'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Monday, 8 August 2011


The day before yesterday, when I took Lola up town (for the first time in a few days), when we set off it was pretty dismal - spitting lightly. Twenty five minutes into the half hour or so walk, it had started absolutely hammering down; and then in the time it took us to head back home, thunder and lightning began. Lola was startled by the thunder (ears slightly back, flinching) but she looked solidly at me, didn't over-react to it, and didn't react to anyone on the walk at all, before and after the stormy weather began.

For a sound-sensitive pup, she's surprisingly resilient at times.

On the other hand when we got back--by that point the thunder had been crackling and lightning flashing just a couple of times over a five or six minute period--Jess was very worried: head down, cringing in her bed, and very clingy when I got home. I put on her thin reflective vest (I've previously found that she finds it easier to settle when her body is wrapped - she'd be a good candidate for a Thundershirt, but since we have storms so infrequently I haven't yet gotten round to getting one) and drew the curtains, put the lights on, and cranked up the volume on the music.

Jess, who aside from her weirdness with strange dogs is fairly stoic, pretty much spent the whole time pressed against me on my lap, whilst Lola... reactive, sound-sensitive, somewhat neophobic Lola was totally unconcerned when we were indoors. She didn't even flinch at the loud booms. In fact, she even got the zoomies - and crazily so. At one point, while I was sat on the floor putting on Jessie's vest, she leapt up onto my shoulder/head for a split second, and then bounced forward, sailing over my head and onto the couch. She brought me a couple of toys, and then happily chewed one on my lap before she fell asleep on it.


Ci Da said...

Sounds like Lola is pretty resilient. Just wanted to mention that the zoomies often are a stress reaction -- she may have been more stressed than she let on. Then again, she may not have! Who knows?

Sara said...

Wonderful that Lola bounces back so well. Makes it so much easier.

Luckily, neither of my two seem to care much about thunder (yet!).

Bailey Be Good! said...

Lola sounds like she's doing great! The Thundershirt isn't working for Nala -- mommy still uses it, but sadly, it hasn't shown any real positive progression.

It's good to see Lola not showing any reaction toward thunder -- she sounds like she has some personality!

Happy Monday woofs & hugs <3,

~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Thunder always makes Ricky bark like he has to tell me in case I didn't hear it too! LOL!

Glad Lola was fine with the storm and hope the vest helped Jess somewhat.