Bailey wore her thundershirt at Crystal's last night. I set up her crate, put her blanket, dinner, and trachea-chew in there. She never made a peep. She was crated in an unfamiliar room behind a closed door, at the other end of the house from where the people were. The only outburst/reaction we had was while packing up to leave. I didn't close the door to the room completely and as Bailey was exiting her crate Maisy walked in. Bailey backed up into her crate, just so she could guard it, from the inside! It was some noise and lunging from within, then Maisy left the room and we carried on as if nothing had happened.
This morning, I asked her for left side loose leash walking (a behavior that's far from fluent I realized) and removed her thundershirt before going on said walk. She was hypervigilent for most of the walk until I put her on my right side. She calmed visibly and walked alongside me with variable reinforcement. When I asked for left side, my rate of reinforcement was every 2-3 steps (incredibly high, and I was still getting frequent hits to the end of the leash) but on the right side it was every 10-15 (with appropriate response to the infrequent tight leashes that occured). That's a huge difference! She also reorients more frequently while on my right side I noticed.
We saw other dogs and squirrels while out walking. She never lunged or vocalized but I saw her rise up on her tippy toes and she started taking food like a shark until we were passed them.
My dog is still reactive, and always will be.
I found areas of our training that need work.
I should probably time the putting on/taking off of her thundershirt better!
Higher value reinforcers will help me succeed faster (I had kibble).
When we got back to the house, I let her loose in the (fenced) backyard. She took the opportunity to explore and investigate but I didn't see any classical signs of "de-stressing" after a stressful event. I think that's a good thing, too!