Why Do Dogs React as They Do to Certain Natural Situations?
By Lyse McGilvery
Animals react to nature and the full moon just as humans do. Police have noticed, for example, that there are more fights during a full moon, so they typically assign more officers on the streets, especially if it falls on a weekend. Another example is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), where people who aren’t getting enough sun in their lives become depressed during the short darker days of winter. Animals apparently feel the same effects of Mother Nature. It’s easy to understand why dogs are scared of lightning and, of course, human-designed fireworks and gunshots, but why are dogs scared of the strong gusts of wind we’ve been having recently in the SLV?
Since I’ve only owned one dog in the Swiss Alps and never noticed her reacting to strong wind — perhaps because we let her stay in our cabin each time there was wind and snow. So, I had to do some research. This is not the kind of thing I could look up on-line, so I decided to ask owners of a couple of dozen dogs here in the San Lorenzo Valley.
Sixty percent of the dog-owners felt it was that dogs were frightened by high-pitched decibels or sounds that humans can’t perceive. Some said it could be the sudden flurry of autumn leaves falling that caused them to come running to their owners, perhaps as an excuse for some attention and petting, especially older dogs.
Perri of Brookdale, the owner of multiple dogs said, “Perhaps due to their age, they’re running to their owners for security because they want protection from the noise.” Lise La Fontaine of Boulder Creek had yet another theory, “Maybe it’s the result of some trauma experienced with a past owner. I had a dog that wouldn’t “Go fetch!” when I threw a stick into the shallow creek in front of our cabin. He was obviously scared of water–not normal for dogs.”
Let’s watch out for each other, and pay attention to our pets’ fears, since we’re all part of nature and affected by it.