Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
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.
Danielle, owner of...
Fraggle Rock Collars & ...
Fraggle Vom Richcreek CGC CA
Red Dog's Reconnaissance Man CGC CL1-R CL1-H CL1-F CL1-S USJ
General Patton Vom Winter Storm