If your Golden Retriever gets afraid of thunder and lightning, this post will show you why and what you can do about it.

So, why is my Golden Retriever afraid of thunder and lightning? Possible reasons are that it is due to its sensitive hearing, it senses a change in the air pressure or that you become anxious yourself.

Your Golden Retriever might be afraid of thunder and lightning for many different reasons and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are many things you can do about it.

Why your Golden Retriever is afraid of thunder and lightning

Below are some common reasons why Golden Retrievers get afraid of thunder and lightning and what would make them more likely to be the main reason why yours has been doing it.

You become anxious yourself

Golden Retrievers were bred to work alongside their owners as working dogs and they would spend many hours per day with their owners. As a result of this, they can be highly aware of how their owners are feeling. The reason your Golden Retriever gets afraid when there is thunder and lightning could be because you get anxious yourself.

Sensitive hearing

Golden Retrievers have much more sensitive hearing than we do, the reason that it gets afraid could be that it hears the noises much more loudly or possibly that it can hear noises that we can’t.

In this case, you could try to reduce the loudness for it by letting it go in a room where the thunder is harder to hear. You could also close the blinds on windows so that the lightning is less noticeable.

A change in air pressure

The cause could be due to a change in air pressure. This is because it will warn it that there is a storm on the way and it might hear the low-frequency noises of the thunder as it approaches (source).

If your Golden Retriever starts to act differently before the thunder and lightning has even arrived, a change in the air pressure could be the reason why.

It triggers a fight or flight response

It might also be because it triggers a fight or flight response from your Golden Retriever. This could happen due to the loud noises from the thunder and the flashes of lightning.

How to get your Golden Retriever to be less afraid of thunder and lightning

Below are some things that you can do about your Golden Retriever being afraid of thunder and lightning.

Crate training

Crate training involves getting your Golden Retriever to learn to stay in a crate when it wants to. When done right crate training can give your Golden Retriever a place to go to in order to feel more secure. This would allow your Golden Retriever to have a place to go to when the thunder and lightning is causing it to feel insecure.

You can watch the video below to see more on how you can crate train your Golden Retriever.

Give it distractions

Another option you have would be to give it things to be distracted with when the thunder is around. By doing so you will be able to reduce how much it is focusing on the thunder which should reduce how anxious it gets. Things that you could give it would include toys, chews or bones.

Desensitize it to the sound of thunder

Another option would be to get it to associate thunder with rewards. To do this you could play noises of thunder quietly when you are playing with it so that it learns to associate thunder with playing.

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Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.