View Full Version : Ever tried a Thundershirt?

09-29-2015, 05:59 AM
On your dog, I mean.

In the last year or so Red has developed increased anxiety whenever storms approach. He never liked fireworks or roofing nailers, and would get a little uptight during storms, but anymore even distant thunder sets him into panic mode and he's developed some destructive behavior.

He serves as a good early warning system, like when I have laundry hanging out on the line, but it's hard seeing him so unsettled. So I picked up one of the shirts a couple weeks ago. (And, of course, since then the daily storms have tapered off to almost nothing.)


I've tried it three times so far during light storms and it seems to help. It distracts him from whatever mindset he was headed into and he doesn't pace or pant as much. He doesn't mind me putting it on and goes bonkers when I take it off.

The real test will be when we get one of those boomers that tilts the picture frames in the house.

The shirt came with a 45 day trial period so I have some time left to test it out. Meanwhile I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this or other similar products?

Paul Pless
09-29-2015, 06:04 AM
since then the daily storms have tapered off to almost nothing

so its working?

09-29-2015, 06:10 AM

Thinking it was just another pricey gimmick aimed at pet owners, I held off trying one. S'posed to get storms later so we will see if the new shower curtain or dust ruffle gets attacked. He's got a thing about shredding fabric when he's displeased.

Bobby of Tulsa
09-29-2015, 06:13 AM
He seemed pretty calm last time we talked.

09-29-2015, 06:21 AM
He seemed pretty calm last time we talked.

He was but the storm had all but moved on by then. He still gets clingy, even at the sound of rain, but that I/we can live with.

Peter Kalshoven
09-29-2015, 07:54 AM
My brother in law had a dog that would jump out of a high window (through the screen) during a thunderstorm. He got a thundershirt as a last resort, and it really helped. Much calmer during a storm.

09-29-2015, 08:12 AM
Our last dog was always easily frightened by anything loud. Gunshots, fireworks, thunder and the opening credits on movies made him run for cover cowering and shaking.

Toward the end he suffered from seizures and started exhibiting lots of anxiety behaviors, endless circling, wandering room to room or standing and staring at a blank wall. The vet suggested a thundershirt might alleviate some anxiety and it certainly worked well.

As soon as he started circling or wandering we'd shirt him up and he'd immediately calm down and behave almost normally. It didn't do much for gunshots and fireworks unfortunately, because they happen so unexpectedly.

I understand they now have a thunder harness that makes dogs that won't behave well on a lead much easier to manage.

Flying Orca
09-29-2015, 08:17 AM
Interesting. I wonder if this is related to the need for deep pressure felt by many people with autism, which Temple Grandin famously addressed with her "squeeze machine".

09-29-2015, 08:24 AM
It's swaddling for dogs. Totally chills them out.

CK 17
09-29-2015, 08:45 AM
We have a standard poodle. It worked great at first. a year out and it seems to be loosing its effect.

Bobby of Tulsa
09-29-2015, 08:47 AM
https://scontent-dfw1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/l/t1.0-9/12027815_100252136999010_2243272170203033005_n.jpg ?oh=128aa5a72e02f9415be6cff1b6da8a86&oe=568A7656

James McMullen
09-29-2015, 08:55 AM
Works on my female, but not on the boy dog. Bailey is too hyper to notice. But it chills Emma right out.

09-29-2015, 09:24 AM
The saleslady at the pet shop claimed that not all dogs respond well and around 30% of the shirts end up returned.

In the pic you can see a round patch on the shoulder which they also sell a pheromone spray to apply to that spot for harder cases. She recommended trying just the shirt first and that's what I went with.

S.V. Airlie
09-29-2015, 09:25 AM
C'dog can sleep through a bomb blast! Don't need one! The only thing she does, not typical for the breed, she hates rain and she walks around puddles on the way to go swimming in the pond. Go figure!

David G
09-29-2015, 09:41 AM
We don't get thunderstorms here much. But when we do, Dusty wants to go outside and see what all the commotion is. He figures some fun might be happening... and he wants in. Fireworks and such... the same way, except there's also an element of GuardDog that kicks in - which seems to be absent with thunder. Dogs are funny folks, each with their own distinct personalities. Our last dog would go hide in his crate and let out the occasional low moan during such disturbances. Liked reassurances till it was over.

G'luck to Red. And to the remainder of your furnishings <G>

09-29-2015, 11:04 AM
It didn't work at all on our cat...

09-29-2015, 11:36 AM
I saw the ones for cats and thought that seemed like a stretch.

Red is like C-dog in that he'll jump over puddles and doesn't care for rain at all. Where he differs is that you'd have trouble getting him in a pond with a catapult. (dogapult?) Yet, after the first close thunderclap he flies out the dog-door. He'll come back a couple minutes later soaked, panting and wide eyed. I've yet to figure that one out.

This area has been called the lightning capitol of the US and during the summer you can almost set your watch by the daily afternoon downpours. Naturally the radar looked like we'd get hit with storms today and WU was calling for 100% chance of rain. We got some light sprinkles and it's nice and sunny out now. Maybe Plessner was onto something.

S.V. Airlie
09-29-2015, 11:41 AM
There's a stream out back, about 100 yards. I go out to the porch and point in the stream's direction and yell "SWIN". C'dog is gone like a shot. The only trouble is, the pond is shallow during the summer and she only gets wet to her belly, much of it is mud!

Joe (SoCal)
09-29-2015, 11:46 AM
Renee & I came home last night after grabbing a quick bite.
While we were out Ella Bella raided the doggy bag and we caught her just wagging her tail looking at us.

This is what Ella thought she looked like

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/Ellla%20room_zpshbzx0nyd.jpg (http://s107.photobucket.com/user/fosterhere/media/Ellla%20room_zpshbzx0nyd.jpg.html)

This is what we saw

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/Ella%20lazer%20eyes%20_zpssrmoabgh.jpg (http://s107.photobucket.com/user/fosterhere/media/Ella%20lazer%20eyes%20_zpssrmoabgh.jpg.html)

But she is still super cute and knock on wood no trouble with thunder or loud sounds and barking.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/ella%20bella_zpsy2jmqj6u.jpg (http://s107.photobucket.com/user/fosterhere/media/ella%20bella_zpsy2jmqj6u.jpg.html)

09-29-2015, 11:47 AM
Isn't C-dog some sort of water breed? That's funny about her not liking puddles or rain.

Red is short legged and doesn't like wet grass that's over 4 or five inches tall, understandably.

S.V. Airlie
09-29-2015, 11:49 AM
Isn't C-dog some sort of water breed? That's funny about her not liking puddles or rain.

Red is short legged and doesn't like wet grass that's over 4 or five inches tall, understandably. She is, that's why it's funny. She's a Port. Water Dog. If it's raining, she will sit there practically cross legged until it stops and she can go out to pee!

09-29-2015, 12:08 PM
Too funny, Jamie.

Ella's a cutie and it looks like she's figuring out her domain fairly well. Here's hoping she stays so well behaved.

The odd thing about Red is these things never really bothered him so much and he's been one of the better behaved dogs I've known. He lost a sidekick about 4 years ago, a younger male Basenji, and lost one of his humans early last year, just before he started taking an interest in underdrawers. I cured him of that by keeping the laundry out of reach. He's 7 or 8 years old now and the shredding behavior due to storms just started this spring.

Here's some bits of his latest victim, a shower curtain liner.


S.V. Airlie
09-29-2015, 12:13 PM
As with most dogs, they have their quirks! Sometimes when they get older, the quirks become more pronounced. Oh she loves underwear and shoes but, at least she doesn't destroy the. Oh, and selective hearing!

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
09-29-2015, 01:31 PM
I had no idea these existed..but we do it appears ( googled it) have them in uk too. Considering the price is so reasonable compared to the destruction a distraught dog can cause, I would give it a go if we had the need. I have seen weighted blankets and swaddling work for stressed children.

Mrs. P.


Mrs P assures me that small electronic metronomes (in ear type) sometimes work to reassure small children - and suggests that these may be of use for dogs.

09-29-2015, 02:41 PM
It makes sense to me that these might work somewhat. They are, after all, looking to us to do something about the problem. My own dog, Ula, would get really nervous when it would get nasty out on the water. Particularly in larger boats for some reason. You could feel the calm come over her as we pulled her life jacket out to suit her up as we donned our own.

Here she is in not heavy seas, but rolly enough that she didn't like it. Life jacket for comfort! I think this is motoring our way out of the rocks from Ucluelet:

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d10/Bridgedeck/DANandULA/th_S4300036_zps5sg5jmhj.mp4 (http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d10/Bridgedeck/DANandULA/S4300036_zps5sg5jmhj.mp4)

09-29-2015, 05:05 PM