Trainers what do you think of a thundershirt for a puppy? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 05-23-2014, 01:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Get a new trainer. A trainer should help you with your dog. Not slap some gimmick on it.

Anyone can call themselves a dog trainer.....
First one I tried does pass the puppy and socialization like the horror story in the other thread.

Second one I tried, I had to bail her dog out of the pound after he went roaming, also does the group socialization.

I have also talked to the petsmart trainer who seems like she knows what she is talking about but you guys say stay away from petsmart.

The thundershirt recommendation comes from another trainer I'm talking with.

Dude is not completely untrained and neither am I or my husband novices. Dude sits, downs, touches, drop it, bring the ball etc. he is also fully crate trained.

Where else do you suggest I look? I do have an email out to a friend of Baliff who might know of someone in the area. (crossing fingers)

Money and trainers don't grow on trees.

Spent a fortune on a neuter today. A drugged Dude has been the most puppy like he has ever been. Jumped into the car, sat up (rather than low scared) the entire trip home looking around and nose up to the window. This evening has been sitting in the living room all night taking treats from hubby rather than running scared. The drugs seemed to help the anxiety. Maybe I should be talking to the vet about Prozac for puppy.
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Old 05-23-2014, 01:33 AM   #12 (permalink)
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No coddling, thundershirts or whatever else. Get the dog out there and expose it to everything. Every day take him somewhere new. Do not let him runaway or shut down. Whether its stairs or walking through a city he has no choice unless you give him one.
If after that he still does not get better PTS and next time buy from a breeder that knows what they are doing and offers a temperment / health guarentee. If by 1 year he is still afraid of the world you got what you got.
I don't buy from breeders anymore. All of my dogs are messed up rescue/pound pups. I'm not giving up as long as my husband hangs in there.

I'm no expert but exposing a fearful puppy to everything, is I imagine a great way to make him shut down and turn aggressive.

I don't need or expect Dude to be a social butterfly. I do want to stop the bark growling at members of the family. (his pack)
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Old 05-23-2014, 05:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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They been known to help a lot of dogs with anxiety issues.. WE have quiet a few people that come to our class and have used them with success.. Now granted they don't use them in class.. But outside of class they do..

It doesn't work for all dogs just like anything else out there..

I wouldn't discredit a trainer because they suggest you try one..
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Old 05-23-2014, 07:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I've heard mixed reviews on them. Never used one myself but I have considered trying them out. Nothing's ever worked better for me with situations like that than putting the scared pup with a bunch of stable confident dogs and introducing new people, events, and stimuli while they're there to give the puppy a read on how to act.

The tendency for a lot of people is to see a fearful pup and immediately shelter it and put it in a bubble. Sometimes you just have to let them get through it and try to help them see the situation in a more positive light with the introduction of food or something like that. If the thunder shirt helps your dog at all as far as being a wedge to help you get your dog past something then great, but it won't be a magic bullet or anything. Medication won't be a solution either. Then you'll just have a spaced out nervy puppy.

If you want your dog to stop barking at family members mark him with a no at the start of the behavior and punish him till he stops. Simple was that. Then after he stops being an idiot make friends.
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Old 05-23-2014, 08:39 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Only if the shirt has a covering that says " you've been thundersruckk" and a big acdc logo on it.

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Old 05-23-2014, 09:07 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Only if the shirt has a covering that says " you've been thundersruckk" and a big acdc logo on it.

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Funny story. Husband was getting gas and there was a teenager getting gas in the car next to him singing ♪ undershirt ♪ to Thunderstruck. We had a good laugh over that one.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:21 AM   #17 (permalink)
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If you want your dog to stop barking at family members mark him with a no at the start of the behavior and punish him till he stops. Simple was that. Then after he stops being an idiot make friends.
What is appropriate punishment? I do not want to make him more fearful.

I wish I had a roomful of appropriate puppies to help him. I'm sure some of his fearfulness came from being raised with the ferals and other not normal dogs at Safe Haven. I don't think we have a normal one of the bunch. Even my pack at home has issues. Tasha we think was abused before we rescued her at 7. It took us months of good treats for Ivan to not run and hide if my husband got even the hint of a growl in his deep voice. When we got him from the shelter he had huge sores around his neck. ACO thinks it was from an inappropriately used shock collar. He is a very soft dog. Wiggles rolls and flops every-time she approaches anyone, she came that way when we got her. Buddy was the only normal one of the bunch and he passed away 3 weeks ago which isn't helping the situation at all and dudes fearfulness has increased.
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Old 05-23-2014, 09:30 AM   #18 (permalink)
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If you want your dog to stop barking at family members mark him with a no at the start of the behavior and punish him till he stops. Simple was that. Then after he stops being an idiot make friends.

I too would like to hear what is appropriate punishment in this situation.

We have a client with a 14week old pup, not GSD, that barks at people whenever they come in the exam room. The owner is giving a strong "no" then correcting on the collar, then grabbing the puppies mouth until it stops barking. Usually takes a few minutes. But the pup is not recovering well.

I see it happen, and the only thing I can think is that it VERY wrong way to handle the situation. If the pup is fearful of new people, and expressing that fear through barking, the owner is making it worse by using harsh physical corrections, everytime a new person comes in. Won't the pup associate the new people with the corrections, making him more fearful and distrustful of them? If nothing good ever happens to the pup when new people are introduced, how will he overcome his fear of them? She may eventually stop the behavior, but she won't be stopping the fear.

Honest question, this situation(with our client) has me upset. I would love to give her a better alternative.


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Old 05-23-2014, 09:56 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Maybe saying "no" firmly then the second the dogs stops reward with a treat. Crazy? I did that with shiggs when she barked at other dogs walking by, I said no and then the minute she stopped or diverted her attention I would reward her, now when other dogs walk by she is up my ass looking for treats which is a whole different issue lol but it actually worked, that was wgen I was at my most inexperienced but hey it actually worked.

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Old 05-23-2014, 10:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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What issues are you having, exactly? I seem to be missing some back story.

There is nothing wrong with a thunder shirt, I am a trainer, I have recommended them and used them for some situations. They don't work for every dog, but they can't mess the dog up and there's nothing wrong with a trainer suggesting holistic methods to help BAT.

I use a thunder shirt on my 4 y/o GSD who is afraid of thunderstorms. He does very well with them now - I can't give all credit to the shirt, but it did help bring down his panic so that he could be trained to work through the sounds and learn to behave properly, that is for sure.

I would say, based on reading what I have here alone, it is worth a shot. I'd be interested in talking to you more about his issues, and I agree that if he is dog-friendly, getting him around another dog or two (that are friendly and confident) could be a great thing for him, training-wise. I would not be giving corrections to a dog that is fearful/aggressive/reactive and anxious in this regard- it is obvious he does not have the strong nerves to handle a correction well and understand what it means- you will likely silence a bark or growl and end communication until he is pushed further over threshold without realization and he will go straight for a bite. Understand why he's doing what he's doing and use positive reinforcement to change his perceptions and manage the situations to prevent him from needing to be on edge to the best of his ability.

My 4 year old Shepherd was, once upon a time, very growly and aggressive towards strangers that would try to touch him or linger over him - Still not 100% sure WHY - but we were able to figure out his triggers, change diet, environment, add some holistic medication like DAP, Thundershirt, and Stress-Free calmplex, and use BAT to fix the problems- Now, it's been about a year and a half since he has growled at anyone, including vets doing thorough exams/vaccines/draws, and strangers measuring him for SAR harnesses. I never once corrected his growling or posturing because I didn't want him to stop communicating and potentially go for a bite at some point. I wanted him to think differently- to learn other, safe and appropriate ways of communication to get himself out of those situations and/or to think differently about the stimuli and triggers in general and not view them as a threat, for whatever reason. It worked well, and I have a dog with no bite history on my hands that is all but bombproof now and a demo dog for my training classes.
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