Need advice on my dog

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Bummer1002, May 5, 2006.

  1. Bummer1002

    Bummer1002 Well-Known Member

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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I need some advice on what to do with my dog. He's a 5 year old neutered Border Collie that is in invisible fence. He's got 4 acres to run on.

    We've never had a problem with him getting out of his fence. However lately, he's been just rushing through it. This is especially bad when we start getting a thunderstorm. He absolutely panics and runs right through the fence and down the street. If it's a sunny clear day, he'll be fine, but if it starts getting overcast and thundering, he goes crazy. I've tried chaining him up and such but he goes crazy and panics.

    Do any of you folks out there know anything that could be wrong? Could he be sick? Have you ever heard anything like this? He sure looks healthy to me, eats and drinks just fine, etc. Well actually, I don't see him drinking a lot of water.....He just acts and seems scared, panicky. He won't drink, is always panting, tail between his legs.
    Thanks
    Bummer
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Border collies need a lot of human interaction, work or play. With out it they start having behavior problems. Now being afraind of thunder storms is pretty common in a lot of dogs, do you have a secure warm place in a building the dog can go to when there's a storm? What's he got now for shelter? The Pet board has border collies as the topic of the month, might be interesting reading for you. Oh and no I don't think he's sick and I'd worry more about drinking excessive water.
     

  3. Bummer1002

    Bummer1002 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your fast response. I'll be honest and admit that he has not had the most human interaction. There have been stretches where we have not played with him all day.

    With that being said, I realize this is something we have lapsed on, and need to resolve. Do you think he will get over it, and that this will pass?

    Bummer
     
  4. auntieemu

    auntieemu Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible that he is getting shocked when he shouldn't?
     
  5. Bummer1002

    Bummer1002 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think so. I've even tested the collar on myself and made sure it works where it's supposed to.

    Bummer
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I think he could get over it. Certainly do your best to spend some time with him, but maybe an inside safe pen where he can either be put or get to on his own would help. My BC luvs to be under my desk here so loing as nobody is here, then she goes to her alternate space under the living room couch. They are her caves and while she likes to be visited she goes there to be alone and safe, so we leave her as alone as we can.
     
  7. Wildoutdoorsmen

    Wildoutdoorsmen Active Member

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    When the dog is feeding start making small noises then as time goes on keep banging on things to make louder noises he may get used to the noise. Plus, thunder is lightnings noise, lightning comes from the ground up, your dog is connected to a grounded transmitter. I have tracking collar, shoch training collars and bark collars and always have them off the dogs in a storm.

    I have a chocolate lab that I can blast a shotgun a few feet from him no flinch, when he sees the vaccuum he starts to ---- his pants. No breaking it either! I just don't get out vaccuum when he is around or in the house. 10 minutes a day training and play with your dog is good for him and great for you. It is a stress reliefer.
     
  8. Bummer1002

    Bummer1002 Well-Known Member

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    I don't quite follow you, are you saying he may be feeling a shock from the storm?
    Bummer
     
  9. country_wife

    country_wife Evil Poptart

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    I have a friend with a dog that needs tranquilizers when it storms. My dogs stick right by my side during storms..they even follow me to the bathroom. :rolleyes: They bark at the thunder, too.
     
  10. Country

    Country Well-Known Member

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    My Border Collie has chewed through the wire in his kennel 4 times and each time it was because of thunder. I have had to wire pallets inside his kennel so he cannot get at the wire. I don't have a problem with him as long as it is not thundering. He stays in the house most of the time and is a dream. You couldn't find a better behaved, more obedient dog. He waits for me to give him permission to drink and use the bathroom. He is just scared of thunder. Always has been.
     
  11. ChickenTracy

    ChickenTracy Well-Known Member

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    I've never used the invisable fence & collars. But, I do have a dog extremely terrified of storms & goes ballistic! Got her from the shelter 4 years ago & haven't been able to get her used to them. I'm thinking either she is getting a jolt from the storm or either she's panicking too much from the storm to notice the jolt as she runs through the fence.
     
  12. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    Our old 14 year old BC has always been terrified of thunderstorms. He's never tried to run away, but he has caused extensive damage to the outside and inside of the house when there is a storm. Outside, he tries to chew his way in, ripping out crawlspace vents, pulling trim off and chewing up the door frame, inside he tries to dig and claw his way through the floor. The only thing that worked was chaining him near a doghouse well away from the house and he dug his own basement and went under there during storms.

    Now that he is mostly deaf, storms don't bother him nearly as much and we can let him in. He lays on the kitchen floor in the corner and shivers. He doesn't like fireworks, either. Guns don't bother him at all.
     
  13. DixyDoodle

    DixyDoodle stranger than fiction

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    My border collie is also terrified of storms! She isn't destructive though, but if it's the middle of the night, we end up spending it with a 60 pound dog between us! ;) During the day, she shivers and pants in a dark corner but has to be in the same room as myself. My australian shepherd used to be the same way (she actually taught my BC to be afraid of storms), and yes, as she went deaf over time, she worried less.

    wildoutdoorsmen, my black lab also has vacuum issues, but she isn't afraid of them...she wants to attack them. As soon as I pull it out or even just say the word "vacuum" she'll start barking. Once I turn it on, she'll lunge at it and try to bite the cannister. She also has a strange facination with the Swiffer mop---again, biting away at it. And don't even think of dusting with the Swiffer duster. She'll leap into the air and snatch it out of your hands to 'kill' it. :p

    About those electric fences: some brands will also give your dog a shock when it tries to RETURN to the property, so once they're out, they might not want to come back in. Maybe your border is getting some sort of mental complex out of this: she's punished for leaving AND for returning.

    DD
     
  14. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    We have had southern Rescues transfer thunderstorm phobic dogs to Rescues here in the north east because we don't see this kind of severe weather. We see it, but not to the same extent as other areas of the country.

    Along with seperation anxiety, storm phobia can ruin a dog's life. Think of it as a protracted period of madness which begins with the change in barometric pressure (or your departure from home if it is the former) and then goes on and on... beyond the dog's control, until the poor animal is literally driven mad. Dogs under the influence of these phobias can do immense damage to themselves or the places they've been secured into. I wouldn't be at all surprised if you tied the dog up to come home and find he'd either strangled or snapped his neck in his panic.

    Some people have successfully used tranquilizers or certain herbal suppliments (someone else will have to address the herbal thing, I'm not sure what is recommended these days). Securing the dog inside in a relatively small room may help. But at its worst, especially if your area is prone to this kind of weather, people have had to put the dog down because the poor thing was suffering such mental anguish and regularly injuring itself during storms.

    Storm phobia is not something I'd take lightly, any more than seperation anxiety. Both don't tend to get better on their own, but escalate, in some cases quite rapidly. I'd get your dog to your vet and talk to him (trust me, you are not unique, he's seen this before) about your options.
     
  15. BetsyK in Mich

    BetsyK in Mich Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This subject has been discussed at length recently on a sheep forum I visit. The border collies are extremely sensitive dogs, to weather and you as their owner. One of the solutions for this fear of thunderstorms is to put a Tshirt on your dog and wrap it tight around them. This apparently worked for several people on the forum with working dogs and I thought I'd try it on my BC the next time it storms. The female is frightened and hides, usually behind husbands lazy boy and the male trys to stay as close to me as possible and pants and slobbers on the floor. I guess it is just one of the many "joys", both good and bad, of owning a border collie. I'm not surprised the dog runs through the shocker, if these dogs are allowed to they will work themselves into the ground and not stop, that must transfer to the fear part of their make-up, very stubbrorn about some things, strangely enough, my dog will work the sheep in a thunderstorm, fear is put on the back burner until he is done doing "his job". They are such smart dogs, don't understand the noise, maybe it goes back to the herding instinct, my sheep all huddle in a circle, preferably in the barn, unlike the horses who would stand out in the worst storms and continue to graze. I doubt the storm fear has anything to do with how much playing you are doing with the dog, but they do need lots of "work" be it at play or herding. That is the dogs only reason in life, to work.
     
  16. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned an underactive thyroid causing sound sensitivity...maybe they already would have over on the pets forum?....anyway, underactive thyroid is well-documented for leading to sound sensitive dogs...take care of the thyroid problem, takes care of the sound sensitive dog. Of course...gotta mention...not all sound sensitivity is caused by underactive thyroid. Have the dog tested and go from there.

    Mon
     
  17. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had a English setter that (we think) got 'zapped' during a thunderstorm, he was around 5 at the time. He was the most calm, wonderful dog you have ever seen, nothing every upset him. Then one day, during a storm, he became 'crazy'-- he would knock you down to get in the house and if you drove up--he WAS getting in the car with you.. There was NO controlling him, during storms, after that day. We decided it was better if he come inside and stay duriing storms. On sunny,warm, cold, ice, snow days he was his wonderful, happy, calm self. He would still hunt--the sound of guns did not faze him BUT let it rumble once and he was uncontrollable!!! He lived to be 17yrs old and never changed.
     
  18. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My GS cross knows when a thunderstorm is coming at least an hour before it hits theproperty. Starts pacing and panting, I think dogs can sense the change in barometric pressure. My dog usually ends up cowering in the bathtub or trying to burrow under the pillows on the bed! It may just be a canine genetic thing left over from prehistoric times when bad weather could kill the animal.
     
  19. Bummer1002

    Bummer1002 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the responses guys, I really appreciate them. We're having a nother storm right now and he's getting nervous. I think I'm going to bring the poor guy into the Garage.

    Glad to hear it's not only me that's dealing with this.

    Bummer
     
  20. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Could be a viscious cycle was started. Perhaps an extremely loud clap of thunder startled your dog and he ran through the electric fence and got zapped. Now he associates the thunder with getting zapped and this is reinforced every time it thunders. He gets scared, runs through the fence and gets zapped again. Now he's panicked when a storm starts stirring because he has been conditioned that thunder means getting zapped no matter how far away he runs. Poor dog! Definitely bring your dog into the garage when a storm is coming and have him a warm, cozy place to curl up and spend some time reassuring him that everything is okay.

    We have a Black Lab who is scared of storms. Don't know what made him this way as we didn't get him until he was eight years old. When it is stormy we keep him inside close to us. That is the only way he can calm down a bit during a storm.

    And definitely spend some time with him every day. All dogs need companionship, but Border Collies especially need it. We have eight dogs and they are with us 24/7. They sleep in our bedroom with us (well, two sleep in the garage because they are bad to make messes in the house while we are asleep). Everything we do is done with the dogs by our side. We don't like leaving home because we hate to leave the dogs alone! I know...we're nuts...about our dogs!