This week we are going to exorcise the demons out of this Storm Demon. Luckily, not Tuuq, Portland nor myself have any issues with storms. To me, it’s the closest thing to being back in the snow, but with more noise! I love it! So does the rest of Husky Bros. But for many dogs it is a traumatic time. I’ve seen so many other dogs Mum calls our foster bros, or sisters, have issues with all that noise, rain and wind. But as a family we got them through it and now they either couldn’t care less or love storms like we do! Today we are going to take you through our experiences, dealing with storms and how our other brothers and sisters conquered it too!
Getting used to storms starts when you are younger. Even younger than I am now! Like anything whilst puppies are young it’s all about habi habit hab-it-tu-a-shon. Or maybe I’ll just say it’s desen desensi desensitisation… man these words are tough. Why’d they stick me with the hard words.. Anyway puppies are like sponges, I’m a sponge!! Mum and Dad made sure that when there was last a storm it equalled playtime. We did all sorts of games while the loud bangs were clanging and the lights were flashing. Plus I got to run around in the rain with Dad. So every time there is a storm, now I know fun isn’t too far behind!!
Yeeee-haaa!! I freakin’ love storms! All that flashing! The cold rain and wind! The loud bangs! It’s zoomy weather that is!! Dad taught me that. When I was young, we would play all sorts of games in the backyard when it was storming!! But plenty of our brothers and sisters over the years hated them. They mustn’t have played my games in the rain when they were young… So! Here is what Mum and Dad did. First they would start with a fake storm. They have this sound maker thing in the house that sounds similar to a storm. Dad says it’s an app, whatever that is, for storm noise that he amplifies through something else called a home theatre. Anyway, whilst that’s playing loud and Dad is making the lights flash, mum is either doing some teaching or playing their favourite game! This happens about once a week and doesn’t last very long. Mum and dad start off with a very quiet storm and not much flashing and slowly build it up over time. Soon enough a real storm comes along and Mum does the same thing! After enough times our brother or sister isn’t worried too much about them anymore! Cool hey!!!
Now this worked for us, all three of us, plus heaps of friends we know! Just remember, like anything worth learning – it takes time and heaps of repetitions. But I’m sure there are a few doggos out there that might just be too scared for this. That’s ok! Some clever humans have invented things like the ThunderShirt! It helps doggos feel better why they are feeling stressed like in storms. Mum said that there is another thing called called DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) that can help to soothe anxiety too! And if that doesn’t help, it’s important to understand that, us puppers are learning, all the time! There is a time and a place for cuddles or pats. To calm us down, for sure, nurture away until we have stopped fretting! Continuing to do it after we have calmed down and whilst we are scared however, is telling us that it’s good to feel scared and here is your reward, a cuddle and pat. That’s not the lesson we need to learn! Even for the most scared pup, after they have calmed down, give them shelter to feel safer, a quieter environment so the storm isn’t so bad and just try their lessons or their training with their most favourite treat. Then you can reward all of the hard work or good play with their favourite treat and a cuddle and not their reaction to the storm! And that’s it!! Your Humans just need to remember that you want to reward/ reinforce the correct/ wanted behaviour, and they might need to start with a very very small storm to do that! Try it out! It worked for us Husky Bros and it could work for you!!