Even though traditionally there are fireworks just once or twice a year in the UK with thunder just as infrequent, the stess it can bring our dogs can be a very sad and distressing thing to see and cope with. I have delt with many noise phobic dogs and I have seen in some cases, dogs self harm, such is the severity of the phobia.
Start with Socialisation
Ideally, Thunder and firework noises should be part of socialisation but it is surprising how many people dont even think to include them. Maybe because it just is not something in the forefront of our minds with it’s infrequency or there hasnt been any thunder or fireworks to desensitise to. Regardless, start as soon as you can.
Alexa has some great tracks in sounds which you can use to desensitise your dog to. Begin by playing a choosen track such as firework ‘whistles’ or ‘bangs’ or thunder sounds at the lowest volume whilst doing something fun and rewarding such as playing with a favourite toy or if she is a foodie, whilst she is eating her meal. Gradually incrsase the volume. If at any point she reacts to the sound, go back to the level she was non reactive to and increase again but in smaller increments.
Nothing Better Than the Real Thing
Obviously there is nothing better than actual thunder and pressure that a storm brings to help your dog learn that it is nothing to worry about. If you should be lucky enough to experance a storm whilst she is still young, make sure you have the most potant treat on you and go out in it! every time there is a rumble of thunder or lighting give lots of treats, praising for any calm behaviour or if there is no reaction the sound.