Thursday, May 5, 2011

TOto and thunderstorm!

A Good Read ...
Reducing Fear in Your Dog
A gentle hand or a tasty treat doesn’t reinforce fear, it reduces it
By Patricia B. McConnell, PhD
I totally agree with the writer that petting dogs who fears the thunder doesn't reinforce its fear! For the past 2-3 weeks Texas has been having Thunderstorm warnings. And one thunderstorm night, I woke up to TOto staring out into the window shivering!! I was so tired I couldn't wake up totally but I lay myself beside him and started to pet his chest and soothe him to sleep. (It was during his diarrhea period, till now we wonder did the thunderstorm caused it?)
Ever since TOto is a puppy; squatting down and petting his chest has been my method of soothing away his fear of everything; strangers, fierce dogs, children's shouting or machinery!
And it always works! The petting calms him down enough, for TOto to summon his courage to approach his fear!

After the first storm experience in the middle of the night, me and hubs have been very mindful of thunderstorm that might be coming at night. We make sure that we are awake if ever there is a midnight thunderstorm! But luckily, the rest of the thunderstorms are either in the afternoon or early evenings!

During Thunderstorm, TOto's first reaction would always be running towards me and sat beside me, and I will start to pet his chest. The first few times, TOto would shivered very badly, he shivered so badly it almost feels like he is having a seizure. But even then he will still be on ALERT mode, surpressing his fear; sitting straight and ear high up!

Anyway after the 4th or 5th thunderstorm, TOto stop shivering and manage to walk out into the patio with me to LOOK and stare lightning in the eye!

It takes some time for the fear to dissipate but petting his chest does work! I don't think TOto has stop worrying about thunderstorm but he is not as scared as he is used to!

His forever 'Comfort-er' ...


  1. Gus is also very scared of thunder - he immediately wants to sit on my lap, or lay on my chest if he hears thunder. We try to be as soothing and calm as we can.

    I'm glad that rubbing TOto's chest has eased his anxiety!

  2. @accordingtogus, Yah I wonder why the research shows otherwise!

  3. I've always wondered what approach to take when Maple is scared or frightened. She gets very timid around big dogs, even big FRIENDLY dogs! Maple would always try and jump up on us as if to say, "Please carry me, please carry me up and get me out of here!" We try to be as calm and reassuring as we can to ease her anxiety.

    Haha... I guess after some coaxing, the thunderstorms were more of a curiosity to TOto than a threat. Glad to hear he's made such an improvement!

  4. @maple mommy, usually we don't move TOto away from the things he fear. We made him sit down while all the time my hand is petting or pressing on his chest to calm him down, and then slowly let him approach or approach together with him.

    But Maple is so tiny, no wonder she is scared of everything keke, everything is Gigantic compare to the tiny her!