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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 4 year old male
golden with anxiety issues -- not new, has had them since puppyhood: thunder (like really far away, I can't hear it but he can; we live in upper peninsula of Michigan and he'll react to thunder in Green Bay, Wisconsin), fireworks, smoke alarm -- any weird noise. He shivers/shakes, pants, paces, tries to hide, tries to dig hole in the hardwood floors, gets diarrhea. If we are home, we can usually control his panic to a certain extent; however, we are having an issue when we are not at home and there is thunder he can hear. We have tried the following and there was no difference; didn't work at all: thunder shirt, crating (actually made panic worse), Trazodone. Xanax works sometimes, but not always. Also, when he's anxious, he is not interested in any sort of treat or food. We now have a prescription for Prozac waiting at the pharmacy; however, I am interested to hear suggestions from you as to what worked and what didn't. Many thanks!
 

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Poor boy! Have you tried sound therapy? Here in the UK the Dogs Trust have a whole bunch of sound files you can play (free) and they’re commonly used by breeders to start puppies off with their socialisation. They are also used to help with phobias. They range from common household noises, things you hear on the street to fire works, thunder and alarms.
Starting off by playing the sounds very quietly at first while the dog is distracted doing something it enjoys and gradually building up the volume could help him cope a bit better.

 

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You have my sympathies. It’s a tough thing to handle. I’ve had three dogs who were noise-sensitive…the first two didn’t start out that way, but with the first I lived in the midwest for his second year and it was nonstop thunderstorms that summer, and with the second, he was fine until dementia set in and he would pretty much lose his mind. My third always has been…but he is now going partially deaf at age 12 and I never thought THAT would be a good thing, but it does help!

My Golden’s wonderful breeder did a lot of the groundwork for me with the desensitization sound therapy and he’s completely chill about the whole thing to this day. You might want to try those CDs with your boy first during his meals at very low volume, if he’s a good eater. You’ll know you’re getting somewhere if he hears the tape start and starts to drool!

Other suggestions, other than what you’ve tried….there’s a hood thingie that works with some dogs, probably because it muffles the sounds a bit. A white noise machine playing at full volume might be worth a try. It also helped my dogs on the &^%$#!!! 4th and the even worse NY’s Eve to take them into an interior room, cover all the windows, play a dog calming music CD and just hunker down with them for the evening/night/early morning. (If he hadn’t gone deaf I was planning to spend this 4th inside the car inside the garage. Yes, the things I’ll do for my dogs!) I also used to do “STORM PARTIES!!! when lightning would start during the day and give them small treats after every boom. It sort of helped with the borderline cases, anyway.

There are hemp calming chews you can get online…also some that are l-theanine based. I think they helped…a little. If your boy can tolerate Xanax that’s great…it makes my dog manic. Of course.

Wishing you the best…
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, everyone, for suggestions. I tried rewarding him with treats when it thunders, but he refuses all treats no matter how yummy when he's scared. He ignores CD or TV thunder; evidently he knows what is real and what isn't. White noise or playing hair music REALLY LOUD sometimes helps, but the family objects at 3 a.m. But when we're home, we can usually control him. My real issue is what to do when no one is home except the dog? Last Saturday we were gone most of the day and it was supposed to be a beautiful day. Except there was an unexpected thunder storm, albeit brief, and we came home to a house that looked like it had been ransacked by a burglar. He was trying to hide in tiny spaces and tipped over tables. His dog crate had been thrown around the room and was upside down. What do you do when your dog is left alone?
 

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There's a lot of Hurricanes that come through my area.

I found these on Amazon, they worked well for my guys.


883537
 

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Have you tried Sileo? It’s the only thing that has helped a friend who’s Golden has noise phobias as bad as yours...
 
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