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Valued Contributor
Posts: 927
Registered: ‎05-26-2011

My Border Collie is perfect in all but one way.  He is sound sensitive.  I have been up all night with him shaking and panting from thunderstorms.  I know it is a trait of some Border Collies but I have never had a Border Collie that was bothered by storms. 

 

Other than drugs does anyone have any suggestions?  I try to just act normal.  I don't reinforce it by petting him or making a fuss.  But he keeps pacing and panting. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,612
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

I certainly feel your pain, TaxyLady.  Our Lhasa was always sensitive to certain loud noises, but when she first encountered loud thunder and lightning at about six years old, she freaked.  We lived in the desert for her young life, then moved back east to a storm-prone area.  Honestly, there was nothing we found that helped her, unfortunately.  I tried the Thundershirt thing, and that seemed to work temporarily, but as time when on, she just kept getting worse.  Finally, we resorted to drugs, and again, as time went on, even those wouldn't keep her very calm.

 

Many professionals recommend trying to gradually expose them to noises, via tapes, etc.  Also, if you have a room that is sound-proof with no windows, go in there with him and stay there.  Staying calm yourself is key, but it's really hard when your poor dog is freaking out.  I know that Border Collies are traditionally high-energy.  Perhaps if you know a storm is coming (and you have the time), you could get him out for a lot of exercise beforehand so that at least he would be tired out when it came and may not react as severely.

 

Our little girl passed away last December, and while we miss her terribly, every time we have a thunderstorm now we are thankful she's not here to have to deal with it.

 

I know of so many people that have pets with this problem, but there doesn't seem to be any sure-fire way to stop it.  Some things work for some pets, and sometimes nothing works.  Good luck with your guy.

Contributor
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎06-08-2015

We have always had hunting dogs and the best thing about that was the breeders generally take the pups and  their moms out and shoot guns off over their heads so they accustomed to the loud noise. Thunder never bothers them. It is a matter of getting them used to it when they are very young.

I did once have a basset hound that would howl at the full moon. On the days there was a full moon I had to be very careful to close up all the drapes before it got dark, and when I took her out to pee to be sure we went to the side of the house where she could not see the moon.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,612
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

@9244 wrote:

We have always had hunting dogs and the best thing about that was the breeders generally take the pups and  their moms out and shoot guns off over their heads so they accustomed to the loud noise. Thunder never bothers them. It is a matter of getting them used to it when they are very young.

I did once have a basset hound that would howl at the full moon. On the days there was a full moon I had to be very careful to close up all the drapes before it got dark, and when I took her out to pee to be sure we went to the side of the house where she could not see the moon.


That's hilarious!!  I'm sure it was a pain for you, but it just sounds funny!

New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-08-2010

I have had many Border Collies and not all but some have been fireworks, thunder and gun shot sensitive.

 

Playing tapes doesn't work well because the sensitivity isn't only the sound but the ions and static electricity in the air that comes along with thunder storms. 

That's why some dogs like to get in the bathtub or shower because the porcelin or tiles helps keep the static down. 

 

I had 2 females who fed off each other and at times got so bad neither of them could walk because they were shaking and drooling so much. That's when I tried flower essence and had good results with it. It's an all natural oil, a mix of different flowers. It helps calm the dog so it can better deal with the storms, fireworks, gun shots, etc. A few drops on or under the tongue should do it. I also know some people who use melatonin to help their dogs. For my dogs the melatonin didn't work well. The flower essence is fast acting and if needed you can give more if the storms last longer. Each dog is different but you can tell when it is wearing off. Mine usually last about 1 1/2 hours.

 

I also think they are becoming more used to the storms and aren't bothered by them as much since I have been using the flower essence. Their reaction to the beginning of the storm, before they the the flower essence, isn't as intense.

 

Another thing to try is to go out and play when you can just start to hear the thunder. This usually helps the dog relate fun with the thunder.  

 

It's terrible to watch our pets suffer through the sounds. I hope you find something that works for you. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,454
Registered: ‎03-20-2010

My last dog was a shepherd/collie mix and we tried everything - desensitizing with tapes, aroma therapy, herbal compounds and nothing worked.  Both my SO who is a tuff and strong guy and myself were always full of bruises trying to subdue him so he wouldn't hurt himself.  He would jump up on things and pull blinds down, knock lamps over, etc and he was in another world.  The thunder shirt calmed him down enough so we could hold him.  He had allergies and often took Benadryl and we found when he had taken that  for his allergies he would sleep through a storm so the vet suggested giving him some before the storm and it did help.   We also found that with the thunder shirt and turning the tv up really high volume it helped immensely.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,237
Registered: ‎06-10-2010

Have you tried a cage with a blanket over it?

Contributor
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎06-08-2015

I was thinking this too - a crate with blankets in it and a comforter wrapped around the outside of it should deaden the noise pretty well.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 860
Registered: ‎10-05-2012

I belive there used to be somthing called a Storm Thunder**bleep** - available on Amazon. Looks like it has a wide variety of reviews. 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 927
Registered: ‎05-26-2011

Thank you for these good suggestions.  He has two crates that are covered but that does not work.  He hears these storms a hundred miles away.  He doesn't go bonkers but he shakes, pants and stares at the wall.  He shakes so bad his body convulses.  This might sound crazy, but we can't turn on the weather channel to look at the radar or he will go hide somewhere.  Somehow he relates it to the storm coming.  Probably because we turn it on when we think a storm is coming.   He also will hide if he hears thunder on TV.  We were going to go to dinner tonight but changed our plans.  They are predicting storms tonight and tomorrow.