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Excited But Inappropriate Behaviour


Guest carriej
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Guest carriej

Hi Guys,

 

Chance is really excitable. Like big time. It's endearing, and refreshing to have a grey that is just so darn happy.

 

However...

 

He has crossed the line a few times. I have a video of it; but watching the video it's kind of hard to see as I didn't get the whole thing. I truly want to believe it's playful behavior, but I just feel like sometimes Chance has no respect and treats me as he would another dog instead of a human.

 

He gets excited and almost "attacks" me. Lunging, spinning, going crazy. I have seen greys have this behavior against toys and sometimes other dogs, but not humans. All this behavior is directed at me so it's a little scary. He is so fast, and he can jump so high!

 

If I ignore him he will lay down and slap his front paws on the floor. Like a "come on!" gesture, then he will eventually run at me. If you see two greys playing rough outside, it's the behavior he is doing to me. Coming at me, mouth open, huffing, snorting, jumping, spinning.

 

Today I left the room because it was getting totally out of hand (screaming NO and CHANCE and CALM DOWN did not work.. obviously lol). He looked at me and ran right for me and right ontop of me. I mean, it's not like he bit me or anything but he has sharp claws! Plus he was just going so crazy. I feel a little helpless when he does this, and he always does this when it's just me and him here.

 

He listens so well usually, but when these "episodes" happen it's like he is totally uncontrollable.

 

I love him to death, but I just want him to respect me and the behavior makes me nervous. I have never received this treatment from any of my other greys, they were always mellow and gentle. He is not mellow or gentle so I just feel a little out of my comfort zone when it comes to these things. Maybe it's normal, maybe it isn't. I have had other breeds of dogs, and they never did this either to me (but they might play like this with other dogs). So if anyone else has any experience with this kind of stuff it would be great. I'm just not really sure what I should do, or if I should do anything.

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Guest kkaiser104

How old is Chance? Teddi did this when he first came home at 2 years old.

 

What's worked for me is both ignoring the behavior and redirecting it. Teddi normally approached me with this behavior when I first came home. So I would walk into my apartment, he'd jump, and I'd instantly turn my back to him. I didn't say a word--not even to tell him no. Once he calmed down, I'd turn back around and if he remained calm I'd give him something that he could play with like a toy. Eventually, this led to Teddi greeting me at the door with a toy, and when Winchester came home he learned the same routine. I keep a stack of toys near the door in case someone forgets to pick one up (this doesn't happen unless I surprise them).

 

I think the most important thing to remember when dealing with this behavior is to remain calm yourself. It's so terrifying to have 85 pounds of greyhound flying at you! Teddi hurt me a few times and I knew he didn't mean it but that was what led to redirecting. He also used to nip when I walked in and he caught me a few times. That's why I use a toy to occupy his mouth. He's nearly 4 now and he's definitely calming down but still greets me, every day, with his toy.

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Guest carriej

Chance just had his 3rd Birthday last week, so he is definitely young and boisterous. However we got Freeman at 2 and Kowalla at 3 and never really had these issues. Kowalla was just very gentle all around and Freeman would do the whole "grab a toy thing" when he got all riled up, but they were never this crazy or severe lol.

 

I have been trying to figure out the "trigger" for the behavior but I can't find any. He was just chilling on his bed; and I was just puttering around the house. I sat down (not near him) and I seen him flip over out of the corner of my eye and the craziness ensued.

 

Chance sometimes picks up a toy during this, but he can't have soft toys because he eats them in about 45 seconds. I wish I could find him some durable soft toys so he could have them as I really think this would help.

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Guest kkaiser104

Have you tried the retrieval toys meant for hunting dogs? My roommate last year had a pitbull puppy who would rip most toys apart in seconds, but she had great success with retrieval toys meant to help teach duck hunting. You can get them at Tractor Supply or any other feed store.

 

I would still try to at least ignore the behavior. It doesn't sound aggressive, it just sounds like pent up energy. Does he get a lot of exercise? Perhaps he needs more? A tired dog is a happy dog.

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Bubba does this too, and I've had some success using the same method kkaiser uses... yes, at first sometimes it meant getting punched in the back by him, but he is slowly starting to learn. It may be a slow process but stick with it!

siggie_zpse3afb243.jpg

 

Bri and Mike with Boo Radley (Williejohnwalker), Bubba (Carlos Danger), and the feline friends foes, Loois and Amir

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Guest Giselle

To give you another perspective, these are my immediate thoughts:

 

Oh my goodness, if my dogs were to do this, I'd grab a toy and PLAY!!!!! If you spend any time at all with a professional trainer or one who trains to compete, you'll quickly realize that one of the hardest things we can teach our dogs is to play with us. Like - full on body slam tug-o-war zoomie type of play. This type of play is SO desirable because this is an animal who is driven, who is happy, who is relaxed. Even though they're showing these emotions in a very frenetic type of way, this type of play is beautiful to watch and so fun to engage with because it's a happy driven dog! What a joy!!

 

Instead of ignoring, redirect it and control it. Channel that energy and joy towards something useful. For competition dogs, we try to channel that energy into performing obedience/agility/whatever exercises with speed and enthusiasm. For the average pet dog, you can also do something very similar. Every time your dog starts to get amped up, grab a SUPER fun toy (i.e. tie a stuffy to a lure pole or a long nylon string), and engage the dog to chase the toy. Then, abruptly stop. Wait. As soon as your dog loosens his grip on the toy or looks at you like, "Wait, why are you stopping?", immediately say "Give!" and pop a treat into his mouth as he releases the toy. Then, you can ask for a Down or a Sit, and then release him to chase the toy again. This way, you're teaching him impulse control and controlling his playful energy in a useful way. I think this type of play energy is such a joy, and I really encourage you to think of ways to harness it rather than decreasing it :) It's a good thing!


Here's a video of the impulse control tug-of-war exercise:

 

This handler has already taught her dog "Give" (she uses "Out", I think), but that's basically what the finished product will look like. Imagine turning all that frenetic energy into a happy, controlled, well-mannered greyhound!

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To give you another perspective, these are my immediate thoughts:

 

Oh my goodness, if my dogs were to do this, I'd grab a toy and PLAY!!!!! If you spend any time at all with a professional trainer or one who trains to compete, you'll quickly realize that one of the hardest things we can teach our dogs is to play with us. Like - full on body slam tug-o-war zoomie type of play. This type of play is SO desirable because this is an animal who is driven, who is happy, who is relaxed. Even though they're showing these emotions in a very frenetic type of way, this type of play is beautiful to watch and so fun to engage with because it's a happy driven dog! What a joy!!

 

Instead of ignoring, redirect it and control it. Channel that energy and joy towards something useful. For competition dogs, we try to channel that energy into performing obedience/agility/whatever exercises with speed and enthusiasm. For the average pet dog, you can also do something very similar. Every time your dog starts to get amped up, grab a SUPER fun toy (i.e. tie a stuffy to a lure pole or a long nylon string), and engage the dog to chase the toy. Then, abruptly stop. Wait. As soon as your dog loosens his grip on the toy or looks at you like, "Wait, why are you stopping?", immediately say "Give!" and pop a treat into his mouth as he releases the toy. Then, you can ask for a Down or a Sit, and then release him to chase the toy again. This way, you're teaching him impulse control and controlling his playful energy in a useful way. I think this type of play energy is such a joy, and I really encourage you to think of ways to harness it rather than decreasing it :) It's a good thing!

Here's a video of the impulse control tug-of-war exercise:

 

This handler has already taught her dog "Give" (she uses "Out", I think), but that's basically what the finished product will look like. Imagine turning all that frenetic energy into a happy, controlled, well-mannered greyhound!

LOVE this insight, thanks. Very helpful!

 

To the OP: As kkaiser mentioned, we typically try and get a toy in his mouth when he gets like this. The excitement has helped us in other training as well: when he gets the toy (always a rubber toy, Bubba eats stuffies whole), we call him back to us. When he seems ready to release the toy, we say 'drop it'. Then we take the toy and throw it again, call him back, and repeat 'drop it'. He now releases the toy when we ask him to drop it. The results have been twofold:

1) His recall has improved, as he knows coming back to us = more fun!

2) His 'drop it' command improved, now he knows that if he drops an item (toys and sometimes even food), he will get it back and have more fun with the humans as a reward.

But on top of that, it gives him an outlet for that crazy, nippy, over-excited energy that allows us to be involved in a way that is actually fun for us, too... not feeling like we are a 'target' for his energy.

The behaviour we still do the back-turny and ignore is when he jumps on us. He's definitely getting better at not jumping, as he knows that we aren't going to throw toys or give attention until he stops jumping. That is the part of this process that has been slow and requires patience :-)

Edited by brianamac

siggie_zpse3afb243.jpg

 

Bri and Mike with Boo Radley (Williejohnwalker), Bubba (Carlos Danger), and the feline friends foes, Loois and Amir

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Like Giselle, I think you are SO lucky! I would definitely try to redirect with some useful play or training, or a combination of both! Jeffie does this sometimes, but he's old (12 years) and he runs out of steam pretty quickly. I've also taught him to calm down - easier when they're old, I know! What I did, when I was teaching him to bark at the doorbell, was let him bark and get excited for a short while (maybe 15-20 seconds) then stand next to him, reach over to lay my hand firmly on his 'outside' shoulder and tell him, in a low, slow voice, 'Good boy! OK, well done!'. It can be a very light touch, but if he was very excitable and wanted to continue, I would gently pull him against my leg and hold him.

 

He's learned that this is the cue for him to calm down. He's been told he's a good dog, he's satisfied that he's done his duty, and he trots off, tail waving, to his bed.

I'd suggest you let your youngster engage with you and play for a while - he LOVES you! - and when you've had enough, remember to keep your voice low, and speak slowly as you tell him to 'calm down, that's enough'. Squealing and sharp sounds are a characteristic of happy dogs playing together, and you probably sound like that when you scream 'NO' and 'CALM DOWN' so it makes him more excited. I have, however, found that a low-pitched but sharp 'UH-UH!!' is understood even by untrained dogs as indicating disapproval and they generally pause what they're doing.

Jeffie likes to 'dance' when he's happy and excited. If he starts bouncing and spinning, I spin too (I'm not much good at bouncing :lol). We usually get one spin from him, and one from me, then he'll pause to see what I'm going to do next. We do a few of those, then I'll dash off a few paces, and he'll follow me and stop when I stop, start when I start. We turn together to the right, then I'll change direction and he'll follow me. I'm pretty sure that if I'd had him from a young dog, we'd have made a great 'dancing dog' team, because he looooves it! Of course, he tires easily, being older, but I wonder if Chance would enjoy some directed interactive play like this with you?

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Guest carriej

Hahaha I totally do sound like an excited dog when I freak out. Plus I am usually hilariously laughing at him... I don't blame him; but it's literally a dead flop sleep to OMG MUM I LOVE YOU AND I WANT TO EAT YOUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Which can be frightening lol

 

Chance is very clever, like really fast learner. He automatically starts rolling through his learned behaviors when you have something he wants. For example. today I was eating a banana. First he sat infront of me, then he tried to give me a paw, then he laid down, then he did a little spin, then he went and sat on his bed, and just kept cycling. It's like "I don't know what tricks I need to do, but I want that!" When people are visiting they find it hilarious how he plops down infront of things he wants.

 

I wish I lived in a bigger city where I could do some kind of organized training; like agility or something. The only thing we really do is walk; he seems to enjoy short walks but if it's a long walk I'm dragging him.

 

I will look for those hunting training toy things.

 

Thanks for all the suggestions!

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Hahaha I totally do sound like an excited dog when I freak out. Plus I am usually hilariously laughing at him... I don't blame him; but it's literally a dead flop sleep to OMG MUM I LOVE YOU AND I WANT TO EAT YOUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

:lol

 

 

 

Chance is very clever, like really fast learner. He automatically starts rolling through his learned behaviors when you have something he wants. For example. today I was eating a banana. First he sat infront of me, then he tried to give me a paw, then he laid down, then he did a little spin, then he went and sat on his bed, and just kept cycling. It's like "I don't know what tricks I need to do, but I want that!" When people are visiting they find it hilarious how he plops down infront of things he wants.

 

Our first greyhound was like that. We taught him so much! He loooved to learn and to please us, and loved to try out his tricks when he wanted something. Dogs like that are a joy.

 

 

I wish I lived in a bigger city where I could do some kind of organized training; like agility or something. The only thing we really do is walk; he seems to enjoy short walks but if it's a long walk I'm dragging him.

 

 

You could still teach him 'dancing' in your own home. Teach him to follow you, and turn left and right on cue, to walk backwards, to walk through your legs etc. Might be fun!

GTAvatar-2015_zpsb0oqcimj.jpg

The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Guest Wasserbuffel

My grey is the same way, less so now that she's 7, but I got her when she was three. Not long after I got her home she began to engage me in rough and tumble play like you describe. It's not a lack of respect, it's absolute adoration. Jayne loves me best of all the humans in the world, and I am the only one with whom she has any desire to engage in physical play.

 

Personally, I enjoy it. I embraced her playfulness and we wrestle with each other. I've been able to teach her to growl on command because of it, she's a very noisy player and I tapped into it to form the behavior. Yelling and screaming only serve to feed into the dog's excitement, so when DH wants her to attack me he gets loud and excited then sends her my way.. If I don't feel like wrestling I redirect her into doing zoomies instead. If one of us hurts the other a single loud screech stops the play.

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Guest carriej

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one, I was a bit concerned maybe he was a bit of a freak. LOL... My other guys never did this kind of stuff ever; so it's been a bit of a shock!

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Guest Wasserbuffel

HA, I'm not saying he isn't a bit of a freak; the best dogs are!

 

My husband has tried to get her to play with him in the same manner. At first it seemed she might, but then she decided I was her person.

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Guest Giselle

My grey is the same way, less so now that she's 7, but I got her when she was three. Not long after I got her home she began to engage me in rough and tumble play like you describe. It's not a lack of respect, it's absolute adoration. Jayne loves me best of all the humans in the world, and I am the only one with whom she has any desire to engage in physical play.

So true. This is also how I explain it to my clients. Sometimes, it is so hard to get that right combination of enthusiastic dog and enthusiastic owner. So, when you do see it, it is such a joy. Such fun!!

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Jordy is a leaping loon too :beatheart But he's happy to spread the joy with everyone he meets!

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Susan, Jessie and Jordy NORTHERN SKY GREYHOUND ADOPTION ASSOCIATION

Jack, in my heart forever March 1999-Nov 21, 2008 My Dancing Queen Jilly with me always and forever Aug 12, 2003-Oct 15, 2010

Joshy I will love you always Aug 1, 2004-Feb 22,2013 Jonah my sweetheart May 2000 - Jan 2015

" You will never need to be alone again. I promise this. As your dog, I will sing this promise to you, and whisper it to you at night, every night, with my breath." Stanley Coren

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You have to remember, "No" in and of itself means nothing. "No jumping" or "no barking" can eventually have meaning, but "No"? Not likely. "Calm down" means nothing to a dog. And screaming at an excited dog? Could not be more counterproductive!

 

Match his enthusiasm with calm. Lower your voice, don't shriek. Redirect. And if you have a yard, stick him outside!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Guest carriej

I don't have a fenced in yard; so all exercise is to be done with yours truly or my husband. It's been snowing non stop here for the past 4-5 days and another 40cms between today and tomorrow... Chance doesn't love the snow that much lol

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