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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone tried these before? When I took Bentley in for his yearly check up last week, she told me I should look into getting one for him. She seems to think it would really help him to relax and not to be so stressed out over everything. This isn't in place of training - because were going to start him up again, but just curious if anyone has any stories with it. People don't leave them on when they are alone, do they? I'd be afraid he'd get stuck on something in his crate, chew it off, etc?
 

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My mom uses one on her Fox Hound, from their experience, it doesn't work. The dog still displays the same anxiety as she does without it on during a storm/fireworks.

Just our observation, I am sure other people that have used them have had success.
 

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I have one for Oliver, it does seem to calm him. Oliver is very fearful, and has alot of issues we are dealing with and a behaviorist. He usually will lay down with it on and it does calm him. The other day he had it on and my husband told me to take it off of him as he was too confident with it on. LOL. I didnt' take it off. He doesn't wear it all the time. I really think he likes it, especially when it's cold.
 

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I have one for my girl who is scared of thunder, fireworks, and gun shots. It has worked well for her. It really calms her down. Before we got one we tried giving her Benadryl which our vet recommended. Benadryl didn't help so we got the shirt to try. It has been a Godsend for us.
 

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friskybinx, how would you describe your dog?
restless
anxious
sensitive
neurotic
fearful
jumpy
fussy
lack of confidence
attention seeker
inattentive

something else?


for known fears try............Mimulus
Mimulus is for fear of known things. For fear of gunshots, fireworks, thunder, men, vacuum cleaners, being groomed or having their nails clipped, hot air balloons, aeroplanes, vets, people in white coats, slippery floors, travelling in cars, etc. Mimulus is for phobias. For dogs that are fear biters. Mimulus is for the symptoms of nervousness in all animals such as pacing, restlessness, panting, whining, frothing at the mouth, panicking. The dog that runs and hides when visitors arrive. For dogs that will attack when cornered. For heart disorders. For illnesses, especially viral infections, that do not respond to treatment.

The virtue of Mimulus is restoration.

for unknown fears try...................Aspen
Aspen is the remedy for unknown fears, insecurity, and phobias. Aspen is perfect for dogs that are jumpy and nervous but with no obvious focus for their fears. For dogs that won’t leave the house or refuse to go into a certain area or building. The dog that stares nervously into a corner or appears to “see” something when there is nothing to be seen.

Aspen is good for anxious anticipation, anxiety, inability to go anywhere alone. Avoidance behaviour. Dogs that have always been fearful and jumpy. Aspen is good for the physical conditions that go with fear and anxiety - uncontrollable urination, trembling, diarrhoea, circulatory disorders, etc.

The virtue of Aspen is fearlessness.


http://spirit-animal.net/bach_flower_essences.htm
 

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I got Elke a thundershirt to help calm her down at night when she gets super agitated. It seems to work well. She has even slept in it a couple of times. When she doesn't want it on, she tries to pull it off though. However, when she is agitated, she welcomes it.

The key is to make sure it's on correctly and give your dog a few short trial runs in it so they get used to it and like it.
 

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u mad?
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I don't use one personally but had a dog come into work with one that we were suposed to put on when she started barking and acting anxious. It really made a difference! She (Toy Fox Terrier) really calmed down once it was put on her.
 

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I LOVE THE THUNDERSHIRT! Seriously, I could not be a bigger fan. I have one for each dog. Shanoa wears her shirt occasionally. Basically, we use it on days that she's extra anxious and having trouble settling down. I also have her wear it if I have to take her somewhere that I know is going to cause anxiety. It makes a noticeable difference. When she's having trouble settling, and I put the shirt on, within probably 15 minutes she will lie down and go to sleep.

Simon now has a shirt and is wearing it any time we are gone as well as overnight when we're asleep. He has some mild separation anxiety that is manifesting as OCD licking. He has two lick granulomas on his feet. Since adding the shirt, one has healed and the other is starting to, so I think the shirt is helping him, too.

I should honestly buy stock in the Thundershirt company :)
 
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I am a dog trainer and have used the Thundershirt on lots of dogs. For some dogs it does not seem to make much difference at all and for some it makes a world of difference. I had one dog come into my class one week, it was the saddest thing ever. He was trembling, panting, etc and I knew that we had to go about him a different way. I recommended several things and sent the dog home. A few days later they called and they loved the Thundershirt so much that she insisted that the dog should come back to class and try again. When they came through the doorway it was a completely different dog. Tail up, attentive, took treats, was able to learn. Amazing!
I would definitely give it a try and make sure that it is fit snug.
 

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Forgot to mention - my trainer figured she saw about an 80% success rate with the dogs she worked with. And yes, it does need to be quite snug!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You guys are so great! Bentley has a fear of everything, I swear by it. Our vet told is the poor thing has NO confidence. Although, when it comes to women, he is totally okay with them. Men on the other hand, he wants NOTHING to do with. I've noticed a difference because I've found people who are willing to give him a chance so he can build up his confidence around strangers, but I want to find something that helps him out with it. He is a very snuggly, velcro, needs to be touched Dobie so I feel like if he had something wrapped around him it would help ease a lot of things. When I pet him and he's having a hard time with something, you can see him instantly relax, even though I know that's not really a good thing to do. I want him to be able to cope with things that stress him out without my attention all the time.

Darkevs - I'd say out of that list you posted he's all of these things: restless (unless he's glued to my side), anxious (Again, unless he's glued to me), sensitive, fearful, no confidence, attention seeker, inattentive (only sometimes).

Bentley has chewed through more things including drywall, he's pulled the metal pan in his crate up and bent it, breaking the edges so he could destroy a good 10x10 square of carpet, he constantly pees in his cage (even if we JUST take him out - I really wish I knew why he does this) but he really doesn't bark when he's in his crate.. just destroys things. We managed to put a divider in his crate so he has just the right amount of room, and we BUILT him a floor so even if he does pull up another corner, he can't destroy anything.

When we are home, in the apartment and hanging out, he is just the BEST dog ever. Very weary of new people, but he's very curious and will smell you/come up to you when you aren't looking. Unless it's a women, then he has no problem coming up to them and let them pet him. It's sad, because everyone just ADORES him, and I want to find something that can help give him that feeling that it's okay, even when we aren't in training. The man we have taken him to is very rough with Bentley, and I almost feel like it might scare him even more..
 

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I used them on my JRT & Dobe. Really worked well if I got them on before a storm came but would settle them down pretty fast if I didn't.
 

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You guys are so great! Bentley has a fear of everything, I swear by it. Our vet told is the poor thing has NO confidence. Although, when it comes to women, he is totally okay with them. Men on the other hand, he wants NOTHING to do with. I've noticed a difference because I've found people who are willing to give him a chance so he can build up his confidence around strangers, but I want to find something that helps him out with it. He is a very snuggly, velcro, needs to be touched Dobie so I feel like if he had something wrapped around him it would help ease a lot of things. When I pet him and he's having a hard time with something, you can see him instantly relax, even though I know that's not really a good thing to do. I want him to be able to cope with things that stress him out without my attention all the time.

Darkevs - I'd say out of that list you posted he's all of these things: restless (unless he's glued to my side), anxious (Again, unless he's glued to me), sensitive, fearful, no confidence, attention seeker, inattentive (only sometimes).

Bentley has chewed through more things including drywall, he's pulled the metal pan in his crate up and bent it, breaking the edges so he could destroy a good 10x10 square of carpet, he constantly pees in his cage (even if we JUST take him out - I really wish I knew why he does this) but he really doesn't bark when he's in his crate.. just destroys things. We managed to put a divider in his crate so he has just the right amount of room, and we BUILT him a floor so even if he does pull up another corner, he can't destroy anything.

When we are home, in the apartment and hanging out, he is just the BEST dog ever. Very weary of new people, but he's very curious and will smell you/come up to you when you aren't looking. Unless it's a women, then he has no problem coming up to them and let them pet him. It's sad, because everyone just ADORES him, and I want to find something that can help give him that feeling that it's okay, even when we aren't in training. The man we have taken him to is very rough with Bentley, and I almost feel like it might scare him even more..
Are you doing any behavioral modification training with Bentley? I really, really like the methods in "Control Unleashed" (Leslie McDevittt). I found it to be nothing short of miraculous for Shanoa. She was very, very fearful of people, and CU helped her progress far enough that she passed her therapy dog test with Delta this past summer. If he's that fearful, you may also want to consult with a veterinary behaviorist (find one here: Find a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist ACVB). Medication may help, but behavioral work needs to go with it. I would IMMEDIATELY find a different trainer. Fearful dogs are only going to get worse with rough handling and corrections. If you feel uncomfortable, chances are that damage is already being done to Bentley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I saw that in a few other posts and I think I'm going to look into it. We talked to our vet and she isn't giving him medicine until we are on a good training plan, that way he can be on calming pills while being trained to help him adjust better and not be so stressed out. (I asked her about clamicalm or something like that)

I use to get scared and nervous when he'd act out when we were walking, but since then I've really done a 360 in correcting him, making sure that I'm not stressed or worried, knowing I am in control, etc. And I've already seen a difference in him since then.

Do you think the Thundershirt will calm him down enough to where he can learn better without being so stressed/anxious? I'm NOT looking for a quick fix, but I want to make him comfortable while he's learning.

The problem I always run into is my location. We have NOTHING where I am. We have ONE trainer people go to. I'm 3 1/2 hours away from the mainland of Florida. Thankfully we'll be moving within the next year, but until then...
 

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I saw that in a few other posts and I think I'm going to look into it. We talked to our vet and she isn't giving him medicine until we are on a good training plan, that way he can be on calming pills while being trained to help him adjust better and not be so stressed out. (I asked her about clamicalm or something like that)

I use to get scared and nervous when he'd act out when we were walking, but since then I've really done a 360 in correcting him, making sure that I'm not stressed or worried, knowing I am in control, etc. And I've already seen a difference in him since then.

Do you think the Thundershirt will calm him down enough to where he can learn better without being so stressed/anxious? I'm NOT looking for a quick fix, but I want to make him comfortable while he's learning.

The problem I always run into is my location. We have NOTHING where I am. We have ONE trainer people go to. I'm 3 1/2 hours away from the mainland of Florida. Thankfully we'll be moving within the next year, but until then...
I would get the CU book ASAP. Correcting his behavior, if it stems from fear and uncertainty, is actually going to make your problem much, much worse. You may see what looks like improvement, but actually what you are seeing is a suppression of your dog's signals to you that he is uncomfortable. He's learned that when he communicates that he is uncertain (by growling, or whatever he does), that he gets punished. So he won't "tell" you anymore you then create a dog that may escalate to something like a bite with no warning whatsoever.

I don't mean to offend, but most "regular" veterinarians have very little experience with behavioral problems and aren't really equipped to deal with serious stuff. It's worth the drive and expense to go to a vet who is board certified in behavior.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Definitely never thought of that... but VERY good points. I'll pick up a copy of CU as soon as I can and go from there. I wish we had more resources down here, it might make it more tolerable to live. My vet told me the dog trainer we went to see was the best with animals who need a confidence boost, but I didn't see it? I know he trains police dogs.. but he was like, completely rough housing with Bentley and it looked like he was scaring him (this was when he was a puppy). This is the trainer down here: German Shepherd Imports | Executive Protection Dogs For Sale | German Shepherd Puppies For Sale Personal Protection Dogs For Sale l Police Dogs For Sale

I mean who knows, maybe what he was doing is the right way to get him out of his shell?
 

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Dobes are not the same as GSDs, and each dog is an individual. A great, confident dog may respond really well to rough housing, while a shy, nervous dog may be completely overwhelmed. You know your dog best, and if it seemed like the trainer was not helping (and it sure sounds like he wasn't), your instincts are probably correct. Normally, police dogs are very bold and confident, and will require completely different handling than a nervous, reactive dog.

Even a consult with a good trainer who uses gentle, positive methods would be a good start, and worth a drive. Are there any CU trainers within a couple of hours drive of you? I'm not familiar with the area, so I don't know what's do-able.
 

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Chloe has a Thundershirt and it works very well for us! She gets worked up really easily, but when she is wearing her Thundershirt there is a very noticable difference. It applies pressure in a way that works for her (and of course us! Haha). She also doesn't get as worked up over noises (car doors shutting, etc.) or dogs walking past when she is wearing it.

When we bought it (we got ours from Global Pet Foods) they gave us 30 days (as long as it was still in decent condition of course) to see if it really worked for her (some dogs take longer to really adapt to it).

Good luck! :)
 

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The trick is, too, that they need to wear it times that they are NOT anxious, first, so they don't develop an association between the Thundershirt and the things that cause anxiety.
 
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