Friday, July 20, 2012

RAMADHAN & FIREWORKS


The Muslim fasting month begins tomorrow, and Thunderdogs Malaysia would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Muslim friends "Selamat Berpuasa".

At the same time, we would also like to gently remind everyone to keep their pets safe over the next couple of months. As we all know, we Malaysians love our fireworks and fireworks feature prominently in recent times in almost all celebrations.

Previously, fireworks were only set off during the Hari Raya celebrations. But this year, in some areas, the fireworks have already started even before the start of the fasting month.

Our pets, dogs, cats and other small animals, unfortunately do not appreciate fireworks and some get extremely frightened, confused and disoriented.


Keeping cats and dogs secure
  • Make sure your dog or cat always has somewhere to hide if he or she wants to and has access to this place at all times. For example this could be under some furniture or in a cupboard.
  • During firework seasons, walk dogs during daylight hours and keep cats and dogs indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off.
  • At nightfall close windows and curtains and put on music to mask and muffle the sound of fireworks.
  • If your pet shows any signs of fear try to ignore their behaviour. Leave them alone unless they are likely to harm themselves.
  • Never punish or fuss over your pet when it's scared as this will only make things worse in the long run.
  • Make sure your cat or dog is always kept in a safe and secure environment and can’t escape if there’s a sudden noise. Have your pet microchip-ed in case they do escape. This can help you identify your pet should someone find him/her.
  • Consider getting a Thundershirt to help ease your pet's fears.

Just for dogs – before the firework season starts

Planning ahead can help your dog cope with the firework season.

Before the firework season starts provide your dog with a doggy safe haven, this should be a quiet area so choose one of the quietist rooms in your home. It should be a place where the animal feels it is in control, so don't interfere with it when it's in that area.

Train your dog to associate the area with positive experiences eg. by leaving toys there but not imposing yourself at any time. Use a variety of toys and swap them regularly, putting them away when not in use so that your dog doesn't become bored with them.

With time your dog can learn that this place is safe and enjoyable. So when fireworks happen it may choose to go here because it knows that when it is here, no harm will come to it and so it's more able to cope. It is important that your dog has access to its doggy safe haven at all times even when you’re not at home.

If you have a Thundershirt for your dog, put it on your dog before the fireworks start to help keep your dog calm when the fireworks do start.

Just for dogs – when the fireworks start

  • Close any windows and black out the ‘doggy play area’ to remove any extra problems caused by flashing lights.
  • Each evening before the fireworks begin, move your dog to the play area and provide toys and other things that they enjoy. Make sure that there are things for you to do too so that your dog isn't left alone.
  • Ignore the firework noises yourself. Play with a toy to see if your dog wants to join in, but don’t force them to play.
  • If you know a dog that isn't scared by noises and which gets on well with your dog, then keeping the two together during the evenings may help your dog to realise that there’s no need to be afraid.

Just for cats

  • Make sure your cat has somewhere to hide if it wants to. For example this may be under some furniture or in a quiet corner.
  • Don’t try and tempt your cat out as this will cause it to become more stressed.

Don’t forget small animals

  • If your pets live outside, partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one area is well sound-proofed. Make sure that your pet is still able to look out.
  • Provide lots of extra bedding so your pet has something to burrow in.

Monday, July 16, 2012

WIN A THUNDERSHIRT RESULTS

The Win a Thundershirt competition has been won by JJ the Shih Tzu with 426 votes! Congratulations JJ and Lillian Ee. We will be contacting you shortly to arrange for your Thundershirt to be delivered to you!

Name: JJ
Sex: Male
Age: 4 years
Breed: Shih Tzu
Owner: Lillian Ee

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Thunderdogs Malaysia would also like to thank the finalists for their participation and in making the competition a success. Thunderdogs Malaysia will be sending you a RM 10 discount voucher code which can be used when you purchase a Thundershirt from us.

We would also like to thank everyone who voted for your favourite dog! Please do tell your friends about the Thundershirt and how it can help resolve anxiety problems in dogs.

Name: Niji Momiji Boey,
Sex: Male
Age: 1 years +
Breed: Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Owner: Stephanie Boey

Dog's name: QQ
Sex: Female
Age : 3 years old
Breed : Crocker spaniel mixed shih tzu
Owner: Grace Koh


Name: Medusa
Sex: Female
Age: 12
Breed: Shih Tzu
Owner: Ginny Khoo

Name: Alfie
Sex: Male
Age: 4 years
Breed: Jack Russell Terrier
Owner: Lina Ng

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

HOW TO DEAL WITH SEPARATION ANXIETY

Training Programme for Relieving Separation Anxiety


Here is an extract from Nicole Wilde's Don't Leave Me! Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog's Separation Anxiety  which provides her suggested training programme for when a Thundershirt alone may not be enough.

Nicole Wilde (CPDT) is the author of nine books, a popular columnist in major magazines including Modern Dog Magazine, and sought after speaker. She also teaches seminars and workshops around the country and internationally. For more information about Nicole and her published works, please visit www.phantompub.com.

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Relieving Separation Anxiety
By Nicole Wilde, CPDT

Separation anxiety can be a very challenging problem emotionally for both dogs and their owners. When owners are absent, some dogs experience mild anxiety which may manifest as barking, whining, pacing, or destruction. Others will begin drooling, trembling, and may even defecate. In extreme cases, dogs can injure themselves by clawing at doorways, trying to jump through windows, or self-mutilating when crated.

In mild to moderate cases, the Thundershirt alone may be enough to calm an anxious canine. Put a Thundershirt on your dog ten to fifteen minutes before you leave, and give him an exciting chew item such as a stuffed Kong. Because you don’t want your dog to associate these things only with your departures, be sure to first put a Thundershirt on your dog at other times, such as when playing, eating a meal, or when enjoying a wonderful chewie in your presence.

What if the Thundershirt alone does not solve your dog’s separation issue? First, in the rare case that the anxiety is extreme as mentioned above, consult with a behaviorist as well as your veterinarian, as your dog may require medication in conjunction with behavior modification.

For mild to moderate separation anxiety, a trainer or behavior specialist can help, but for now, here are a few tips:

1. If your dog is left alone when you go to work during the week, make it a habit to take him for a long walk before you leave. The more pleasantly tired out your dog is, the less likely there is to be anxiety.

2. Leave something with your scent on it, such as a sweatshirt you’ve been wearing or a towel rubbed under your arms, in your dog’s resting area. Your scent will provide comfort. (This is one reason so many dogs get into the laundry when their owners are gone!)

3. Be sure your dog has something to chew on or engage in that will keep him busy for at least thirty to forty-five minutes after you’re gone. Excavating a well-stuffed Kong®, for example, will keep your dog busy and by the time he’s done, he’ll be tired out and will hopefully take a nap.

4. Practice short separations. Leave the house for 10 minutes, then come right back. The next time, go for 15 minutes. Build up the time you’re gone, but also, make it unpredictable. So you might leave for 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, then 5 minutes, then 15 minutes again, slowly building up to longer time spent away.

5. Your emotions affect your dog. Keep your comings and goings friendly but low-key.

A STORM IS COMING?

 


For many of you, your dogs are a source of joy, happiness and comfort. But for some of you, there are times when you are completely at a loss with what to do with your dog during a thunderstorm.

Dogs that are fearful of thunderstorms will usually become agitated and fearful, and some will become very clingy. For some dogs, the fear of thunderstorms is so great, that they start to drool and salivate, pant heavily, and some may even urinate or defecate. Some dogs very well behaved dogs may even become destructive if left to endure the storm on their own.

Dogs that are very fearful during thunderstorms will usually display the signs mentioned above long before the storm arrives. And when they do, most owners have no idea why they are behaving in that manner when there doesn't seem to any sign of a storm. But of course, more often than not, the storm will eventually arrive, maybe even an hour or two later.

So how do dogs know that a storm is on the way? Most people attribute a dog's ability to "predict" storms as "sixth sense". But in reality, it is because dogs are alot more sensitive to a number of things in the environment, such as drops in barometric pressure (the pressure of the atmosphere) than humans.

A drop in pressure usually means that the conditions are suitable for a thunderstorm to develop. Dogs that are fearful of thunderstorms will soon associate this drop in pressure with the arrival of a thunderstorm.

Additionally, the static charge in the atmosphere changes prior to a storm, and our dogs are able to pick up this change well before the storm arrives.

As we all know, dogs have a very sharp sense of hearing and can hear things at frequencies that we humans cannot. The subtle vibrations and low rumbles of thunder that we are unable to feel or hear, can be felt and heard by our dogs.

Of course, it is also said that dogs can smell a storm approaching. Their noses are highly sensitive as they have been estimated to have 125 million (and several times that) sensory cells within their noses compared to humans which have an estimated range of 5-10 million cells .

Because of this, they can detect chemical concentrations in the low parts-per-million range. Lightning ionizes air with the formation of ozone – which has a characteristic metallic smell. Perhaps dogs detect this odor, or some other odor associated with the storm.


For those of you who may have dogs who are fearful of thunderstorms, the Thundershirt could well be your solution to their anxiety.

From the very first usage of a Thundershirt, your dog is likely to see a significant reduction of all symptoms of storm anxiety. Behaviors such as chewing, problem barking, whining, urination, and hiding under the furniture or destroying it disappear in many dogs immediately during the first use of the Thundershirt.

The Thundershirt is there for your dog through storm anxiety, and takes the place of expensive training or anxiety drugs with dangerous side effects. Simply follow our easy directions to put the Thundershirt on your dog and observe the results (...and you can try it for other situations where your dog experiences anxiety, too! The Thundershirt is proven effective for a range of dog fears).

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ORDER YOUR THUNDERSHIRT TODAY

**NOTE: Thundershirt US does not deliver to Malaysia, so place your orders today...
 
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Price: RM150 (including delivery within Peninsular Malaysia)
Sizes Available: XS, S, M, L & XL
Colour: Heather Grey

To order your Thundershirt for your dog, please drop an email to:

natasha@thunderdogsmalaysia.com

Please include the following information in your email:

Your Name:

Address:
Phone No:

Dog Breed:
Chest Measurement:
Size Required:

Payment information will be sent to you, and your Thundershirt will be put in the post within 3 working days of receipt of payment. Please ensure that there will be someone to collect the Thundershirt at the address provided as your Thundershirt will be sent via PosLaju
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Note: The money back guarantee is not applicable in Malaysia

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

FINALISTS FOR WIN A THUNDERSHIRT COMPETITION

Here are the finalists for the WIN A THUNDERSHIRT competition.

Please visit our Thunderdogs Malaysia Facebook page to vote for your favourite dog.

The dog with the most votes at the end of 15 July will win a Thundershirt worth RM148 from Thunderdogs Malaysia. In the mean time, we would like to wish all finalists the best of luck!

How to vote:

  1. Voters must LIKE our Thunderdogs Malaysia Facebook page.
  2. Select the picture on our Thunderdogs Malaysia Facebook page and LIKE the picture.
  3. If you share the picture, remember to post the voting rules above. LIKEs of the picture on your own Facebook page will not be considered.

Name: Niji Momiji Boey,
Sex: Male
Age: 1 years +
Breed: Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Owner: Stephanie Boey


Dog's name: QQ
Sex: Female
Age : 3 years old
Breed : Crocker spaniel mixed shih tzu
Owner: Grace Koh


Name: Alfie
Sex: Male
Age: 4 years
Breed: Jack Russell Terrier
Owner: Lina Ng


Name: Medusa
Sex: Female
Age: 12
Breed: Shih Tzu
Owner: Ginny Khoo

Name: JJ
Sex: Male
Age: 4 years
Breed: Shih Tzu
Owner: Lillian Ee

Thursday, July 5, 2012

WIN A THUNDERSHIRT COMPETITION


Is your dog afraid of thunderstorms? Loud noises? Car rides? Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety? Does your dog bark incessantly? All of these issues points to anxiety in your dog.

The Thundershirt is a proven, safe, effective and drug free solution to your dog's anxiety. Make your dog a Thunderdog - calm & fearless by winning a Thundershirt for your dog today. Competition details as follows:

How to submit your entry:
  1. Like our Thunderdogs Malaysia page on Facebook.
  2. Submit your competition entry to natasha@thunderdogsmalaysia.com with the following details:
    • Email subject: WIN A THUNDERSHIRT
    • A high resolution photo of your dog
    • Your dog's name, sex, age and breed
    • A short 100 word or less description of why your dog needs a Thundershirt AND
    • A 2 minute video depicting your dog's anxiety issues (optional)
    • Your Name
    • Your Address
    • Your Phone Number
  3. Entries are to be submitted between 6-8 July 2012. Any entries received after the closing date will not be entertained. 
  4. Entries that do not comply with the requirements stipulated above will not be considered.
  5. The best entries will be selected by Thunderdogs Malaysia and the pictures of these dogs will be published on our Thunderdogs Malaysia Facebook page on 10 July 2012. Thunderdogs Malaysia's decisions are final and non-negotiable.
  6. Voting begins on 11 July 2012 and ends on 15 July 2012.
  7. The picture with the most votes on our Facebook page will win a Thundershirt.
  8. The winning dog will be announced on 16 July 2012. Thunderdogs Malaysia's decisions are final and non-negotiable.
  9. The dog in the picture must be yours or a rescued dog in your care and you must have the rights to use the picture. The competition is meant to help dogs with anxiety issues. Thunderdogs Malaysia will not allow any nasty or negative comments on any of the pictures and they will be removed immediately without warning. If nasty comments continues, that person will be banned from Thunderdogs Malaysia's page without notice. 
  10. Only dogs residing within Malaysia are eligible for this competition, and only ONE entry is allowed per dog.
How to vote:
  1. Voters must LIKE our Thunderdogs Malaysia Facebook page.
  2. Select the picture on our Thunderdogs Malaysia Facebook page and LIKE the picture.
  3. If you share the picture, remember to post the voting rules above. LIKEs of the picture on your own Facebook page will not be considered.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

DOES THE THUNDERSHIRT WORK?



ORDER YOUR THUNDERSHIRT TODAY

**NOTE: Thundershirt US does not deliver to Malaysia, so place your orders today...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

BARK! BARK! BARK!

Bark! Bark! Bark!

Dogs bark.  Some are naturally more vocal than others, depending on breed type, personality, and their environment.  Every bark is a communication of some type.  Barks can communicate many things including fear, concern, and boredom.  Sometimes, barking can become compulsive or excessive to an owner’s (or neighbors!) ears.  Although there often is no “quick fix” for excessive barking, learning how to properly and humanely manage your dog’s barking can be a simple process and can keep you and your dog in your neighbor’s good graces.

First…What Not To Do!

Excessive barking can be a real nuisance and owners often try to correct the act of barking WITHOUT addressing the underlying causes. Using an aversive method to reduce barking is a “no win” strategy, particularly if the barking is at all stress related.   Yelling at a dog for barking can actually bring the dog more attention or teach the dog to simply bark when you are not around.

Using so-called “anti-bark” shock or spray collars are never effective in the long term and can actually do more harm than good.  Dogs who are shocked for barking tend to be the same dogs that develop cautiousness or aggressive behaviors towards things that make them bark.   Even the citronella discharge collars are ineffective at resolving barking issues over the long term.  I’ve even heard of dogs barking continuously to discharge the entire citronella pack in short order.  As much as these things seem like a good idea, none of them address what is really causing the dog to bark in the first place.

Now…What To Try First

Sometimes the easiest underlying causes of excessive barking to address are overall stress and/or arousal.  Being bored, lonely, or frustrated for some dogs is torture and excessive barking can be an outlet for them. Applying a ThundershirtTM pressure wrap can be highly effective with dogs that are stressed or over-aroused.   Thundershirt’s gentle pressure on the dog’s torso calms the dog and brings attention away from the environment.  Also, make sure that you are providing your dog with enough physical and mental activities to keep their bodies and minds healthy.  Long walks, games, running around, and healthy things to chew are essential outlets for every dog’s well being.


Become a Bark Detective

The next step to bark reduction is figuring out why the dog is barking in the first place.  Is your dog barking at you for attention?  Barking at a stranger walking past your home?  Barking at the cat when it enters the room?  Barking because they are in the yard outside all day long?  Once you narrow down why the barking is occurring, we can take steps to reduce it.

Attention Seeking

Many dogs learn that barking gets them attention from their humans, as a way to initiate a game or simple acknowledgement.  The best strategy for eliminating this type of barking is to make sure that your dog learns that barking at you turns attention off.  If your dog barks at you, you look away, don’t say a word, walk out of the room and when they are quiet for even a short period time, then you pay attention to them.  You may need to repeat this many, many times before your dog learns the new rules.

Visual Cues/Alert Barking/Environmental Factors

Many dogs are barking at something or stimulated by their environment to bark.  This is not a situation where we want to completely eliminate the barking, just reduce it.  After all, if someone is standing outside your house, don’t you want to know?   There are several strategies worth trying.  First, teach your dog that every time they bark at something, you acknowledge it and then distract them with another activity.  “Oh yes, I see that man passing the house.  Thank you for letting me know.  Let’s go over here and get your ball.  That was so great that you stopped barking.”   Interrupting the barking at just the right time can help take the dog “off duty”.

Also, it is easy enough to reduce the visual stimulation with a barrier or blinds.  I’ve worked with several dogs that would stand on top of a piece of furniture that was placed next to a window, creating a prime location for over-aroused, barking fits at passersby.  By simply moving the furniture away from the windows, we were able to reduce the behavior.    If your dog is outside barking at people, bring them inside or give them something else to do in the yard.  Being outside with nothing to do can be a recipe for excessive barking.  Changing the environment can make a big difference.

Remember…Time and Patience

Teaching your dog to react differently to situations that stimulate them to bark is a process.  You must be consistent over time and not give up if your dog doesn’t respond immediately.  Be patient and help your dog understand what you do want them to do. If your dog’s barking continues to be a problem, enlist the help of a reward based, professional dog trainer.

Jenn Merritt, CPDT-KA
Certified Professional Dog Trainer
Tellington TTouch Companion Animal Practitioner
APDT Professional Member
Blue Dog Creature Coaching
Efland, NC

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