Help with a storm phobic dog

I know there have been plenty of threads (even a few recent ones) about curing thunder-phobic dogs. My problem is a little more specific.

My 1 ½ year old mix (likely border collie and black lab) is very storm phobic. Luckily, she’s not destructive at all and is quite content to hang out in the bathtub. Apparently, that’s the safe place. And I’m fine with her being there. I don’t baby her or try to reassure her. For the most part, I just ignore her when she’s acting phobic.

My problem is getting her to go the bathroom when it’s storming. When I take her out, she just stands at the door, crying. If I put her on a leash and walk her out in the yard, she just cries to me. I can’t get her to even think about peeing. Then, by the time the storm clears, I’m asleep, she doesn’t wake me up and instead just pees on the floor.

I’m not concerned with curing her indoor behavior. I just need to get her to pee!

Mods: I wasn’t sure which forum to put this in. I apologize if it should be elsewhere and thanks in advance if you have to move it.

I suppose you could try to make storms a Fun Time Activity, with extra attention and treats (especially if the dog goes out to wee during the storm, it gets a biscuit when it returns). Then the beast would associate bad weather with good outcomes.

There was a Thurber story (“The Dog That Bit People”?) about how the family took advantage of their aggressive dog’s fear of thunderstorms. They devised a “thunder machine” involving a thin sheet of metal that could be turned/shaken with a handle. When they wanted the dog to come in from outdoors, they’d use the machine to make thundery sounds, and it would streak in and hide under the bed.
Hope this helps.

Ah, yes, the Nothing in Life is Free approach. I hadn’t thought about that. Not sure why; maybe it’s because Stella isn’t really into treats. But I’ll give it a shot. I’ll try anything to keep her from peeing in the house (it happened again last night! :mad: ) Thanks, Jackmannii.

we had a dog like that and our vet recommended–and we agreed–to giving our dog a mild sedative… worked wonders.