Thunder shirt

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Shalista
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:04 pm

Thunder shirt

Post by Shalista » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:51 pm

So i decided to try out bax's old thunder shirt again on him. He wears a harness everyday so he's pretty good about me putting things on him. thunder shirt went on no problem but i could tell he was only sort of tolerating it. he definitely knew it was there. then he started rolling on the bed and from there he went to digging in my chair and then rolling and then digging at the cushion again. tongue out, bug eyed, frantically clawing at the chair. he's exhibited this behavior before when he's anxiously trying to bury a chunk of chew so when it showed no signs of abating i took off the shirt. was i right to do so? do dogs need a period of time to get used to the shirt? it seemed like he was getting crazier, not calmer. Should i try to muscle through this phase and put the shirt back on him? He really seemed a little bit crazed with it on so I'm hesitant to use it again but if you guys think he'll get better............

Video of chair digging (this is just 10 seconds, it went on for significantly longer then this)

EDIT: further clarification upon review of the video. there is nothing on the chair or in the chair except for that red blanket. he scratched all over the chair. he's not going for something buried in a corner.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

mansbestfriend
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Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Thunder shirt

Post by mansbestfriend » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:46 pm

Hi. I'll say that I haven't personally used a Thunder-brand wrap, but calming aids and/or various techniques should help to create less anxiety, more calmness (not just stillness) and relaxation.

Every dog is different. If you think this Tshirt isn't working with this dog, don't use it. OR familiarise the dog with the Thunder shirt gradually with Positive Reinforcement (as you would familiarise a dog to wear a safety muzzle or whatever). Maybe attach the shirt more loosely, or maybe try a body wrap instead. Could the shirt be uncomfortable for some reason?

I've never seen digging behaviour caused by a Thunder shirt before, although I haven''t had much to do with true terriers either. What happened before and after the short video of scratching? I noticed in the video that the dog paused to sniff something on the chair, and then continue scratching. Has the dog scratched like this before? Does it scratch while not wearing the shirt?

My Kelly dog gets excited/frustrated if she can smell a treat but can't find where it is. Often the devil is in the detail but if you think the shirt is making your dog less calm, don't use it.
Cheers. :)
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Sit.

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Nettle
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Re: Thunder shirt

Post by Nettle » Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:14 am

The digging is stress relief.

It doesn't look as if the Thundershirt suits him. As MBF says, it isn't for every dog.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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