Thundershirts

I’ve undertaken something new…a thundershirt. At our training lesson last Wednesday, the trainer suggested a thundershirt and asked if I knew what it was. She was very surprised to know that I have been doing all this research. I promptly searched local stores looking for a thundershirt in hope that this will help Oreo. Thundershirts are like wraps that velcro around the dog to create a feeling of safety, security, and lessen anxiety. There are many great reviews for this product, and some not so great. Many people use thundershirts to lessen the fear of thunder (hense the name).

It was suggested that I put this on her a few times a day leaving it on for different amounts.  So…I put it on her and she stood looking at me, wide eyes, and didn’t move. It was like she was in shock. Then she looked around and wobbled a little like she was off balance. I actually believe she may be getting her balance. Some dogs do not really notice their body. They don’t know their body extends and aren’t aware of it, so that makes it scary when people touch them. I am hoping the thundershirt and ttouch will help with this.

So…she followed me around like a lost puppy dog. She stood on me, followed me to the chair and jumped up to stand on me. It was like she was in shock. To me, she seemed super anxious, although she wasn’t whining or anything, she was just looking, and not moving, very odd. So I took it off after 5 minutes so she can get used to it. Next time I tried to put it on…what do you think happened? She RAN!!! I e-mailed the trainer telling her what happened, and the trainer said that she thinks this will help so I should try to get her used to it. REALLY. That hit me. Wow, yes I am a worry wart. But considering the way she acts when I tried putting something she is scared of near her (she tried to bite, snaps, growls, shows teeth). So I confronted her. Usually not the best thing to do..but I followed my gut. She hid, but I put it on top of her and she did not resist, she did not bite, or growl, or snap.

I’ve putten it on her a few more times and she’s been sleeping on the floor with it on, I think it may be working, relaxing her a bit. She is taking treats now with it on which is good. She still will run at the sight of it. Hopefully she likes it and I’m not forcing her into something scary. I think she has a love/hate relationship with it. She loves it because its calming to her, but she hates seeing it. I think each time I put it on she is a little less scared and a little more relaxed. Hopefully the trainer is right. Not sure yet…I’ll keep you updated.

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4 thoughts on “Thundershirts

  1. The first time I put a Thundershirt on my Wilfred he immediately calmed down. In fact he snapped at me when I went to take it off. When I pull it out he comes over and presents his but to my thighs and stands really still until I put it on. He HATES when I take it off, though he doesn’t snap at me anymore.

    Some dogs just aren’t used to the feeling of having something on them other then tier collars. Have you tried putting a jacket or sweater on? Sometimes having different items of doggy clothing put on and off helps desensitize them to wearing a Thundershirt.

    • Wow! Glad to hear it worked so well for Wilfred! Oreo has become desensitized and now runs up to me when I take it out! She is also much better with her winter coat to keep her warm during long training sessions outside! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. Just posting, I googled Thundershirt images and yours came up. Our dog, Nero, whines at EVERYTHING, he’s neurotic, it’s really unfortunate. He was a little confused when we were in the process of putting the shirt on, but now he is just laying on the floor happily. He is extremely hyper, has severe separation anxiety and I think general insanity, but so far (10 min) the shirt seems to be working…here’s to the Thundershirt!

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