Thundershirt — Amazing!

January 29, 2012

I ordered a Thundershirt.  Cardis need a medium size.  My dogs love thunder, lightning, fireworks, hot air balloons.  They run out the dog door to bark until they chase whatever it is out of our yard.  What they really, really hate is having their nails done.  If they would hold still, with the Dremel Stylus that I use, the process would take fewer than five minutes per dog.  It is, however, usually a ten to fifteen minute ordeal.  Holmes is big and strong.  Since he stopped being a puppy, I’ve had to lie across him on the grooming table to hold him down.  It is miserable for both of us.  So, enter the Thundershirt.

I put Holmes’ shirt on and lifted him up on the grooming table.  I picked up the Dremel and HE HELD HIS PAW OUT TO ME.  he wasn’t that cooperative during the entire process, he jerked away a few times, but it took me about three minutes to do his nails.  Whatever the Thundershirt does for him, I love it.  It must feel as if he is being gently hugged.  While I bent over him to do the nails, he licked my ear and chin, but never tried to spring off the table (normal) or to suck his feet up into his underside (normal).  He left his legs out where I could pick up each foot, separate the toes and grind the nails down.

I tell you, it’s a miracle!  No one paid me to say this — it is simply a product that will make a huge difference in my dog-care life.  Thank you, Thundershirt people!  I’m going to send this first one with Holmes to Anne’s house — he can wear it on the airplane to ensure a pleasant trip.  I’m going to order a second one to keep here for toe nail time.


  1. julie says:

    Yay!! So glad this was successful for Holmes!!

  2. C-Myste says:

    I think that Kady may need one of these.

  3. Kim Gibson says:

    Penni, I will send you additional information about the science of sensory integration tomorrow. But the most important thing is…the thundershirt made both of your lives easier! Kim

  4. Carol Teal says:

    I’m so glad to read this. Brody, who has always been a wound a little too tightly, has been a little pain in the you know what when I take my two out for walks since we have been at the cottage. I’m sure he is just anxious about the whole moving process. I have been reading about the thundershirt and have thought about ordering one for him. Now I’m sure I will!

  5. jean from NM says:

    Lucky you and lucky Holmes. The thundershirt made no difference at all to Angel. I’m so glad it’s working for you though.

  6. Jean – try the Anxiety Wrap. The Anxiety Wrap is the original pressure wrap, designed by Susan Sharpe, certified professional dog trainer.

    It works by applying maintained pressure and acupressure to decrease fear and anxiety. The concept is based on the work of Temple Grandin, PhD (

    Dr. Grandin invented the “squeeze machine” to apply deep pressure after observing cattle at her aunt’s farm being inoculated in a squeeze chute, which had a calming effect on the cattle. We use deep pressure to calm people with autism – I have seen it used myself as a registered nurse, working with people with autism.

    In my work today as a professional dog trainer, I recommend the Anxiety Wrap as part of my overall behavior modification plan to help dogs with different types of anxiety. I have seen consistent results with the wrap when used as recommended.

    The patented design targets acupressure points and applies just the right amount of pressure to be calming for hyper-sensitive dogs. The wrap has straps and drawstrings that can be used to adjust the snugness to the individual dog.

    In a recent study conducted by veterinarian, Dr. Nicholas Dodman at the prestigious Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine the Anxiety Wrap was found to be 89% effective in calming dogs who suffer from thunderstorm fear.

    It is important to understand that although the Anxiety Wrap is a remarkable product, I often recommend that dog owners have their dog examined by a veterinarian to rule out medical causes for their dog’s anxiety.

    Fear and anxiety are the manifestations of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Every animal is different and there is no one size fits all solution for anxiety or any other behavior problem.

    For example, for a dog with a specific fear, such as fear of having its toenails clipped I would also use clicker training to counter-condition and desensitize the dog to having its nails trimmed.

    I have found the Anxiety Wrap to be a safe and invaluable therapeutic modality when combined with behavior modification. The effect is nearly immediate and quite impressive to see.

    For more information, please see:

    • Cheryl says:

      YES! I thought of Temple Grandin when I read about the Thundershirt as well. Same concept as the squeeze pen for the cattle–calms them down.

  7. Cindy says:

    The “squeeze” method is what I use and it works great. I usually do nails with me sitting on the floor and then roll the dog over between my legs, belly up. I can then “squeeze” the dog between my legs and they all relax, I can also regulate the pressure as needed. I can also tuck their heads under my elbow if they get out of hand or do the burrito wrap with a towel then put them between my legs.
    Alec and I do puppies in a similar way, though he holds and “squeezes” with a big bear hug, while I do the dremel detailing.
    Interesting that one dog that we have, when sent over by her co-owner was told she is a pure bear to do nails on, flipped her over between my legs and never had an issue.
    Heck, I even have two dogs that wait in line for their turn-little black griff and the big red dog Frankie.
    Glad that you and Holmes found a solution that works for you!

    • Carol Teal says:

      I was a pet groomer for over 35 years and was well known for my ability to do dogs that no one else could do without sedation. The “flipping the dog over and squeezing gently between your knees” method is what I used for a good percetage of these dogs. I also used it for new poodle puppies to do feet for the first time. I always thought it was the “upside down” that was working. It never occured to me until now that it was the gentle pressure that was doing it!

  8. DeAnn says:

    The upside down/squeeze method works for the Corgi girls but the Labs hate it. We do their toes like a horseshoer. Glad the shirt works for Holmes. 🙂

  9. Mary says:

    Thundershirts worked great for my Gracie’s fear of thunderstorms and fireworks. Just an amazing product – if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it.

  10. Kathy M says:

    Hmmm…interesting. Sage got a double dose of the “fear of new and unusual things” gene. I’ve successfully desensitized five dogs to accept the dremel tool for nails. Sage is still a basket case. This might just be the thing for him!