Anxiety: fireworks & thunder

Webinars presented by The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). Best value comes with membership. Although non-members can register for webinars, they pay a higher price.

Susan said: Anyone have tips for dealing with anxiety over fireworks? Poor Spencer was a quivering mass last night, and the worst is still to come. I hate to just give him drugs. Poor baby!

Gina said: Consider the webinars presented by The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). One is titled, "Thunderstorm Phobia - tips and tricks to help dogs cope". The recent presentation date has come and gone. Another one is scheduled for September. I suggest contacting them and asking about purchasing.

Interested in purchasing past webinars, please contact Alicia Reynolds, Director of Operations. Email Alicia@apdt.com or on call, 1-800-738-3647. Upcoming Webinar schedule http://www.apdt.com/education/webinars/default.aspx

I haven't watched any of their session, but APDT tends to present good materials and information. Several of the trainers with Greater Saint Louis Training Club use APDT.

Bebe is also upset by the firecrackers, fireworks, and related noises. We play classical music LOUD, to try and replace the outside noises with inside "white noise". Throughout the year I try to work with her, but we've yet to find a DVD with realistic sounds on it, so I can "click train" and desensitize. Follow up comment. Bebe has been a puddle of trembling dog. The thunder storms, fireworks, fire crackers, and she's in a state of mind that causes her to turn and run inside at the slightest little popping sound. Getting her exercised is impossible. But exercise is what she desperately needs. I've been click training her through basic tricks (touch, watch-me) anything to get her mind off her fears and stop the trembling. Also have been playing a lot of the Box Game with her, as a method for feeding her. It's a mind distraction that can build confidence. I'm really frustrated by this holiday. We/she have come so far and this last few days are a major set-back.

Mary said: I"ve tried the Thundershirt for Scooter, my beagle, and initially thought that it made a difference in his behavior during thunderstorms. I noticed after about three or four uses that he still does his nervous panting while wearing the Thundershirt, it just seems to limit his mobility so that he doesn't pace as much.

A friend told me that Petco sells over-the-counter calming herbal remedies for dogs. I decided to try a couple of those. I bought a bottle of chewable tablets and a bottle of liquid that you give using an eyedropper. The main ingredient in both remedies is valerian, which is a tranquilizing herb used for sleep.

The first evening - Saturday's thunderstorm - I thought it helped. Scooter seemed to sleep through most of the storm. I tried the same dosage because of fireworks on Sunday evening. Scooter didn't seem at all affected by the herbals and did just the same amount of pacing and panting as ever.

Gina said: Per our previous discussion, to purchase a copy of the Thunderstorm Phobia webinar. I phoned the APDT contact for webinars and eventually got general voicemail. So I started writing a email message inquiry and realized I should do some research before sending it. This is what I found out. Liked some of the things APDT presents on their website (descriptions of what they do and such). http://www.apdt.com/about/who.aspx

How much would it cost to join?
 APDT Membership:
 • $150 = professional 1 year
 • $100 = full membership 1 year
 • $100 = associate membership 1 year

Pro defined: part or full-time professional dog trainers, animal behaviorist, and dog training educational personnel who have attained certification from an APDT Board Approved List. Full defined: part or full time dog trainers, animal behaviorist, and dog training educational personnel. Associate defined: anyone who has an interest in the field of dog training, e.g., suppliers of goods and services, and related professions.

How much does the Thunderstorm webinar cost?
 • $15 = pro member price
 • $25 = full/associate member price
 • $50 = non-member price

For an additional $50 a STLAD members could join APDT. Then buy the Thunderstorm webinar and possibly other items at reduced price.

Mary said: I see what you mean, and I agree. The membership fee would be an investment. Good idea to check it out.

Gina said: I still have this on my to-do list. Another webinar of interest is coming up. I will likely register as Associate and gain access for a year. If I garner anything of value, will share with group.

Solution to anxiety: humor
Poster: Good morning to all, I don't know how many of you listen to Dr. Oz liking or disliking him, however he had a great segment on today. Dogs and thunderstorms.

How can you comfort your dog that has anxiety from a thunderstorm? Take a dryer sheet and rub it around the dogs back. Simple? Why? The anxiety is caused by the electic current from the storms. The dryer sheets assist in releasing that current. Hm-m

Responder1: Umm, err, I'm conflicted. Intrigued and want to laugh at same time. Electric current! Is that possible? I'll take some time and do some research. LOL. Guaranteed I rub Bebe down with scented dryer sheet and she will want to lick the smell off her fur.

Responder2: Well, as weird as it sounds, I've never heard that, but it does kind of make sense. They say dogs behaviors sometimes change before big natural disasters like earthquakes, too. Also, some service animals that assist pts with seizures know and can get the person safe before the person is aware they are going to have a seizure. Definitely brain electrical activity changes there.

Poster: Okay, I stand corrected. I was at work when the show aired and I quickly wrote the note. It is the static electricity that they are speaking about and it would stand to reason that the dryer sheets help to reduce static electricity from our clothing. We have it on our carpeting and furniture as well. This is information only and for those that wish to try it, it is way out there!

Responder3: UNSCENTED. And only on their back so its harder for them to reach it. Never on a cat cause they can reach anywhere on their bodies. Limber lil creatures! Saw the Oz today too and posted same on FB.

Responder1: Wrote unscented dryer sheets in my grocery list. Yup, going to try it. :)

Responder3: Uh, did you happen to catch the Viagra tip the vet suggested? LOL (wink)