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How To Curb Pre-Walk Excitement?


Guest lasharp1209
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Guest lasharp1209

Our foster gets super excited about walks (and food, but it's not as much of a problem there). We're trying to get him to calm down a little... I've been stopping what I'm doing (getting the leash out, etc) when he starts jumping around and just ignoring him, giving no feedback whatsoever. Sometimes I will turn to the wall and just stand there until he is calm. BUT he then decides to jump ON me, either from the front or from behind. I can't continue to ignore him at that point because he will knock me over. How should I react when he does this, and how should I go about stopping the behavior?

 

Thanks!!

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Guest earlkattangrey

I would continue as you are except put a leash on him so you can control him when he escalates the behavior (starts jumping on you). Correct him with the leash and then ignore him til he calms down. Then be ready to quickly leash him and get him out the door, allowing him the least amount of time to get worked up again. I would practice this a dozen or so times without even walking him, so part of the excitement is dulled, and then he starts to associate leaving with that calmer behavior.

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Does he respond to "No" yet? That's what we used in Asta's earlier days when she was way too jumpy.

Lisa

 

Dog mama to angel-boy Ewan (racing name Atascocita Ewan), 3/26/10 to 8/23/20, and angel-girl Asta (racing name Pazzo Asta), 6/16/01 to 9/7/13.

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Guest Shana

In combination with earlkattangrey's advice, I would also try to "desensitize" him further by using methods for breaking separation anxiety habits.

Does he only get excited when you pull out the leash, or does he get excited when he notices you putting on shoes/coat/grabbing keys etc? If he starts getting excited at the sight of your coat, you putting on your shoes or grabbing the keys before you put his leash on I would suggest the following:

Put on your (clean) shoes, a light jacket, and grab the keys like normal... and go no where. He will be all excited, and you will not be leaving the house. Go sit on the couch a while. Go fiddle in the bathroom or the kitchen. You could even go as far as clipping his leash on, but still not leave the house (always supervise him so that he doesn't get caught on anything in the house, and don't do this for too long). Do this before every walk, so that he starts thinking "hey she is putting on her jacket and clipping my leash, but that doesn't necessarily mean we are leaving."

Only when he is calm (not anticipating leaving the house) call him over to the porch area, without making a fuss, and leave for your walk.

 

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Guest gecko_foot

Our foster gets super excited about walks (and food, but it's not as much of a problem there). We're trying to get him to calm down a little... I've been stopping what I'm doing (getting the leash out, etc) when he starts jumping around and just ignoring him, giving no feedback whatsoever. Sometimes I will turn to the wall and just stand there until he is calm. BUT he then decides to jump ON me, either from the front or from behind. I can't continue to ignore him at that point because he will knock me over. How should I react when he does this, and how should I go about stopping the behavior?

 

Thanks!!

 

Get a squirt bottle and spray him if he's being really obnoxious. Just make sure to desensitize him with it (i.e. pet him while holding the bottle). You don't want him to be afraid of it - just respectful.

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Guest kahjul

Shana's suggestions are right on. My girls go to the car-we drive to our walking places. So every night after dinner they were getting really worked up, all I had to do was get up from the table and it all broke loose. I kept the routine, as if we were going, went into the garage, opened the car, went back in and watched some TV, put leashes on the counter, did the dishes. It was crazy for a couple days (and kinda mean). Now they watch me carefully and sometimes roo at me, but they don't really jump around until I open the door and invite them into the garage. Once they're in the garage w/the car opened, all bets are off. They're inside calling and rooing until I close them in and start the engine. I also always leave the big garage door closed until they are safely closed into the car.

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Guest Swifthounds

I agree with Shana's advice on desensitization.

 

As far as what to do when you turn away and ignore him and he jumps on you, have you made a sound? Dogs read body language and listen to vocalizations and adjust accordingly. I would make a sharp AAATT!! sound without turning to face him. The tone is key.

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Guest gecko_foot

Our foster gets super excited about walks (and food, but it's not as much of a problem there). We're trying to get him to calm down a little... I've been stopping what I'm doing (getting the leash out, etc) when he starts jumping around and just ignoring him, giving no feedback whatsoever. Sometimes I will turn to the wall and just stand there until he is calm. BUT he then decides to jump ON me, either from the front or from behind. I can't continue to ignore him at that point because he will knock me over. How should I react when he does this, and how should I go about stopping the behavior?

 

Thanks!!

 

I'm a mean greyhound owner......My response to obnoxious jumping is as follows:

 

1. Drop everything, sit down, and ignore

2. If jumping and whining persist - spray with a squirt bottle and ignore until the dog sits or lays down

3. Try again and repeat the above two items if the dog gets anxious

 

Tumnus doesn't get very obnoxious about walks, but he does get excited. Most of the time, ignoring him does the trick, but when that doesn't work, I make him wait in one spot (which can take a while) or if he's being overly excited, I'll spray him with the squirt bottle. I don't have to spray him often, but whenever he sees the bottle, he understands what it means and calms down immediately. The squirt bottle is my punishment of last resort, and I don't use it for minor things - i.e. things that a simple "No!" will stop.

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Guest dragontearz

Guinness was a bad jumper when I first got him, he always put front paws straight out and at people when he got excited, me and anyone where I took him was instructed to saw "OW!!!" loudly then ignore him until he calmed down, and I also used a squirt bottle..5 years later not one instance of him doing it again-gecko foot is exactly how I think it should be done...

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I don't have any advice but wanted to tell you i started lol when i saw your topic because we have just the opposite problem here. We say "walk", lexie runs to her cage or tries to lay real low as if we can't see her so she won't have to go for a walk. Never knew a dog who when u say "want to go for a walk or go to the park?" and they run away as if you were taking them for dental surgery..lol gl

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  • 5 weeks later...
Guest marreve22

I got tired of the scratching also. I would turn my back to her, but then she was scraping my back, to the point of blood. So, I said enough of this and started saying 'no jumping' and then I put her in the bathroom for 3 minutes. The dogs hate being in the bathroom with the door closed, so I've only done that twice with her, and she doesn't jump anymore. I still have one more grey to work on, but at least one is cured, lol.

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There is an article about that this month in The whole dog journel. Without writing the whole article out, they suggest:

 

1) Excercise first. EG- in the backyard play ball. If you have steps in the house but no backyard, run up and down the steps with them following you.

 

2) Teach him to sit and wait. "say please".

 

3) pick up leash through out the day. Drap it over your neck and wear it for a while.

 

Those are 3 of the 5 things mentioned.

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

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Guest Giselle

Maybe it's the optimist in me, but why on earth would we want to punish the dog for being excited? The key is not to physically punish the dog until it stops showing excitement. The key is to teach the dog an alternative behavior. Specifically, we need to teach the dog impulse control.

 

Every well-trained dog is a dog with superb impulse control. A dog who can "say Please", a dog who can sit patiently, a dog who can "stay" until released is a well-trained, self-controlled dog. And a self-controlled dog is a dog who does not jump when excited.

 

Thus, to teach self-control, we suggest:

1) Removing what the dog wants until he calms down

2) Teaching an alternate behavior conducive to calm, self-control

 

To remove what the dog wants (which is to go on a walk with you!), you have to remove either you or the dog from the situation. For example, you pick up the leash and Fido starts jumping like crazy. IMMEDIATELY drop the leash and walk into another room. Close the door behind you. Make it REAL clear. If Fido jumps, you *leave*. Come back into the room and pick up the leash again. If Fido jumps again, immediately leave. Come back in and repeat this until the dog no longer jumps when you pick up the leash. Then, clip the leash onto his collar. If he gets jumpy, IMMEDIATELY leave! Come back in and try again until he is calm throughout every step. Simultaneously reward the dog with a treat or verbal praise or a calming rub.

 

In the process of doing this, you're teaching the dog an alternative behavior - You're teaching him that keeping all 4 paws on the floor is his ticket to getting out of the house and on to the walk.

 

And you can do all of this without ANY force it all! It may sound tedious, but I use these principles on the most cage-crazed, neurotic dogs, and it only takes them ~5-10 minutes before the idea sinks in. Give it a week's worth of repetition and you'll have a changed, noticeable more controlled/more controllable dog. Good luck! A little patience and persistence goes a long way :)

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Guest zoolaine

My dogs also go crazy :crazy :crazy :pinkele:couchjump:pinkele when the leashes come out. and then they all try to squeeze through the door to the garage to jump in the car. I really have to work with them on that.

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Guest rachel2025

Pike sometimes goes bananas when I pick up the leash, too. I find that he manages to control himself if he has a stuffie in his mouth (maybe that's an alternative behavior for the energy, now that I think about it!). So I usually hand one to him as I am getting ready, and he jumps on/plays with the stuffie instead of me!

 

Weird, but it works. :)

 

Edited to add: it IS hard to get a leash over the head with stuffie-in-mouth... so then we work on "drop it." Heehee.

Edited by rachel2025
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Guest Giselle

Pike sometimes goes bananas when I pick up the leash, too. I find that he manages to control himself if he has a stuffie in his mouth (maybe that's an alternative behavior for the energy, now that I think about it!). So I usually hand one to him as I am getting ready, and he jumps on/plays with the stuffie instead of me!

 

Weird, but it works. :)

 

Edited to add: it IS hard to get a leash over the head with stuffie-in-mouth... so then we work on "drop it." Heehee.

Yep, that is an alternate behavior. The key to alternate behaviors is that you tell the dog what TO do, not what NOT to do. Instead of constantly telling the dog "No! No! Get off! Get off!", you're telling him: "Sit and wait", or "play with this toy instead" or "keep 4 paws on the ground". Sometimes, people don't believe me when I tell them their dogs *can* and *do* understand these seemingly complex behaviors, but our dogs are amazingly complex, intelligent creatures. Thus, in these situations, we should work their brains, not their bodies :)

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When I grabbed a leash, crazed excitement erupted. So, I'd turn my back, and stand still. That worked for a while. Then - it didn't anymore, I was getting jumped on. So - I'd put the leash DOWN - making sure the dog saw me do it - and walk away. Go do laundry or something for 15 minutes. Try again - repeat again. Finally the crazy dog realized that me picking up the leash didn't necessarily mean she was going anywhere, so she didn't get nutzy about it. THEN - I'd take her out. Crazy behavior- you don't get out the door. I also made a point to pick up the leash and put it down periodically for no reason (to the dog) - to disassociate the act of picking up the leash from her "knowing" that we were going out.

 

Of course, once we solved that - a new problem arouse. I could get her calmly leashed - but once we got out the door she turned into an idiot. That I solved by walking in small sqares in our yard, just outside the door. Three steps forward, turn left, three steps, turn left, repeat, repeat.... The dingbat jumped around a little- then realize this was no fun, and started walking NICELY - THEN we'd leave the yard. Repeated for a few days, and she decided that walking in a square was no fun.

 

Just the way I handled it - you'll find what works. But you're right to ask - because you DO need to nip this in the bud! You should NOT have to work up a sweat just TRYING to take your dog for a nice walk.

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