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Channeling excitement? The fine line between bouncy and painful


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My boy Rumble is really starting to come out of his shell, and had been playing with toys, getting excited for walks and is so happy to see me in the mornings. I'm absolutely delighted he's feeling more relaxed, especially after the awful time he's had. The only issue is, he gets a little too bouncy sometimes (he has no idea how big he is, I'm certain!) and pounds my toes with his legs when he does the happy slap-the-paws-on-the-floor dance (this REALLY hurts when he catches me on the foot :weep) and has been starting to jump up when he's excited. I REALLY don't want him jumping at people because of his size, as it's dangerous for me, never mind if he knocked over a child. He also bangs his noggin sometimes when he zooms in the house, so I'm worried about him hurting himself. 

 

How can I channel his excitement better? I don't want him to think he's not allowed to be excited or happy, but I'm just hoping there's a way for him to be bit more 4 paws on the floor about it in case he hurts himself or others. The behaviourist at my shelter suggested rewarding him when he doesn't do the "bad" behaviour (it's not bad, but you know what I mean), so give treats when he's got all fours on the ground and so on. Is this enough? Is there more I can do? 

 

I want a happy hound, but also a safe one! :offwall

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Several things.

It's about helping him learn self discipline, so yes, what your behaviorist told you was right - reward the behavior you want, ignore the behavior you don't.  But it's a little more complicated than that.

You always want to come into the house calmly, and not greet him over enthusiastically.  No high squeaky voice telling him how much you missed him, and cooing over him.  Be calm and quiet to help his excitement level stay low.  Ignore him until you get in, take off your coat, put your purse down - whatever your coming home routine is.  Then, when he's calmer, turn to your dog for a low key greeting.  It's the opposite of Alone Training.

If you're crating, it's simple - just ignore him until he's calmed down.

Redirect his excitement on to/in to a more acceptable type of play.  Keep a toy or chew treat next to the door and toss it into an open area for him to jump on and play with when you come in.  Have the area as dog proofed as possible so things don't get broken.  When the worst of his energy has burned off you can greet him when he's more calm.  Alternatively you can scoot him right out the door to the yard and let him get his zoomies out there. 

You can sometimes accomplish the same thing by giving him a command (sit, down, something that *might* keep him still) and practice some training right away.  He wants your attention, but you need him to not be crazy!

With the jumping, the classic defense is to ignore him and turn your back to him, crossing your arms.  Don't react to his antics while he's hyped up and only turn back to him when all four feet are on the floor.  Any guest coming in should do the same thing until he gets the idea.

Keep some small training treats in your coat pocket to reward good behavior when you come home.  He will eventually learn acceptable behavior and how to greet appropriately.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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My 37kg grey certainly hurts if he jumps up or catches feet. So I feel your pain :)

I’m tiny so him jumping up wasn’t an option. However I obviously didn’t want to tell him off or dissuade him - it’s been delightful watching come out of his shell and leap around happily.

I found that if he didn’t keep all paws on the floor - backing away, telling him ‘no jumping’ and immediately redirecting him towards his toys (throwing them, playing with them...etc as soon as he got a bit hyper) worked wonders. Now when I come home (or when he’s having a silly moment) he’ll run up to great me and then immediately dash over to his toy box, grab a toy and fling that about nearby until he wears himself out instead. 

Also I yelp “ow” out loudly if he catches my toes or stands on my foot and that surprises him enough to stop and be a bit more gentle. He doesn’t have much spacial awareness but seems to be learning to stamp around me rather than *on* me.

good luck 😉 

 

 

 

 

 

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You can also teach “settle down”.  Teach it like the leave it, and use every activity to teach it. Gh has to stand still to get the leash put on.  Then reward with lots of praise and or treat.  Same for feeding dinner, getting in/out of crate or sleeping area anytime you need a calm dog.

At first any break or lower level of excitement praise/reward.  As you make progress increase the level of calm that gets a reward.

As for jumping claim your space as the Gh approaches.  Put a hand out in front to keep dog from coming in.  You can also use a broom or something similar to block the space never touch the dog with it, (only used to take up space think blind persons cane).  

My best tip for new dogs never let a young dog do anything you do not want a full grown dog to do.  Meaning puppy jumping is cute and fun but at 25 or more lbs not so fun.

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