dogs

The Vest

Ingrid finally sitting in the elevator with the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Sponsored Post: This post is sponsored by Calmz, but the content, shade and opinions expressed here are my own.


Gunter’s separation anxiety was one of the biggest unexpected problems that we faced moving into the new apartment. He shrieked every time we left the apartment and sometimes you could hear him all the way down the hallway.

I’ve lived in buildings where such yelps would result in a prompt tastygram from the leasing office. However, no one seemed to mind Gunter’s cries in our new building. Part of that probably has to do with our next door neighbors – their terrier basically attacks the door if it hears someone in the hallway. (On the plus side, no one will break into that apartment.)

Gunter’s anxiety eventually resolved itself, but we have another problem: Ingrid.

Ingrid posing in front of street art in Washington D.C.

Ingrid posing in front of street art in Washington D.C.

Ingrid is still in obnoxious puppy mode despite being over two years old.

She wants to jump (e.g. mug) everyone she meets, and this can be problematic in our building’s small elevators. Ingrid is no longer peeing on people, but we haven’t been able to stop the jumping yet. She also does this “nibbling” thing that stopped being cute a long time ago.

To make things worse, I am typically juggling Ingrid, Gunter and a cup of coffee in the morning, so Ingrid’s elevator freakouts usually result in spills and glares.

I really hate being “that neighbor” with the out-of-control dogs, so when Calmz approached me about doing a blog featuring their “Anxiety Relief System,” I decided to give it a try.

Ingrid giving the Vanna White treatment to the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Ingrid giving the Vanna White treatment to the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

What it is: The Calmz Anxiety Relief System consists of a small electronic device that emits classical music, tones, and vibration through a vest. It’s like giving your dog mood music and a massage. 

When the Calmz device first arrived, we tried it on Gunter (without the vest) and it terrified him. Gunter ran circles around the apartment every time the vibrations went off.

It was hilarious, but perhaps a little cruel.

Next we tried it on Ingrid, and it had the intended calming effect – she immediately went under our desk and laid down.

I then took Ingrid on a walk, and she actually sat in the elevator on command for once.

Ingrid finally sitting in the elevator with the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Ingrid finally sitting in the elevator with the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

The chill vibe continue throughout the walk, and she didn’t jump or mug anyone, so it was a great success.

Ingrid the labradoodle glaring down the flowers while wearing the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Ingrid the labradoodle glaring down the flowers while wearing the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Ingrid throwing shade while wearing the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Ingrid throwing shade while wearing the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Ingrid going over her mental checklist while wearing the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Ingrid going over her mental checklist while wearing the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Ingrid resisting the urge to jump in a fountain with the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Ingrid resisting the urge to jump in a fountain with the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Ingrid checking for squirrels while wearing the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Ingrid checking for squirrels while wearing the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

The details

The Calmz harness was significantly less bulky than I expected, and blends in nicely with Ingrid’s dark coat. The only awkward part of the vest is that you can hear its music in the elevators. However, I think most people assume that it’s “elevator music” rather than something coming from my dog’s back.

I don’t want to imply that Ingrid is magically trained with this harness on — but she is significantly less hyper now and I’ll take anything I can get.

The vest is now part of our daily routine for Ingrid – particularly now that the building traffic is increasing with the holidays.

Gunter will likely sit this innovation out, which I am sure he’s okay with.

Gunter - our Chiweenie who is not here for the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

Gunter – our Chiweenie who is not here for the Calmz Anxiety Relief System.

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