Thundershirt questions

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Barked: Thu Dec 27, '12 9:46pm PST 
I just bought my GSD a thundershirt because it is the last ditch option to try and calm down her hyper activity. She goes apesh*t whenever someone comes over (jumps on them, tries to kiss their faces, sit in their lap, etc) She also whines(that horrible high pitch GSD whine that sounds like a tea kettle) and barks if she is in her kennel and cannot see who is here. She has always been super hyper. Some has gone away with her age but not much. She is almost 2.
So we saw a thundershirt and I got it. I put it on her. She's been wearing it for about 4 hours now but there is no change in her. She whines non stop when I make her lay down, she whines if she is put in her kennel. She is obsessed with "mauling" our company, etc...

Is this product not going to work for us or does it need more time? Is there something I need to be doing in addition to the shirt? Please help me decide if I should take this back and get my $50 back. I have only 7 days to return it.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Thu Dec 27, '12 10:42pm PST 
Honestly.. It helps SOME dogs with anxiety and stress... I've never heard of anyone using it for a dog with lots of energy.

Your dog sounds like she lacks manners with guests and needs more exercise to tire her out better. I'd take the Thundershirt back and invest in some good ol' physical and mental stimulation. How much exercise is she getting? What type of training do you do with her when guests come over to prevent her from 'mauling' guests with affection?

I dig in mud- puddles!
Barked: Thu Dec 27, '12 11:37pm PST 
To be a little blunt...I think that you have been misled and so now have unrealistic expectations for what a Thundershirt actually does.
They can and do help a lot of dogs that are anxious and fearful, but they are not a cure for a hyper, understimulated dog...

My suggestion would be to return the Thundershirt and put that money towards a training class, consider more exercise, and look into working on her impulse control. This should help drain some of that excess energy and so decrease the bouncing around the house and general mayhem. smile


Let's play tug!!
Barked: Thu Dec 27, '12 11:54pm PST 
100% agree with the previous two responses. More exercise, and no one looks at her, talks to her, or touches her unless she's calm and quiet with four paws on the ground. No exceptions! kids, adults, strangers, family, YOU, etc.
Czarka, CGC- UJJ

Why walk when- you can run?
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 7:23am PST 
Well, the good news is that you have one of the most intelligent, trainable breeds out there. The bad news is that, if you don't train the dog, a GSD is quite capable of assessing its world and setting its own rules. thinking

Charka is a fairly high energy GSD. We walk 5-6 miles per day regardless of weather. We formally train a couple times per week. We informally train daily. She is 6 and I expect this routine to hold until she's ready to die. She has a good off switch and mugging guests is not allowed. She IS the best exercise machine I have ever owned.

I love my dog. My unspoken deal with big-and-toothy is that I will keep her from getting into trouble. I want my friends and neighbors to see the ooh and ahh of the GSD. Given the size and shape of the breed... I don't want fear or even concern to be people's reaction. Charks is trained to be a well-behaved lady... who occasionally sneaks in a small lick when greeting little people (as opposed to knocking them to the ground and stealing their lunch money). You are blessed that you can begin with people-friendly. Train! Train some more!!

As I mentioned, Charka is 6 years old. I've had her from about 6 months. The energy level? Well, let's see... she's calmer than at 2 laugh out loud GSDs should be able to keep going all day, every day... at a GSD trot. It's von Stephanitz' curse and blessing. Tiring the brain is far easier than tiring the muscle. Did I mention that you need to train your dog? wink

Send back the shirt. Buy some books. Take some classes. This is usually where we get into some discussion of 'dominance'. It's not exactly what you've got going... but you have a very intelligent dog. You are allowing the dog to set the house rules. Don't. Do. That.

Edited by author Fri Dec 28, '12 7:25am PST

Charlie Pete

G-day mate! - Wanna Play?
Barked: Fri Dec 28, '12 8:41am PST 
Have to agree on this one. Charlie Pete is a very high energy, excitable dog; he is also quite fearful. We bought a thundershirt hoping it would allow him to focus during training. Didnt help much. But then we had two years of major earthquakes. It was an enormous help to calm him when he was afraid. I am a huge proponent of it for that. But didnt do a thing for his energy levels. Good product if used appropriately, but only a nice little shirt otherwise.

Awesome Dog
Barked: Sat Dec 29, '12 6:19pm PST 
I agree too. Risa is thunderstorm phobic and has other anxieties. The Thundershirt really helps her in those situations. It keeps her calmer and helps her feel better. But she's STILL a very active dog who needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation to be happy. Shirt on or not!

Sounds like your dog just needs to get out and do more. German shepherds are very smart and active; they aren't couch potatoes. I bet if you get her out for long walks, do some training, and maybe sign up for an obedience class; she'll be more relaxed in the house.

Barked: Tue Jan 1, '13 12:38pm PST 
Well, she is definitely not under-excersized. We walk 4 times a day for just over an hour each time. On weekends, we also spend about two hours a day at the dog park (off leash). In this situation, she does not bother with people at all as I have the ball and she wants it.

I have been to three trainers so far. The first two told me that she was too hyper and that I should bring her back when she's grown out of it. The one we are seeing now (once a week) seems to be doing well with training her but even he is incapable of controlling her in front of new people. I have wasted thousands of dollars on training her. Its getting old fast.

When guests come over, we try to distract her with the ball or frisbee or a treat and get her to sit down and wait. She tries so hard but she just can't help herself. So at that point she has to go in the crate or to another room where she howls and whines.

We tried using a shock collar but she will let herself get shocked until the batteries die - even on the highest setting.

I really don't know what to do with this dog anymore. I love her but she is on my last nerve most days. I dont want to chock her or crate her but when I give her a chance to be good, she always blows it.