Tip of the Month

2/15/2011 Thundershirt

The Thundershirt is a new product on the market for dog trainers and pet owners. The Thundershirt is a shirt that velcro’s around the dog in multiple places. You put the shirt over your dogs back and velcro a strap under her belly. You will have another strap that velcro’s around the dog’s chest to keep the shirt on snugly. The material is made of cotton and has no chemicals or vibrations that may calm the dog. The Thundershirt acts like a hug for your dog in a scary situation. Most dogs will become very calm and relaxed when wearing the Thundershirt. As a dog trainer you can recommend this product for your clients that have dogs with separation anxiety, barking problems, fear issues and many others. You want to always remember to reward your dog when wearing the Thundershirt and showing calm behaviors in a stressful situation.

First you want to begin by desensitizing your dog to the Thundershirt. Take the shirt out and let your dog smell it and reward her when she seems interested in the shirt. Keep these sessions short and enjoyable for your pet. The next step would be to introduce your pet to wearing the shirt for small increments of time. Remember to always reward you dog when she is showing signs of comfort and enjoyment while wearing the Thundershirt. Once your dog can comfortably wear the Thundershirt for more than 10-20 minutes at a time with no negative reactions you have successfully desensitized her. Now you can begin putting the Thundershirt on your pet while you are away.

Throughout your animal career you will encounter many products that are new to the market. The best way to decide if you would like to recommend a product is to try the product out in several different scenarios on your own. It is your job as a dog trainer to keep up with the most current products on the market. Another great way to keep up on the most current products and training techniques would be to attend seminars and expos. This is where I found out about the Thundershirt! Once I saw it I knew I had to try it out. I have been using it and recommend this product to my clients and other dog trainers all the time.

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