Monday, July 19, 2010

137. BEHAVIOUR. Golden Retriever is frightened when it rains

July 20, 2010

I went to the National Library, Victoria St to research on bird nest production. It is a secretive business apparently as demand for high quality bird nests is great, sales of which can be as much as RM$4,000/kg or S$2000/kg.

One officer suggested checking out nature.com. "How's your abalone book?" he asked and encouraged me to use the internet. "Not much info about the hundreds of species in this world in the internet," I said. I expect the same paucity of information from the internet with the technical aspects of bird nest production.

BEHAVIOUR OF DOG
I asked about his dog. "Still the same behaviour. My main door has a big hole now. I have to board it up." For the past 6 years, whenever there is rain, lightning or thunderstorm, this 6-year-old female spayed Golden Retriever will paw at the main door to be let inside the house. Once inside, she will pace up and down.

SOLUTIONS
1. Play CDs of thunderstorm and lightning. One Filipino vet technician advised him to download from the internet .wav files. He went to google, type ".wav + lightning." Then he would play the CD which lasts about 10 minutes for one hour per day for 7 days.

"Any success?" I asked him.
"The Golden Retriever just listened in boredom."
"So, it is a failure?" I said.
"Yes," the man with greyish hair said. "There needs to be the environment - the change of temperature before the thunderstorm. I don't have time to wait for such ambience to play the CD."

There is never any time for working adults to train a dog not to be afraid of thunderstorms and lightning. In any case, the total experience of climate changes was not produced. So, now the owner is resigned to the door damage.

2. SPECIFIC TREATS TO BE ADDED INTO THE FOOD. "It costs me $25.00 to buy the treats from ... (a dog farm in Pasir Ris) and this product was on sale. It would cost $40.00normally.

"Does it work?" I asked.
"No," he said. "The dog appears drowsy. I must feed it with this product every day."
So, it was money down the drain.

3. DOG PHEROMONES. I mentioned that there is one product which I believe has been used in the UK for the past few years and not available in Singapore. But how effective dog pheromones are to calm dogs during thunderstorm, I do not know. So, I dare not advise him to spray it onto the dog's nose prior to thunderstorms.

It seems that this poor owner would have to replace several main doors as the Golden Retriever is outdoors and rain is quite common in Singapore nowadays.
Readers who have successful solutions, please e-mail to me at judy@toapayohvets.com

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