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...I seize the opportunity and run outside and work my dogs to let them know we still have work to do, no matter what. Now if I see lightning, that's what will send me indoors, but just rain and/or thunder, I'm out there in it.

 

A

 

For sure... you can't work a dog in the gulf south and NOT work in the rain - a lot! She's OK in a driving rain while we're working, it's at home that she freaks. I'm hoping she's associating the serious thunder/lightning with being at home. We haven't been in a situation yet where we're working in the rain and it starts lightning/thundering, so I was wondering. It's been drilled into me: "When thunder roars, go indoors" -- too much Weather Channel (something else that happens if you live in the gulf south)... smiley-scared004.gif

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Well I didn't follow the road exactly...I mean I had the farm and the tractor, got the rescue, got the sheep, got another dog, got more sheep, got another dog, got on a puppy list.....its all over from there...

 

 

It's a Star Trek thing.

 

I can tell you the road:

Go to a lesson or two with your dog.

Go to more lessons and start thinking, well if i'm driving there anyway, might as well have 2 dogs to learn with.

Geez, since i have 2 dogs, i could learn and get more bang for the buck if i could put sheep somewhere.

Hmm, all my friends go to dog trials, maybe i'll try it.

Okay, now i need a bigger truck since i have 4 dogs now.

Dang, hotels are expensive, might as well get a camper.

If i'm ever gonna get good, i need a farm and more sheep.

Sure wish i had time to go to a dog trial and use that camper that's gathering dust, but i'm too busy on this farm!

 

(Still want me to bring those book and videos for you tomorrow?! :rolleyes: )

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For more information on the Borg, go to the Wikipedia entry.

 

You can see how the border collie (stockdog) culture could be likened to the Borg. You are being assimilated even as we speak.... :rolleyes:

 

(Oh, and I had to go to these great lengths of explanation because I am a Borg Queen.)

 

J.

 

Anything past Captain Kirk and Spock is new to me, so I checked out your Wikepedia link. All I have to say is, those guys I will have with me tomorrow are body guards, and if my skin turns gray tomorrow evening I will freak out.

 

Having said that, if that ocular thingamajig can help me learn to read the sheep and the dog, I'm in.

 

B.

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Having said that, if that ocular thingamajig can help me learn to read the sheep and the dog, I'm in.

 

:rolleyes::D:D:D:D:D:D:D

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(Oh, and I had to go to these great lengths of explanation because I am a Borg Queen.)

 

J.

Julie - You are not "a" Borg Queen - you are "the" Borg Queen. There's a difference, and you'd better be proud of it!

 

Meanwhile, I'm the "extra guy in the red shirt" - you know, the one that's there to get killed off, or assimilated and then killed off.

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Go to a lesson or two with your dog.

Go to more lessons and start thinking, well if i'm driving there anyway, might as well have 2 dogs to learn with.

Geez, since i have 2 dogs, i could learn and get more bang for the buck if i could put sheep somewhere.

Hmm, all my friends go to dog trials, maybe i'll try it.

Okay, now i need a bigger truck since i have 4 dogs now.

Dang, hotels are expensive, might as well get a camper.

If i'm ever gonna get good, i need a farm and more sheep.

Sure wish i had time to go to a dog trial and use that camper that's gathering dust, but i'm too busy on this farm!

 

This should be a sticky!

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Solo is thunderphobic, and gunshot phobic, and firecracker phobic, and he will work through all three (Becca's seen it). I can't say he does such a great job, because these noises really do terrify him, but he keeps working. He's not the most talented dog, but he absolutely does not quit when working and a little thunder won't stop him.

 

If I had the resources (i.e., sheep) and time I would probably USE sheep to help him get over the phobias, because this is about the only situation I can think of in which his fear is ameliorated enough that I think desensitization might actually work. Otherwise attempting to desensitize a dog to these noises is very risky -- it is usually impossible to work with the dog close but not over threshold because the moment he hears the noise, he is over threshold -- so you end up sensitizing the dog instead. This is why they have a tendency to get worse with exposure, not better.

 

I have some deeply inconsiderate neighbors who shoot off fireworks at all hours (at 3 AM last night -- and my husband is working a 12-hour shift today) during the summer and it was getting so bad that I finally put Solo on daily doses of alprazolam (Xanax). After a couple of weeks, I've been able to halve his AM and PM doses and all he does when the fireworks go off is lift his head and listen, instead of totally freaking out. He appears to be getting successfully desensitized to the fireworks, which go off right behind the house, so hopefully the effects will last a while after I wean him off of the daily alprazolam. Did I mention that I hate my neighbors? The only drawback I can observe is that Solo often has the munchies and has been doing a lot of counter surfing.

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If I had the resources (i.e., sheep) and time I would probably USE sheep to help him get over the phobias, because this is about the only situation I can think of in which his fear is ameliorated enough that I think desensitization might actually work. Otherwise attempting to desensitize a dog to these noises is very risky -- it is usually impossible to work with the dog close but not over threshold because the moment he hears the noise, he is over threshold -- so you end up sensitizing the dog instead. This is why they have a tendency to get worse with exposure, not better.

 

Thanks for chiming in, Melanie. So... if you were out working Solo on stock, and you heard a faint rumbling of thunder in the distance, would you make an effort to stay out in the weather to work him through the fear? Or would you not risk his possibly associating the thunder fear with sheep and take him in?

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Thanks for chiming in, Melanie. So... if you were out working Solo on stock, and you heard a faint rumbling of thunder in the distance, would you make an effort to stay out in the weather to work him through the fear? Or would you not risk his possibly associating the thunder fear with sheep and take him in?

 

I'll just put my 2 cents in here as I have 2 very noise sensitive dogs. After the 4th of July, my working dog has become even more sensitive and we had a really severe storm a few nights ago (2 solid hrs of lightening and ear splitting thunder) that has obviously effected both dogs. Because all this is happening at night, they now refuse to stay outside when its dark unless I'm with them. So I've started playing frisbee with them after dark (tricky, beware of obstacles!) and I've been working my girl on the sheep at dusk, as long as I can still see enough to work her anyway. During hunting season, I'll always take the opportunity to work her and if she tries to shut down on me, I just do some more intensive close work with her, do my best to wear her out. The more tired she is, the less likely she is to be afraid. This seems to work for my dogs but its something i have to stay on top of and keep addressing because I don't think it will ever go away, just something I have to manage.

 

Good luck!

Jennifer

www.dreamcatchersheep.com

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I'll just put my 2 cents in here as I have 2 very noise sensitive dogs. After the 4th of July, my working dog has become even more sensitive and we had a really severe storm a few nights ago (2 solid hrs of lightening and ear splitting thunder) that has obviously effected both dogs. Because all this is happening at night, they now refuse to stay outside when its dark unless I'm with them. So I've started playing frisbee with them after dark (tricky, beware of obstacles!) and I've been working my girl on the sheep at dusk, as long as I can still see enough to work her anyway. During hunting season, I'll always take the opportunity to work her and if she tries to shut down on me, I just do some more intensive close work with her, do my best to wear her out. The more tired she is, the less likely she is to be afraid. This seems to work for my dogs but its something i have to stay on top of and keep addressing because I don't think it will ever go away, just something I have to manage.

 

Good luck!

Jennifer

www.dreamcatchersheep.com

 

Thanks, Jennifer! Calli has now made the association between rain and thunder; this was never a problem until a recent bad storm. Since we train in the rain a lot, I appreciate your suggestions - we'll give them a try. BTW, saw your recent blog entry... so sorry about your lovely cedar. :rolleyes:

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That makes a lot of sense to me, Jennifer. When Jake first arrived, his thunderphobia was a lot worse than it is now. His whole body would shake, his eyes would glaze over, he would pant and salivate heavily. He would shut down so far, he couldn't even walk. He still shakes and pants but he can now (for lack of a better word) 'function'. I feel it's something I'll always have to manage but when I get him to concentrate on me or something that's fun for him, he can work through it up to a point if it's a bad storm. Once he gets the shakes or "tells" me he's reached his threshold, we stop. Now, if a storm is in the distance, it hardly phases him......sometimes. All we had last night was lightening and he paced for a few minutes. I think all the fireworks we had around here a few days ago set him back but we'll work through it.

 

Donna, FWIW, I've worked with Jake a lot with frisbees and balls to keep him focused and he has never associated me with a storm. In fact, when it gets bad, I'm the one he searches for. The way Jake likes sheep, I can see him appreciating them if they were around when he heard a storm coming up.

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Donna, FWIW, I've worked with Jake a lot with frisbees and balls to keep him focused and he has never associated me with a storm. In fact, when it gets bad, I'm the one he searches for. The way Jake likes sheep, I can see him appreciating them if they were around when he heard a storm coming up.

 

Great... we'll give it a try. Thanks!

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Thanks for chiming in, Melanie. So... if you were out working Solo on stock, and you heard a faint rumbling of thunder in the distance, would you make an effort to stay out in the weather to work him through the fear? Or would you not risk his possibly associating the thunder fear with sheep and take him in?

 

I would keep working him if he were still working, if that makes any sense. If he were so fearful that he stopped working I would not press the issue because it would mean he was way over threshold and I was probably just making the problem worse.

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Resistance was futile, wasn't it? :D

A

I love it when we talk trekie!

 

And my two cents!

You will be assimilated! :rolleyes:

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And, to actually contrubute some thing of some worth to the thread, I too have and have had thunder phobic dogs, and they too will continue to work, some more focused than others, but I havent had one quit me yet. Lex has moved sheep with me in driving rain and thunder and lightening, in 50mph plus winds, and didnt even notice! What a grand lass!

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Nan is terrified of thunder and gun shots. She used to run and run, her eyes would get big and white and her brain would fry. Now ,she trust me so will run to me. If we are working and it starts, I razz up the sheep so she has to work at getting them. back..no commands but I split the sheep so she has to think on her own and get them as they are bolting.....it has helped quite a bit. In the house , I treat her and praise and hold her so she relaxes.

 

Sunday night, it thundered BAD as we were outside and she ran to me and sat down in front of me and looked in my eyes. I could see the her white rims but she sat and I praised her and then I opened the gate to the sheep and sssshh her and she ran off to get them in a dead run, It got way louder and began to pour but her head was down and she brought the sheep fast. I took her out and she danced about me and we ran up to the house with her barking and jumping for joy while it boomed around us. I was dancing wiht her and that makes her happy.

 

She ran into the house and straight to the treat jar. She got treats and it still thundered and she then curled next to me, with her nose in my side. She is still spooked but knows now when it thunders, she gets to work sheep fast or get treats and has settled down.

 

At one trial, the army fort started huge cannon shots during her run. She turned to me with her eyes white rimmed and I flanked her. I could see that she wanted to run so I sshh her. Our run was fast and furious and low on points but she didn't run off and did her commnads....by the time her run was over, it had quit. I was happy she didn't run off and it was woth it that she could be fast and furious during the noise...I consider it as tradeoff.

 

Now at night, insdie of freaking out in the house, she will jump next to me in the bed and bury her nose in my chest and I will fuss over her and she relaxes a lot. Then she will pass out in my arms. She feels safe when I hug her so I hug her and it has made a difference. Nan trusts me that I will take care of her and I won't let her down.

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I have 2 sound sensitive dogs. One will work through it though he's a bit messy but the young one wants to run to me. So I keep it very light and if I see an opening where there's thunder in the far distance, we run out to do a bit of work. Hopefully she'll get a bit better as she ages and her work becomes more important. She is facinated by the chickens. Recently a big storm blew in. She was watching the chicks and for about 3 minutes she didn't hear the thunder that was quite close, so I think there's hope for her that she will become enough of a worker that we'll get over it more than now. Or I'll keep a chicken tied on a string and show her that when I need to keep her working :rolleyes:

 

It's been interesting around here with all the heavy equipment. When it first started they were all terrified of the loud equipment, but now aren't bothered by it much. they get out of the way but don't seem that upset. Airbrakes do them all in. It's worse than anything we've run into, even close lighting takes a backseat to airbrakes. Thank doG you don't usually have to hear air brakes while working sheep that often.

 

All they have to see is a gun come out and they all take cover. not sure they'd work with a gun close but distant gunshots are treated like thunder so we manage.

 

Sometimes it amazes me that these dogs can be so tough then the small things can un nerve them so easy. But what cha gonna do? I hadn't thought about it much till recently, while looking for my next dog, I'm going to see if I can't add non-noise sensitivity to my lists of wants. It wouldn't stop me from a litter I thought was right but I'd love to find the best of both worlds.

 

Live long and prosper.

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Thanks everyone for responding to my thread! I had thought about getting Jake trained up for a while now but hesitated because of his thunderphobia but finally decided to take the plunge. After all, we would train when it wasn't raining and it would work him physically and mentally at the same time. I also hesitated to post this thread because I thought it might sound too silly but I figured if I'm ever going to find out, now would be the time to post it while I'm such a newbie. (Newies are entitled to silly questions, right? :D ) I'm sooo glad I did now! I never realized there were working dogs that are noise sensitive/thunderphobic. Because you guys posted, I have even higher hopes for Jake. I'm sure Jake appreciates it too! Now if I can just convenience him kiddie pools will not gobble him up if/when he gets in. :rolleyes:

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Thanks everyone for responding to my thread! I had thought about getting Jake trained up for a while now but hesitated because of his thunderphobia but finally decided to take the plunge. After all, we would train when it wasn't raining and it would work him physically and mentally at the same time. I also hesitated to post this thread because I thought it might sound too silly but I figured if I'm ever going to find out, now would be the time to post it while I'm such a newbie. (Newies are entitled to silly questions, right? :D ) I'm sooo glad I did now! I never realized there were working dogs that are noise sensitive/thunderphobic. Because you guys posted, I have even higher hopes for Jake. I'm sure Jake appreciates it too! Now if I can just convenience him kiddie pools will not gobble him up if/when he gets in. :rolleyes:

 

From one noob to another - don't hesitate to post. Not only did you spark (heh-heh) good discussion, but the rest of us newbies learned from it too. :D

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