Who would have guessed that an inexpensive pressure-wrap shirt could give your dog a hug that would calm his fears of loud noises, strangers and other anxiety-producing stuff? Anxiety plays a major role in the behaviors that cause dogs to end up in shelters, such as problem barking, fear-biting, and aggression. Other unwanted behaviors include repetitive spinning, tail-chasing, and cowering from thunder or fireworks.
Professional trainers have been talking about the Thundershirt, and we were
intrigued enough to give it a try. Three staff members tried one out on their own dogs. Lucy, a pit bull mix who is a constant tail chaser, halted her chasing long enough to focus on her proud papa. Jordie, the Miniature Aussie who hates riding in the car, ceased his agitated panting and enjoyed the ride, curling up in his car seat. Ruthie, a cockapoo who suffers from
separation anxiety, handled the separation with no whimpers when her mom put her Thundershirt on a half hour before she left the house. According to the company, 85% of dogs get significant relief from symptoms, and our unscientific trial seemed to bear that out.
How It Works
Pressure is known to have a calming effect on the nervous system. Swaddled infants are comforted by their snug blankets, and hugs are used to calm children with autism. The same principle works for dogs. Thundershirt’s patent-pending design applies gentle constant pressure on a dog’s torso to calm and soothe ruffled nerves. It has proven successful in the following situations:
- Fireworks and loud noises
- Tail chasing and repetitive behaviors
- Nail trims and vet visits
- Problem barking
- Fear biting and leash aggression
- Separation anxiety
- Travel anxiety
To see a before and after video, please go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7lilXT8Img