Reporting Jennifer Antkowiak
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Is your nervous dog driving you nuts?
Anxious dogs can bark, whimper, jump, growl, even bite and damage your home.
If you’ve tried different methods of training or even drugs and nothing seems to work, you may want to check out something called the Thundershirt.
It claims to be able to calm your dog quickly, but does it really do that?
Before the door opens, you can hear the raging beast inside. Okay, it’s actually a wiener dog named Hershey, but what a powerful bark!
That behavior drives his mom, Jennifer Weiss nuts, and that’s a shame because she’s expecting a baby soon and she doesn’t need any more to worry about.
“Anytime anyone knocks at the door or rings the doorbell, he is non-stop barking at the door,” said Weiss. “He even knew when you guys pulled in the driveway. I’m sure you could hear him barking outside.”
Once the barking starts, Weiss says it takes Hershey about half an hour to settle down, and he starts right back up again if guests don’t stay seated.
Weiss had seen the Thundershirt commercials, and was skeptical but hopeful for the test.
KDKA’s Jennifer Antkowiak bought a small Thundershirt for Hershey based on his size. They’re made for all kinds of dogs.
The material feels soft, sturdy and stretchy.
You wrap it around your dog and use the Velcro strips to adjust it for a snug but not-too-tight fit. You should be able to slide a couple of fingers underneath.
To get the dog to trust the Thundershirt quickly, the instructions say to introduce it to your dog as a plate with a little bit of food on it. At this point, Weiss will try anything.
She kept Hershey outside to suit him up so that she could then bring him back in to introduce him to strangers once more and get his reaction.
With Thundershirt activated, Weiss brought Hershey back inside.
Would the gentle hug quickly and dramatically change his behavior, as promised?
At first it didn’t seem so, but then there was much less barking.
For about $40, the Thundershirt claims to calm dogs’ fears, quiet their barking and other nervous behaviors. So, does it really do that?
“I think it does to an extent,” says Weiss. “I think his problem has been going on for so long it’s going to take more time to fix it, but this is a step in the right direction.”
There’s been mixed reaction among people who’ve tried it. Thundershirt offers extensive information, even training videos, on their website.
They offer a 100 percent money-back guarantee. If you don’t like it, send it back within 45 days for a full refund.