Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Auntie Coaly! + Advice Needed

Gibson's Auntie Coaly (my 4 legged sister) is 7 years old today!!  I hope you are spoiled by the rents today sweet girl! :)




Gibson & his Aunt


Advice Needed
I received this message on the Corgi Butts wall today from Miranda asking for advice/help:
Last week, while on a walk it started to thunder, and Bomber was terrified. He started to run towards home, pulling me all the way. When he got inside, he climbed into bed with me and shivered and panted like crazy in my arms for the duration of the storm. Since then, he won't go for walks, which he previously could not get enough of, nor will he willingly go outside, even in the yard, even to pee and poop. I have to coax him outside with treats. I have to leash him and walk him until he goes potty, then he runs for the door. He has no interest in playing with toys. He will eat, however, although not with his usual interest. I spoke with the vet who said it's not all that uncommon to happen, but I'm very worried. Bomber was always such a happy dog, not scared of anything, he loved laying outside for hours on end, playing frisbee and fetch, running and tugging on ropes. You could not ask for a better dog really. He was not even scared of fireworks that we set off at our home on new years eve this year.the vet recommended that I slowly get him outside, coaxing him with treats and reassuring him, which I've been doing. The vet also gave me a sedative for him to use when bad storms are approaching and for the 4th of July. I hate to use it, but I don't think I have any other choice. He's so anxious now, he clings to me all day, never leaving my side. He's not being aggressive or showing distractive behavior, nor is he barking. He's just scared and he trembles if he hears a loud noise (even thunder on tv), but power tools dont seem to bother him (we are renovating our house, almost completed). We haven't had any storms since, but he seems to be getting worse by the day, even with the reassurance. I'm so worried about my little corgi, he's just not himself. He was never abused, or hurt ever at all, we got him as a puppy. And up until last week he was totally normal. I'm a mess seeing him like this. Do any corgi/dog owners have any suggestions on things I can do to bring him out of this slump? He is so anxious all the time, it's almost as if I have a completely different dog, as if I rescued a formerly abused animal. Please help! Any suggestions are welcome! Summer is here and I was hoping to be bringing him to the park for walks, and to the beach, but he's even scared to go into the front yard on a leash with me! Help!

If you have any experience w/this, could you please leave a comment here or directly on her Facebook Post to help Miranda out?  Thanks!! :) 


Pat Murphy said...

I've never heard of a dog being this scared to just go back outside, but I think part of the problem is that he is making you really anxious, which is understandable. But you need to remain calm and relax yourself to show him that everything is okay.

Pat Murphy said...

Coal loves to have her armpits scratched, and it totally relaxes her. I would love to hear someone try that to calm their dog.

Aparna E. said...

I've never had a dog before Gryff and he hasn't shown fear like this. I agree that you should remain calm so he doesn't seem more anxious than he already is. And I think when it is nice outside, and you can coax him outside, you should take him to a place that used to make him happy (dog park, another park, water, etc.) so he sees that his favorite places are still OK and still fun.

I hope he'll be OK soon! <3

Lesley Collins said...

Herman did this once before in response to my smoke detector. He was pretty shaken up for weeks. I couldn't get him out of hiding to eat. I had to put him on a leash and walk him around with me so he wouldn't hide all the time. I just kept up the treats and positive reinforcement. I also brought in my friends dogs so he would see that they weren't scared at all.

Still Miranda said...

Thank you all, and keep the suggestions coming! (a special thank you to Kelly for posting this today to help me out). Overall, the best advice I've gotten is to not cuddle him, rub him a lot when he's upset, as it encourages anxious behavior. Hard to do when you are a mommy, but I'm staying upbeat and luckily today, he didn't have issue going out. He didnt want to stay out, but he did his business and went back in. Currently, we are sitting on the porch, and he's lying down seemingly not anxious. Little steps. I know phobias take a while to break, with a lot of positive reinforcement. But I'll do anything to get my old carefree boy back (not to mention he's not even 2 yet!) thank you all again, it means so much to have a community of caring corgi owners that totally understand that sedating him, as the vet advised, is really not the answer!

May the furry bunny butts be with you all,

Dianna said...

Not sure how old your corgi is but I have heard that there is a period when they have to learn that their world is safe. He may be going through that period. I'd try setting outside with him - not in your lap, just doing what you normally do outside. Give him lots of positive praise and make it seem like "no big deal!" I am working on the same issue with my Charlie (who is 2-1/2 - much over the age of needing to learn that his world is safe - but is such a scaredy cat!}

Dianna said...


I just found the brochure I had put up about this - it is advertising Dog Appeasing Pheromone - which is produced by the mother within 3-5 days after giving birth. The pheromone plays an important role in reassuring the puppies and has a calming effect within the litter. They say :
1. Use distraction such as play or training with food during the phobic event
2. Avoid rewarding unwanted behaviors by petting and reassuring during the phobic event
3. Do not punish - it might make it increase instead of decrease anxiety
4 Avoid keeping dog enclosed in a particular room but allow dog to retreat to comfort area (crate, dog bed)

I am thinking of using this method for Charlie -

Christine said...

Am leaving this a few days late but wanted to share a link I found that may help. My Pem, Blue was rescued last July from a high kill pound...I think perhaps fireworks had something to do with it. He freaks at loud noises. So I've been looking for help other than tranquilizers in case he goes bonkers this year. Ran across: yesterday on another blog. Check it out. I'm not affiliated in any way nor do I get paid, but may order this for Blue. Hope this info helps you.

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