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Thundershirts work!!!!

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  • Thundershirts work!!!!

    I have a mutt from the shelter, she looks like a JRT/ACD (red) cross. She was 6 months old when we got her and she's been an interesting study.

    She spends the night in a crate in the kitchen next to our other dog (also crated). She was having problems with separation anxiety and would bark.

    I went through my complete bag of tricks and was about to return her to the shelter when it was strongly suggested to me that we try a Thundershirt. Put it on her in the store to check the fit and the immediate change in her attitude was shocking. She instantly became calmer and more focused on me, as opposed to the others in the store.

    Put it on her the first night and never heard a peep out of her.

    I will tell you that by night #4 she had figured out a way to wiggle out of it so I wouldn't recommend it for long-term unsupervised use. Luckily, we seem to have gotten over the hump with the night barking - I'm thinking the Thundershirt contributed to her finally giving it up and just relaxing.

    I then lent it to a friend of mine who has a Corgi with storm anxiety. She tried it at first opportunity and said the dog just hung out quietly with them in the kitchen when in the past she would head for the bathroom in fear. They did a "doorbell" test on her and instead of going crazy, she just stood there.

    The verdict: Success!
    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton

  • #2
    My feed store just started carrying these...and my JRT is terrified of thunderstorms. Now if I could just find 40 bucks....
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm

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    • #3
      One of my whippets is a hot mess in thunderstorms. I hate to always give Zanax although it works wonders but drugs are drugs and would rather not.

      Maybe it is time to buy one. I hope others chime in on this topic.
      Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club! RIP my dear Avery ~3/21/1995-9/21/2011~

      Extreme Cat!!! 2006 OTTB
      Magic Cat - Final Demand

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mroades View Post
        My feed store just started carrying these...and my JRT is terrified of thunderstorms. Now if I could just find 40 bucks....
        Might be able to get away with something much cheaper.

        My JRT is also afraid of Tstorms, fireworks etc. After reading a few years ago about the theory behind it, I actually got him a doggy shirt that is just a bit tight on him. Not an actual Thundershirt or anything. I put it on him when it's storming or the 4th and he's SO much more comfortable. No more getting him out from tight places where he's wedged himself and shaking.

        For me, the tight (snug) cotton doggie shirt is all I need.
        "Aye God, Woodrow..."

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        • #5
          The thundershirt helped with my hound's general anxiety. I love that thing.
          Pam's Pony Place

          Pam's Pony Ponderings

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          • #6
            I told my dog's story on the doggie ace thread. The Thundershirt has worked really well for my GSD who hates thunder storms. He actually slides his head in it when he sees it. Highly recommend.

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            • #7
              The thundershirt worked on my German Shorthaird Pointer that has generalized anxiety issues. They got worse at night, pacing, wanting to go out.. then in .. then out.. then in.. etc etc.. Thundershirt on and boom curled up sleeping and calm no more pacing. Thumbs up from me!
              ___._/> I don't suffer from insanity.. I enjoy every
              ____/ minute of it! Member stick horse art lovers
              ';;;;;;; clique
              //__\\<-- Don't feed the llama!

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              • #8
                Bwahaha... Thundershirt did NOT work for our shepherd mix.

                I guess she has separation anxiety-- she's crated during the day while we're at work and does well, but then we started trying to transition her out of the crate during our workday. FAIL! She'll be OK for a couple of days, then WHAMMO, she trashes whaever she can get her teeth on-- she ripped the front skirt off of the sofa, ate through I don't know how many cords (cellphone, laptop, etc.), stripped the bottom half of the Christmas tree, and chewed holes in another sofa in two places. (Never mind that she has more toys than your average human baby, plus rawhides. And a "big sister" who's perfectly calm inside the house and wants nothing more than to sleep all day, so it's not like she's alone. AND she has a good calm role model.)

                So we got a Thundershirt on the recommendation of a friend of mine. Put Thundershirt on said Devil Hound... no change. If anything, I think it streamlined her and made her even faster. Hubby started calling it her "performance fleece" because it transformed her into Uber-Athlete.

                Tried starting to let her out of the crate unsupervised for short periods... for a couple of days it was OK, then one day after less than half an hour out of it, we came home to find one of the dog beds completely gutted of stuffing... and the Thundershirt half-eaten off her own body. (She has a thing for Velcro, snaps, and zippers-- once she figured out Thundershirt had Velcro, it was Game ON.)

                So I sent it back for a refund, because it lasted all of about 2 weeks...
                *friend of bar.ka

                "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

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                • #9
                  I have an anxious hyperactive JRT (I know, a shock). I think I will try this for her. She's just so....anxious unnecessarily. Has always been like this and if a Thundershirt works for her, my life would be so much....quieter!
                  ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
                  Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

                  "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

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                  • #10
                    Hm, I wonder if that would work for Puff. He has SEVERE storm anxiety. Any loud noise bothers him but he just mentally falls apart during thunderstorms.
                    Author Page
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                    Steampunk Sweethearts

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cnvh View Post
                      Bwahaha... Thundershirt did NOT work for our shepherd mix.

                      I guess she has separation anxiety-- she's crated during the day while we're at work and does well, but then we started trying to transition her out of the crate during our workday. FAIL! She'll be OK for a couple of days, then WHAMMO, she trashes whaever she can get her teeth on-- she ripped the front skirt off of the sofa, ate through I don't know how many cords (cellphone, laptop, etc.), stripped the bottom half of the Christmas tree, and chewed holes in another sofa in two places. (Never mind that she has more toys than your average human baby, plus rawhides. And a "big sister" who's perfectly calm inside the house and wants nothing more than to sleep all day, so it's not like she's alone. AND she has a good calm role model.)

                      So we got a Thundershirt on the recommendation of a friend of mine. Put Thundershirt on said Devil Hound... no change. If anything, I think it streamlined her and made her even faster. Hubby started calling it her "performance fleece" because it transformed her into Uber-Athlete.

                      Tried starting to let her out of the crate unsupervised for short periods... for a couple of days it was OK, then one day after less than half an hour out of it, we came home to find one of the dog beds completely gutted of stuffing... and the Thundershirt half-eaten off her own body. (She has a thing for Velcro, snaps, and zippers-- once she figured out Thundershirt had Velcro, it was Game ON.)

                      So I sent it back for a refund, because it lasted all of about 2 weeks...
                      How often are you walking her (briskly)? You might want to walk/jog 40 min twice a day, and do about 15 min of training per day, to tire her mentally. Getting rid of excess energy will help reduce anxiety/SA.
                      You might also want to look into DAP (Dog appeasing Pheromes)diffusers for dogs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                        How often are you walking her (briskly)? You might want to walk/jog 40 min twice a day, and do about 15 min of training per day, to tire her mentally. Getting rid of excess energy will help reduce anxiety/SA.
                        You might also want to look into DAP (Dog appeasing Pheromes)diffusers for dogs.
                        The day she ate the Thundershirt off herself, that was just after being outside playing hardcore "fetch" with a Chuckit for over half an hour. Hubby walks/runs both dogs every morning for 30-45 minutes; weekends they both go to the dog park, weather permitting. She's also been Destructo-Pup after a couple hours of nonstop running at the dog park, too.

                        Honestly I wonder if it's really SA in her case, because no amount of wearing her out seems to work... like I said, she has a thing for snaps, velcro, and zippers. We have a fleece throw-blanket that's meant to be worn almost like a Snuggie, with snaps down one edge and a zipper on another; she surgically extracted every single snap from the thing, as well as the zipper. Same goes for the dog beds-- when she found the zippers, she went to town. When she realized the sofa cushions had zippers on the backs, that was the last straw for us; we vowed to crate her until she dies or all her teeth fall out, whichever comes first.

                        It's funny, because she's ridiculously obedient whenever we're around, and she's a super-quick learner. But she just can't be trusted alone, end of story.
                        *friend of bar.ka

                        "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow, smart marketing, but you don't need to spend any real money to do this. I have 2 rescued Aussies. Fat Max had spent 2 years tied up in a barn, when I got him, he was terrified for thunder, firecrackers, gunshots etc. What I did was take a t-shirt of mine and a tensor bandage and wrap him in that. It works like a charm, he is much much better.

                          Here is a link explaining it a bit better.
                          Wrapping is similar to swaddling an infant and uses a technique called "maintained pressure," first developed by Dr. Temple Grandin, to help calm herself and others with Autism.
                          http://www.ehow.com/how_6173772_wrap...t-anxiety.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by cnvh View Post
                            The day she ate the Thundershirt off herself, that was just after being outside playing hardcore "fetch" with a Chuckit for over half an hour. Hubby walks/runs both dogs every morning for 30-45 minutes; weekends they both go to the dog park, weather permitting. She's also been Destructo-Pup after a couple hours of nonstop running at the dog park, too.

                            Honestly I wonder if it's really SA in her case, because no amount of wearing her out seems to work... like I said, she has a thing for snaps, velcro, and zippers. We have a fleece throw-blanket that's meant to be worn almost like a Snuggie, with snaps down one edge and a zipper on another; she surgically extracted every single snap from the thing, as well as the zipper. Same goes for the dog beds-- when she found the zippers, she went to town. When she realized the sofa cushions had zippers on the backs, that was the last straw for us; we vowed to crate her until she dies or all her teeth fall out, whichever comes first.

                            It's funny, because she's ridiculously obedient whenever we're around, and she's a super-quick learner. But she just can't be trusted alone, end of story.
                            Have him try exercising (walk/jog) for 45 min in the eve as well, and also do some training daily. Once a day walks/jogs isn't enough for active breeds. The training should be done daily as well, because that will tire them out mentally. Even teaching long sit/stays will tire one out because it requires focus. Teaching agility is also great. Playing at the dog park doesn't require any mental energy/focus so won't always tire a dog out. Some will actually get an adrenaline rush and come home more wound up.
                            Kongs stuffed with peanut butter, then frozen work great to occupy most dogs. Same thing with puzzle toys.

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                            • #15
                              Glad to hear this, we are considering getting one for our Lab mix who is just generally an anxious, whiny girl.

                              I did tell my husband that I could just standing-wrap her instead of spending the $ on a thundershirt.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                thundershirt

                                sorry if i am repeating things- i didnt get to read the thread first.

                                i saw these online and decided to try my own version to appease my lab/mastiff/rott/greyhound mix who is TERRIFIED of storms/wind/rain/overhead ceiling fans/flashlights/camera flashes etc.

                                i took an adult small t-shirt and put it on her at the beginning of a storm, she usually starts whining and pacing and then scratches/breaks down our bedroom door to hide in our closet when a storm comes along, and with the t-shirt on, she whined for a second and then got in her "house" (crate) and was quiet and calm.

                                it was like night and day- i loved it and so did she!

                                the next time, i put a larger t-shirt on her because the small was pretty tight, it didn't work nearly as well. i think the key is the pressure- like temple grandin's squeeze machine!

                                anyway, good luck- and save yourself some money!
                                Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
                                Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy

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                                • #17
                                  I use one of my T-shirts, one that I haven't washed yet. The thinking behind that is the T-shirt smells like me and helps with the calming process. It has always worked for me.

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