My pet product IDEA of the year?

January 6, 2010 at 8:17 pm 2 comments

This idea came to me when Boogie and I were out walking this morning.

It’s actually a marriage of two products that I read about this week (thank you, Twitter).  I don’t own any of these products and have no direct experience with them so this is simply, speculation. Here are the two products:

1. The Thundershirt (via Pawesome)
The Thundershirt is for treatment of dog anxiety. It is a “shirt” that puts pressure on the dog’s torso. This gentle pressure is supposed to have a calming effect on the nervous system, in the same manner that Dr. Temple Grandin’s  “Squeezing Machine” was used to deal with anxiety related to Autism. Dr. Grandin went on to create  squeezing machines for cows, pigs, and other animals.

One day about 12 years ago, a Siamese cat’s reaction to me changed after I had used the squeeze machine. This cat used to run from me, but after using the machine, I learned to pet the cat more gently and he decided to stay with me. I had to be comforted myself before I could give comfort to the cat (Grandin, 1984)…

Squeeze machines have been in use in clinics working with autistic and hyperactive children (Figures 6-1 and 6-2). Lorna King, an occupational therapist in Phoenix, Arizona, reports that it has a calming effect on hyperactive behavior. Therapists have found that deep pressure stimulation has a calming effect (Ayres,, 1979). Both animal and human studies have shown that pressure stimulation reduces nervous system arousal (Kumazawa, 1963; Melzack, Konrad, & Dubrobsky, 1969; Takagi & Kobagasi, 1956). Pressure on the sides of the body will induce relaxation in pigs (Grandin, Dodman, & Shuster, 1989).

2. The Freedom No-Pull Harness (via Phetched) … which has a martingale style loop as the leash attachment.

The patented action loop sits at the back of the dog between the shoulders allowing your dog to walk in a straight line without twisting or straining, while discouraging pulling by tightening gently around the chest. (via wiggleswagswhiskers)

What these two products have in common is the tightening factor not around the neck, but the CHEST area.

Now what if  there were such a thing as a Squeeze Harness? This would be a padded harness (like an extra-padded Puppia vest)  so that when you pull on the leash, the vest tightens and squeezes around the dog’s torso. (Don’t ask me what the mechanism is that connects the martingale loop to the overall tightening-action. This is just an idea)

Imagine this…. I am walking my reactive dog around the neighborhood and he is wearing his Squeeze Harness. An old lady wearing a big coat with shopping bag approaches us slowly. My dog’s ears and hackles go up and he starts pulling forwards. I call him, he ignores me. So I pull on the leash, he gets squeezed, and he relaxes.

What do you think? Would this work? Does the world need a Squeeze Harness?

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Entry filed under: Cool Products, Reads, Training.

More Leash-Walking videos Boogie on canvas

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennifer Holliday  |  February 2, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    HI! I love the painting– did oyu do that? My friend does portraits of dogs (petrelish). Who did yours? I like the green backgorund a lot
    .re: thunderstorm wrap…Anxietywrap.com I have one and it works great.

    I know…I invent things too and then – dangit- someone did it! arghh

    Anywoo, love your blog! Do you trade links? I am about to move my blog PlanetTails from Blogger to WordPress (scared silly…new at this html css stuff).

    Wags, Ericka

    Reply
    • 2. lili  |  February 2, 2010 at 5:16 pm

      Hi Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I did the painting. Actually it’s an illustration that I got printed on canvas. I do pet portraits too (www.doggiedrawings.net) I am going to check out your blog! 🙂
      p.s. WordPress is a little more complicated than I need a blog to be but I got by without needing to do any css – phew! – Lili

      Reply

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