Monday, July 6, 2009

How I Helped Clancy To Not Be Afraid Of Fireworks And Thunder.

Poor little Clancy is a Pomchi, a Pomeranian Chihuahua, and he is a Rescue Dog. Read his story in the sidebar at the right side of this page. It's also posted at the Animal Rescue Site and the link to that is at the bottom of this blog page. When Clancy came to live with us he was very frightened of loud noises. He was terrified and trembled when we had a thunder storm, or if the neighbor kids shot off some fireworks. He would try to climb into my lap, but even if I held him and talked soothingly to him, he would not stop trembling. I could tell by his behavior when I first took him in, that he was unused to coming into a house, so I think he must have been left outside in the rain and thunder many times, possibly without even any shelter. I felt so sorry for him. Then I watched one of The Dog Whisperer shows with Cesar Millan, and on that show, a couple had a very fearful dog. They had tried for years to soothe him and stroked him when he was afraid, and they pitied him, but nothing had helped him. Then Cesar came to their house and he explained that when a dog is fearful, and you say to him, "It's alright" and pet him, he thinks you're actually telling him that it's alright to be afraid. You are reinforcing his fear and feeding it. It's better to ignore it. Act calm, so the dog sees you are not afraid yourself, and then don't look at the dog, or pet him. Just perhaps gently tell him to hush and lay down, but then don't say anything else. After a while, the dog will become quiet, and each time it will happen sooner until the dog won't be afraid anymore. I decided to try this with my Clancy, and it worked! It took a while, but each time he trembled less and for less time, until now he hardly notices the thunder anymore. Last week I knew we had won that battle when he volunteered to accompany me out on the front porch to watch a wonderful lightning storm that lit up the sky like fireworks. He stood next to me and watched it with me and didn't show any fear at all. So I would recommend Cesar's training methods, and also to watch his TV show, The Dog Whisperer. There is a link to his site in the side bar at the right side of this page. Thank you, Cesar! ~Carol Jean~

1 comment:

  1. I have a dog just like Clancy and I have been searching for another one just like him. His coat, color, hair, and size looks very similar to ur pomchi. So cool! Good job on the fireworks. Whenever we got Ace, he had just gotten back from running away overnight and it so happen to be raining. He hates water. He was really scared of everything including us. It took 3 months of working with him to actually let us hold him. Now he loves it!