear, but the other isn’t bothered at all.

I think that’s because the one dog (who’d been raised by another family member) wasn’t socialized properly at the right age. Some humans are still nervous about thunder (even after knowing what it is) as adults because they hadn’t learned to deal with it before they were 10.

See dogs cats etc see us as mom n dad. When there’s loud noises unexpentantly they get frightened n Greek out. That’s when we hold them n love them through it. my cat Sierra s tail fans out when scared at xs so I pick her up hold her n reassure her that’s everything’s ok.

Experts don’t really know. It’s a toss up as to which dogs are fearful. My Walker Tree Hound is terrified of storms. If they happen when I’m asleep he’ll wake me up to be with him. My Boxer mix would sleep through a direct hit. I just go to the basement with him, turn on the fans, and play music. I think they might feel the change in the air. Maybe static.

There are a lot of good ideas here, especially the ones that suggest that thunder sounds much louder to dogs than it does to people. I also think that dogs may hear thunder as a threatening growl from a creature they can’t see. If that is the case, think how big that animal must be—its head is in the clouds; it’s HUGE! Terror when the Thunder Dog approaches seems appropriate.

Because its loud and sudden. Dogs have a hearing 10 times greater than ours, so you can imagine what they feel. Thunder affects their sences, as dogs are naturally on alert for any sudden moves or noise.

Hope that helps

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Well think about it a dogs hearing is more sensitive than humans and when lightning strikes dogs will alert as well. Way before it happens the positive and negative charges are in the sky and let off a smell that dogs and other animals can smell and animals will start clinging to what gives them safety.

I don’t know why. My dog was deathly afraid and prone to destructive panic attacks. The Thunder shirt available online and most pet supply stores helped calm her immensely. Did not stop the fear but seemed to regulate her breathing. The Thunder shirt is like a dog vest made of T Shirt material with Velcro closures. It’s works like giving your dog a hug. About $50 for a 60 lb dog. Other sizes available. Good luck.

Some dogs benefit from the comfort of a ‘thunder-jacket’, which wraps them (rather like body swaddling) securely and conveys a sense of reassurance. I use them on some of my dogs – the ones that get nervous during storms.

I tend not to go overboard about cuddling and reassuring, but I do stay present, and talk to them normally. I often turn up the volume on the radio or TV, and put lights on to mask the noise and lightning. By downplaying the thunder/lightning I’m endeavouring to not reinforce the fears, while being present to reassure.

Most dogs are afraid of thunder. Lightning is a different story if a dog has seen the danger of a lightning strike it probably scared the hell out of him. Wind has a force all its own and most dogs know to try an avoid the dangers of it.

Some young people and animals are scared of thunder. Any good pet shop sells thunder sweaters. They wrap around the dog and give him a feeling of safety. My dog could care less. Next door on the first clap of thunder the dog begins to tremble until his body is wrapped in a thunder sweater.

I think it is because of the loud noise and vibration. It scares me and I know what it is! Fireworks, gun shots…same reaction. If I happen to be walking him he wants to bolt. In the house he will get under anything possible.

Many dogs are afraid of thunder simply because they do not understand what it is. Dogs hear this loud noise and perceive it as something threatening. … Consult your veterinarian so that they can prescribe something to calm your dog during a storm

It is noisy, it’s scary, and it’s an unknown to them. In the wild, their fear likely saved their lives by sending them looking for shelter in the form of a place to hide.

It’s loud and dogs have sensitive ears. Depending on how loud the thunder is, it could actually hurt their ears.

But through counterconditioning and desensitization, dogs can overcome most fears, including loud sounds.

They can feel thunder way before you can. If you think about it, it is a powerful sensation and is not something they can see. You can train them to feel safe by reassuring them. You can also get a thunder blanket. It didn’t work for me but many have had good results.

Dogs need your calm reassurance when strange noises happen, I have dogs, I never let them know that strange noises happen, just talk to them and love them give a treat stay close and act as if all is well, they will always know when that happens again, nothing bad will happen to them

fear of the unknown, and the change in the air the smells, ozone and static, they are much more alert to this than we are without understanding.

A better question is, “Why don’t all dogs become frightened when they hear thunder?”

Some dogs are timid, even as puppies. If you nurture your dog and reinforce his sense of security as a pup, there is less of a likelihood that it will be timid as an adult.

What is it exactly about thunderstorms that makes some dogs so fearful?

It’s the combination of noise, light flashes and static electricity. It’s thought that dogs may be sensitized to static electricity that they feel on their fur, and they develop an association between being shocked and the light flashes and sound of thunder.

Many dog’s are afraid of thunder it’s loud and sudden and they fear it, I would put my dog in the bedroom and turn on the TV or radio to try to mask the sound of the thunder it helped some,

Some dogs, not all, are scared of electrical storms, in the same way, they react to earthquakes, cyclones and other natural phenomena. It is common to hide in a closet or under the bed, it is their way of finding refuge, of feeling safe.

It hurts their ears and it shakes the house so they don’t understand what is happening you should spend time with him telling him what a good dog he is and use that soothing voice to calm him

Just talk to them. sit with them if you can spend some time giving them loving attention.

Reassure them in a friendly voice. Pet them at the same time. “It’s okay, buddy! We’re all safe inside our home”. *pat on head and rubs belly*. Dogs are smarter than we give them credit for, often. They sense our feelings. our emotions and how we feel about them. They’ll feel more safe once you’re telling them that they’re safe. They know what you mean. That everything will be okay. They believe you. They might even go to sleep if you curl up with them.

Not just puppies, many dogs as well; and the right ‘CRACK’ will scare the heck out of me!

There is a reason for us to be afraid, as when its that close, so is the lightning.

Easy question to answer people that have hunting dogs know this as well some dogs run away and hide from the sound of a gunshot the reason is the loud bang scares them the correct term is called gun shy well when the lightening is bad and really cracking to the dog it is the same as a gun shot and DO NOT like the sound at ALl… The good news is not all dogs fear gun shots or thunder but most unfortunately there is no cure for the dogs that do fear it…

We don’t know why many dogs are afraid of thunder — and fireworks, too.

One thing that helps many dogs is a Thundershirt — Dog Anxiety Vest | Shop Dog Anxiety Treatments | ThunderShirt

Their hearing is very acute and they don’t understand where the loud noise and vibration is coming from. Put yourself in their “paws” and imagine how you would feel.

It’s not scared of thunder its scared of you.

Thanks for asking.

Mine aren’t but then again, I train them and they don’t notice outisde interferrence.

Dogs ears are more sensitive than ours. Unknown loud noises (thunder, fireworks etc) hurt them, especially puppies

Many people have had results with the weighted vest .. also if he wants to hide let him just leave him but dont try to comfort him he will associate your reactions as being rewarded for his behaviour

Oddly my White Golden isn’t afraid of T-storms or leaf blowers but lawn mowers and nail guns freak her out. Go figure!

Loud noises are scary man.