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thundershirt

(5 Posts)
ditavonteesed Tue 04-Oct-11 17:06:50

I have a trainer coming out on mon to help with cherrys anxiety and dog aggression issues, she is going to bring a thundershirt to try, anyone got any experience, obviously what you read on the website is all good but then it would be.
also suggested looking at serenum, the zyyklene is not really doing much, although she is coming out of her shell again at home she is still agressive with some other dogs on walks, especially if she is on lead and they come into her space.

notmeagain Tue 04-Oct-11 17:18:27

great group here for reactive dogs with discussions with thundershirts.

My personal experience with thundershirts is they are great for some dogs. Usually dogs that are at home for fear issues eg fireworks etc. I have not seen a huge success with dogs out and about.

However look at BAT (Behaviour Adjustment Therapy) this is great for reactive dogs and really really does work - it will take time but is much more effective and long term than medication. I would only use medication as a last resort here to BAT.

ditavonteesed Tue 04-Oct-11 17:55:42

thanks, never quite worked out how to join yahoo groups, I once got an email address for the very purpose but never managed it (no wonder I cant train the poor dog, bit thick here).
The zyklene is only for a few weeks, the vet said it would help to calm her a bit so we could get lots of positive training in, while it does seem to have made her a bit happier at home, out and about it hasnt really made much difference.
When I was talking to the trainer I came to the obvious conclusion which I had missed until I was recounting a few incidents, it is usually when a big dog comes into her spaceee and usually when she is on lead.
We have seen this trainer before when we had issues and she was fantastic, we pretty much got her back to herself in 3 weeks.
BAT looks really interesting, will have a poper look later, is it a bit like cbt for dogs?
I definalty dont want to go down the route of medicating her, she is still a very young, fun lively dog.
I have got her wearing the muzzle but only if we go into the park, I am trying mainly to walk her where I can see any other dogs coming from a great distance and she can have more freedom.

notmeagain Tue 04-Oct-11 21:30:23

BAT is great basically - it is a functional award system

eg a dog chases a squirrel - the functional reward is getting near to the squirrel or just the chase

a dog steals a steak - the functional reward is eating the steak

In your dogs case - she barks and lunges at dogs you move away or the dog backs off - the functional reward is getting a greater distance from the dog.

So what you have to do is change her behaviour to get her functional reward. f she is happier with more space between her and dogs. The idea is that when she is calm you give her the functional reward and move away from the dog (before she lunges bark etc) .

Gradually as she gets the idea you can get closer to the dog she will learn to be calm and then you can move away.

It is fantastic and once you get the hang of it works really really well. You can use a clicker to reinforce the calm.

Example below

BAT for Reactivity: Aggression, Frustration, and Fear
Steps below assume that the functional reward is an increased distance to the trigger,

Walks: Stage 1. If waiting for good behavior won’t work yet in the real world – the trigger is too close and the dog would be too stressed if you wait there, here’s an even easier version. Start off just by clicking the dog for noticing the trigger. This is basically using classical conditioning with a BAT flavor:
1. Dog notices trigger
2. Click
3. Walk/jog away
4. Treat with food or a toy

Walks: Stage 2. When you can’t control the trigger intensity (people or other dogs get to close, etc.), bring treats, so you can do the Bonus Reward version of BAT. The order of events is:
1. Dog notices trigger
2. Wait for alternate behavior (if possible), like looking away from the trigger, calm bravery, ground sniffing, shake-off, etc. Keep leash loose, and breathe!
** If the dog starts breathing faster or looks like they’re going to bark, say her
name and walk her further away, so she can calm down.
3. Click
4. Walk/jog away
5. Treat with food or a toy
Note that you walk away before treating, so the dog notices the functional reward. As time goes on, shift into letting the dog engage more with their environment. Begin to do the set-up version of BAT out in the real world whenever possible, using only functional rewards, not treats.

Set-ups and Stage 3 Walks. Set-ups are ideal. Do them right away. Start with an easy version of the trigger and gradually turn up the heat. That usually means starting really far away from the trigger. Take breaks whenever the dog, you, or the helpers need one.
1. Walk toward trigger (or trigger approaches) only until dog just barely begins to pay attention to the trigger. Breathing should be fairly calm.
2. Wait for alternate behaviour, often ‘disengagement’ like looking away.
3. Say “Yes” right as the dog makes a good choice.
4. Walk/jog away

ditavonteesed Sat 08-Oct-11 08:05:48

thank you so much for that, we have tried this when we have seen a dog when out and about, tbh there havent been many as I am still going out into middle of nowhere while we see trainer.
she is a bit hit and miss some dogs she doesnt like and some dogs she is straining on the lease to go and play with, it is really weird tbh.
Since taking the zyklene she is definatly better at home and more like her old self, playing and running about.
At the moment (she hasnt had it yet as has it with breakfast) she is sat looking very scared (you know that look that dogs get if they are told off) with her tail down and paw raised.
It is very difficult as 8yo dd is very prone to very load tantrums and I think these are way too much for cherry at the moment.
Also slightly concerned as everyone I talk to just says thats how border terriers are, now i dont beleieve any dog is just like this although they may have a tendancy to behave this way in certain situations.
I am looking forward to trying the thundershirt as even if it doesnt help out and about it should help at home.
Do you know if it is something that a dog will always need or if it will help with training to break the behaviour pattern menaing they will be ok without eventually? Same with the tablets I suppose,

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