Posted in canine anxiety, canine health, canine wellbeing, dog training, happy dog, Thundershirt

Thundershirts are go!

I last blogged about the Thundershirt here. We have since had quite a number of regular and very happy walks. My dog has been totally in control and able to just have a nice walk. She has walked to heel , been calm and I realise she has had a chance to process information and so is no longer tormented with the fear and worry of what would be coming at her next. I thought it might be good today to take her for a walk without her Thundershirt. I wanted to know if the change was permanent or just brought about by the Thundershirt. As you can see she was walking quite calmly but was getting the old tendency of pulling out ahead of me. On the way back, as the 4WDs were coming at us on our side of the road , she was changing into that working dog behaviour again. Eying them. Watching them and sizing them up and her muscles were changing and she was getting ready to lie low so she could pounce. It didn’t get that far, but it was all coming back to her. There had been none of that with the Thundershirt. To give you a rough idea , I’d say our walks before the Thundershirt were about 40% good behaviour. With the Thundershirt they were 100%. I had a totally calm dog who was walking perfectly to heel. Today, I’d say it was 80% good behaviour. She was a bit hyper, she was a bit nervous of the noises of cars, she was going to get back into the launching herself at cars. She was able to change, though , if I said something but before she couldn’t. She was able to calm down if I praised her and she was able to walk to heel if I asked. What she was not able to stop was the sizing up of the vehicles and the need to be ready to defend herself/pounce whatever it was in her head. My decision is not to pursue this again for another month. I am just going to put the Thundershirt on her. In a month I’ll try again without it. I had taken it with me today just incase. The fact I felt no need to get it out of my bag and use it tells me she actually did really well. I just need to avoid any difficult behaviour coming back – so Thundershirts are go!
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Author:

Adelaide based professional. Lived here most of my life. I have been a teacher of French, English and German since 1974 and value the capacity of the classroom to write on the lives of others.

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