Thunder Phobia in Dogs

I promised I'd write more about treating thunder phobia in dogs, beyond the earlier posting that it won't make things worse if you try to comfort them. It's such a serious problem for some dogs (and their humans), and everyone who has a dog who suffers from it deserves some help (or just support!). All I can do here is to summarize some of the treatments I have known to work.. a thorough discussion of treatments requires a booklet unto itself . I encourage you to send in comments to let others know what has worked for you, because if there's one thing I've learned, it's that there is no one treatment that works for all dogs. Counter Classical Conditioning: This is the first treatment I recommend, and it is especially effective in mild or moderate cases. I'm doing it now to prevent Read More

Us, Our Dogs and Sound Pollution

Well, no more storms, thank heavens, but I did read more of Through a Dog's Ear. In it the authors talk about the effects of sound on the health of humans, as well as that of dogs. I'm as sound sensitive as a stereotypical sheltie, so I pricked up my metaphorical ears. Here I am, some one who can't stand noisy restaurants (take me to a noisy one and watch me start to tongue flick), is exhausted at loud parties and craves a quiet country morning with nothing but bird song in the air. (Excuse the digression, but I am reminded of a dear city friend, who was visiting me and friends at our places in the country years ago. We all sat on a hill, overlooking a tangerine sky at sunset when somene commented how peaceful it was. Royce, as urban as they come, said "Peaceful? It's a racket out here. Read More

Thunder Phobia and Your Dog: Good Sounds, Bad Sounds

5 AM. I wake up to Lassie's nails clicking on the floor (wasn't I going to trim them last night?) as a boom of thunder shakes the farmhouse. Damn.  Why is it that Lassie's slight discomfort of storms has become more serious as her hearing degrades?  Surely it should go the other way around. We pad downstairs and lay down together on the carpet, she spooning against me as I stroked her head. (And no, it won't make her more afraid of storms.... check out my column coming out in Bark magazine soon.)  "Eaa-a-a-a-a-a-a-sy" I crooned, using my voice to help her calm herself.  Why didn't I bring the CD home from "Through a Dog's Ear," a new and fantastic book about the effect of sound on dogs? The CD has music designed by the authors to calm dogs, and both it and the book are invaluable Read More