New advice on the best way to help your dog that is afraid of thunder.
What should you do if your dog is afraid of thunder? We’ve been taught for years that attempting to soothe frightened dogs makes them worse. It seems logical, in a cut-and-dried, stimulus and response kind of way. Your dog hears thunder, he runs to you and then you pet him. As a result, your dog just got rewarded for running to you when it thunders, and worse, for being afraid of thunderstorms in the first place.
But that’s not what happens, and here’s why. First, no amount of petting is going to make it worthwhile to your dog to feel panicked. Fear is just as bad for dogs as it is for people, and some dogs' biggest fear is thunder. The function of fear is to signal the body that there is danger present, and that the individual feeling fearful had better do something to make the danger, and the fear that accompanies it, go away. read more