The Body Wrap and the Thunder Shirt: Applying the Right Touch to Fearful, Phobic Dogs

We have been using Tellington TTouch body wraps combined with Ear TTouches on fearful dogs with great success since the late 90’s with hundreds of success stories.

I also recommend the new Thunder Shirt because it is easy to put on and easy for a person to understand. The simple TTouch body wrap has a remarkable success rate, but many people feel more comfortable buying a special product. For that reason I highly recommend the Thunder Shirt and appreciate the reasonable $36 price tag. Whatever the reason for the fear – TTOUCH body wraps and Thundershirts work.

Rayne, my wise and sweet West Highland Terrier, didn’t used to like loud noises like fireworks. On the fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, Rayne would often sit and tremble in fear at the loud noises that seemed to come from nowhere. Other pets hide under beds or in closets and will not come out during parties, construction, or other intermittent noisy times.

This is Rayne during the fireworks when we first put the body wrap on her

We can help them find comfort while the noise is going on. Roland and I used the Body Wrap on Rayne at New Year’s in 2008 and when 2009 rolled around, we were prepared to do it again, but Rayne was comfortable and calm! When Independence Day fireworks popped and sizzled this summer, Rayne got anxious, so we wrapped her again, which helped to calm her. I’m willing to bet that next summer, she will be calm and confident.

This is Rayne after a few minutes wearing the body wrap. She is calm and content.

When an animal holds its breath in fear, it goes into the instinctive mode of fight or flight. Everyone has seen an animal freeze, become aggressive, lick compulsively, etc. when stressed. Used along with Tellington TTouch, The body wrap or Thunder Shirt act as comforting contact, effectively saying to the animal’s body, “remember to breathe, relax, I am holding you, be confident!” If a pet can breathe, it can think. If it can think, it can listen to you and cope confidently with just about anything that comes its way.

A quick refresher on how to apply the Tellington TTouch Body Wrap A very simple wrap is easiest. A figure-8 around the chest, crossed over the back and around the hind end and tied or pinned with diaper pins works great. Most important is not to wrap your pet tightly–just snug enough for contact–and to remove the wrap after a short ten to fifteen minute session. Keep a close eye on your pet while s/he is wearing the wrap. You may need to make adjustments for comfort or safety. Never put a body wrap on an unattended animal.

You can hear me on Pet Life Radio talking about Applying the Right Touch to Fearful, Phobic Dogs with Phil Blizzard, founder of Thunder Shirts by clicking here.

To illustrate the benefits of close contact with the body wrap or Thunder Shirt for fear in dogs, I’d like to share this from one of our practitioners. It just arrived in my inbox this morning:

Here’s why I love body wraps — this JUST happened/is happening.

8:00 raindrops begin, dog comes inside
8:02 dog starts barking at sky through patio doors, then hides under DR table
8:03 dog gets a Figure-8 wrap + a treat for un-hiding herself for a moment
8:07 storm hits in full, with thunder, lightning, wind, and downpour; dog watches calmly (in wrap) from under DR table
8:18 deluge continues; dog utters one little “hmph” of dissent, then falls sound asleep, still in wrap, in middle of floor
That about wraps up why I love wraps.

Betsy Lane

I invite any readers or TTouch practitioners to send us success stories and also to relate stories when these 2 choices did not help. It is important to hear the failures along with the successes. Please also send along photos of the wrap configuration – I suggest using the 1/2 wrap – or your dog wearing the Thunder Shirt.

© 2010 – 2011, Linda Tellington-Jones. All rights reserved.

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