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It rained here last night and while Bella didn't freak out, she was anxious and just wanted to sit in a corner like she was in a time out. There was no way she would go outside. We live in Florida and have a rainy season so I can't imagine her doing this for a couple months. I tried to reassure her but she just would not relax. Does anyone use the "Thundershirt"? Or have any other ways to calm your dog.
Thanks!
 

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Thundershirt ... www.thundershirt.com/ is the way to go if you do not want to give calming aids and other drugs to your dog. They are supposed to be really great ... though I have never had the need for one.
 

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I've heard that with some dogs the Thundershirt can really help them. I would also recommend not babying her when she seems scared, as it could reinforce her fear. When one of mine acts like something has scared them, I use my happy playful voice talking to them and get them to start playing or distract them to something else.
 

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My oldest is petrified of thunderstorms. The Thundershirt, though it works for my setter, does not work for my oldest dog and she becomes very destructive. She also escapes from and breaks her crates. I choose to medicate early in the season. By the end of the season, her fear is not a bad and then the Thundershirt helps her. I also find something fun to do, like training ir working with treats to distract her as much as possible. Other than that, there is no coddling. Just business as usual.

For what it's worth, Petsmart will refund your purchase on the Thundershirt, if it doesn't work. I believe Thundershirt has a money back guarantee.
 

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I would also recommend not babying her when she seems scared, as it could reinforce her fear. When one of mine acts like something has scared them, I use my happy playful voice talking to them and get them to start playing or distract them to something else.
This is great advice.

As for the thundershirt, I've known people who had a great response with them, and fewer people who said they had little to no effect. It's largely a case by case basis.
 

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I definitely agree with not babying.
Caeda is a pro with thunderstorms, when she was about 4 months old we had about a month where there were a couple storms each week.
What I did with her was first hanging out in the house I just pretended nothing was wrong (which there wasn't!), and whenever she was calm, I gave her a treat. Then I stood out on the front porch (under the roof!) and treated her for being calm. Later on I took her out for a pee and the thunder started again. She zoomed for underneath the truck first, then stopped. Nervous but not freaking, so I started just walking around the yard with her.
Eventually there were thunderclaps that didn't phase her any but made me jump!
 

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A friend of mine had a golden retriever that used to completely freak out during thunderstorms or when the roof used to shed snow. He'd try to get under things, like the couch. She'd put him in the laundry room and turn on the dryer. The sound of the dryer would help drown out the thunder and not make it seem so loud. It helped him a lot.
 

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It rained here last night and while Bella didn't freak out, she was anxious and just wanted to sit in a corner like she was in a time out. There was no way she would go outside. We live in Florida and have a rainy season so I can't imagine her doing this for a couple months. I tried to reassure her but she just would not relax. Does anyone use the "Thundershirt"? Or have any other ways to calm your dog.
Thanks!
I've seen lots of great results with thundershirts.
 

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I've heard that with some dogs the Thundershirt can really help them. I would also recommend not babying her when she seems scared, as it could reinforce her fear. When one of mine acts like something has scared them, I use my happy playful voice talking to them and get them to start playing or distract them to something else.
While I recommend not babying (squeeky, anxious voice) I think there is nothing wrong with comforting a frightened dog. Fear is not a behavior. Therefore you can't "reinforce it" in the operant conditioning sense. You can sometimes classically condition it to be less by pairing it with pleasant things. For people who medicate, what do you use. I've heard that acepromazine (recommended first by many vets) makes the dog drunk enough that they can't act out on their fear, but it doesn't actually lessen the fear. That must be horrible for the dog.
 

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I know a people don't like Cesar but there was an episode on the other night that showed visually exactly how to handle this. The dog had anxiety and fear on a commercial fishing boat.

All they did was ignore the anxiety and reward when the dog is calm.

And that is all you do.
 

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While I recommend not babying (squeeky, anxious voice) I think there is nothing wrong with comforting a frightened dog. Fear is not a behavior. Therefore you can't "reinforce it" in the operant conditioning sense. You can sometimes classically condition it to be less by pairing it with pleasant things. For people who medicate, what do you use. I've heard that acepromazine (recommended first by many vets) makes the dog drunk enough that they can't act out on their fear, but it doesn't actually lessen the fear. That must be horrible for the dog.
As a calming aid I have used a product called "Comfort Calm" made by Vet's Best for a former rescue who was terrified of thunderstorms ... so much she was foaming at the mouth ... it worked ... it has valerian root and tryptophan as ingredients. It was supposed to be all natural and formulated by a vet. I gave it an hour or two before I knew storms were in the forecast or on their way.
 

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Thanks for all your suggestions. I think I will try the thundershirt since we do usually get rain everyday for 2 or 3 months. I don't think she needs to be medicated since she doesn't destroy anything, she is anxious. I agree that there is a difference between reassuring and babying. Now, I just need to convince my boyfriend, he thinks that thundershirt is a ripoff. But since there is a money back guarantee, it can't hurt to try it.
 

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Thanks for all your suggestions. I think I will try the thundershirt since we do usually get rain everyday for 2 or 3 months. I don't think she needs to be medicated since she doesn't destroy anything, she is anxious. I agree that there is a difference between reassuring and babying. Now, I just need to convince my boyfriend, he thinks that thundershirt is a ripoff. But since there is a money back guarantee, it can't hurt to try it.
We got one for our 5 month old puppy who is very fearful and has separation anxiety. It WORKS but why I was willing to try it was the 45 day money back guarantee ON THE PACKAGE!!!

Now to see if we can fit the two little ones. Not sure the smallest one will fit them, they may have to grow some.

Liz
 

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Melatonin works great. 1 mg per 20 lbs of body weight up to 3 mg total. 6 mg max for Huge dogs. doesn't make them doped up, but seems to make them not care.
 
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