There’s no need to fear – the Thundershirt is here!!
Once in a while someone invents something that isn’t just ingenious but it’s a life saver! The Thundershirt® is just that! We’ve all heard of massage, acupuncture and acupressure. We swaddle babies to help sooth them. Using pressure to relieve anxiety has been a common practice for years. Well actually, thousands of years! Now there’s a wonderful behavior training tool out there that works along the same principles. It’s the Thundershirt ® and it’s changing the lives of our precious dogs! When you see it on a dog it looks like a dog coat – a really nice one at that. The Thundershirt is a product based in part on the work of Temple Grandin; a noted author (Animals in Translation) and doctor of Animal Science and professor at Colorado State University.
The basic idea is that the “shirt”, provides gentle pressure on a dog’s body which in turn relaxes their nervous system and thus calms them down. This pressure wrap is a terrific way to modify a dog’s behavior humanely and non-invasively! Because the garment hugs a dog, it applies constant gentle pressure along key points on a dog’s body. This pressure is what dramatically calms them down. It soothes an anxious dog which in turn allows them to focus on training. Most importantly, it makes dogs just feel better! Dogs that wear the Thundershirt don’t seem to mind it at all. In a survey of over two thousand dogs, over 80% of them showed a significant improvement in symptoms while wearing it.
What’s even better – it’s not just for thunder! Although its name implies that it’s for thunder phobic dogs, it also is extremely effective for managing many other types of canine anxieties and fears. The Thundershirt helps with loud noises such as fireworks, separation and travel anxiety, some forms of aggression, OCD, problem barking, and even jumping! Many of these behaviors can lead a dog into an uncontrollable state of panic.
Symptoms can include but are not limited to severe shaking, panting, excitability, and barking. It breaks your heart to see a dog struggle with such issues but to know that there’ s something out there to help alleviate them; is nothing short of heartwarming.
In most cases, all you need to do is put the shirt on and be sure it fits snug, then allow it to do its work. It may be adjusted to maintain the appropriate pressure that suits your dog. Other than that, no training is required! For more complicated anxiety cases, it’s best to use the Thundershirt in conjunction with positive based behavior modification training via an experienced trainer. The Thundershirt can also be used with dogs that are reactive and hyperactive. It has even been shown to aid dogs that are recovering from post operative procedures as well. It assists them in their recovery process. Canine patients can reap the fantastic rewards from this non-invasive, safe and comforting training tool! The benefit of the shirt is that dogs are able to focus their attention on what’s important – their surrounding and you. This allows a dog to be set up for success and follow any training cues by their guardian.
My dog training practice promotes humane training. When I see a dog living with anxiety I recommend a variety of positive training tactics and the Thundershirt is always at the top of the list. When I sell a “shirt” I know that the dog will surely benefit from it. It’s inexpensive and worth every penny. My clients love them! It’s a wonderful alternative to some of the other options that are out there. Medicating a dog or surrendering them to a shelter because of behavior issues is not the answer; nor is it acceptable. As humans, we are here to help dog and be their voice. The Thundershirt truly gives dog the gift of peace.
The uses for the Thundershirt seem endless! I give this product a FOUR PAWS up as a positive behavior training tool! This well thought out pressure wrap is transforming dogs’ lives (and their guardians) around the world. Thundershirts allows dogs to enjoy the good life they deserve to live.