Easing Overexcitement - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Easing Overexcitement

At our show this weekend, my breeder pointed out that Nino's eye whites were tinted red and explained it was because of stress. She also explained that, for him, it wasn't stress from being upset over the situation, but quite the opposite. He gets so excited to show that he is just overloading on adrenaline. I know Karen had mentioned that certain activities, no matter how much the dog likes them, could become stressors, and that because of that, pro-biotics are vital, especially to a dog that competes in various venues.

I do think taking the time off, letting him relax, and getting him to a point where he is just a bit more mellowed will help this die down and fade from his system, but I was wondering if there is anything else I can do to ease stress. Massage? Essential oils? Bubble bath? (Only partially joking on the first 2...) He loves what he does, both at shows and in his classes, and I would hate to take it from him, but I don't want to put him through it if there is potential for physiological damage down the line.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 01:13 AM
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I have the same problem with Sophie. She is so excited and overjoyed with everything she does and I have also noticed red tinted whites of her eyes but didn't know if it meant anything. I do worry a lot about her level of excitement triggering a tummy thing, I have tried lavendar oil (I borrowed a diffuser and might buy one but holistic vet also said you can rub a little on their ears so when they move their head it spreads the scent). I do massages a lot and I also do the "calming stop" if she gets over the top. The vet gave me Sileo to give her to calm her down but I haen't used it I just can't see drugging her unless really necessary (she was thinking only for extreme situations where she'd get really over the top). I also try to keep her excercised as much as possible (hard lately as it seems to upset her tummy at times) to keep her tired out more.

I love them being so full of joy it sucks that may be bad for them also!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 07:34 AM
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My experience is that it's a matter of acclimation... Slow exposure in small doses to exciting situations. It will always be more stressful than sitting on the couch, but that's OK. Every dog will have a different tolerance level for this kind of mild, "fun" stress. Some high drive dogs, like BC's Belgians and ACD's seem to live for it. If you don't keep them busy enough, they will find things to interest them, and you WON'T be happy!

I LIKE the fact that Havanese like to work, but also have more of an "off" button. But that means that they tend to need more down-time too. I have found, over the years, that Kodi does best with no more than one or at most two trials per month. OTOH, in the last year and a half, since finishing his ARCHMX, we have been concentrating on learning Utility level and have trailed MUCH less than that. His problems with stress in a very challenging environment last weekend make me think that I'm not getting him out (in trial situations) enough these days. I think I may have to enter him in more low key rally and CDSP trials to build up his tolerance to stressful AKC settings again.

Another thing to remember is that physical exercise is not always the answer to burning off excess energy. Obviously we WANT a certain level of fitness... That's only healthy. But beyond that, the more physical fitness you build, the more the animal needs to be worked on a daily basis for them not to get nutty. Anyone who has been involved in transitioning a race horse from the track to "sport horse fitness" knows that. Horses straight off the track are a bundle of muscle and nerves. Most people throw them in a pasture for 3 months (or more) of down-time before even trying to work with them for quieter pursuits. Beyond that basic level of fitness needed for our dogs to perform whatever sport we want to do with them, (agility and lure coursing will require more than obedience, which will require more than nose work) it can be much more benifial to tire them out with "brain work" a couple of 15 minute sessions a day learning something new (better yet, 3 10 minute sessions) will have the dog relaxed and sleeping soundly for hours!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 11:15 AM
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Whenever Zoe is in a stressful situation, i.e., dropping her off at her groomer, ,,, I won't feed her beforehand or even for several hours afterwards until she has had a chance to do absolutely nothing and completely relax for several hours. In the wild, dogs don't eat at regular mealtimes and can go without food for a day or two. I do feed her dinner but only after she has had a long time to rest so that she can digest properly.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 11:28 AM
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Thank you for your "take" on the issue of our dogs' being able to handle fun and/or exciting things, Karen.

I appreciate reading and "hearing" everyone's thoughts on this. It does seem to be a prevalent issue with our Havs, especially.

I hadn't heard about red in the whites of the eyes being significant. I'll watch for that...
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 11:42 AM
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I do use aromatherapy


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by katscleancutdogs View Post
I do use aromatherapy


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What oils do you use? And do you diffuse them, or apply directly to the dog?

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 12:13 PM
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here's a bit from my article in Havanese Breed Magazine ...

So how do we help ease our dog's stress? First off, we have to realize that what we may think is not stressful to our dogs, is indeed potentially stressful. It can be the simple innocuous things that we don't think of. It could be something secondary to what happened during a certain event. An example might be when you were out walking one day and a bicycle came by at the same time a car on the street honked it's horn. You might think that your dog was reacting to the car but he/she may in the future be stressed with the appearance of bicyclists.
There are times when we think our dog is having fun but is bordering on stress. This could be during play sessions that are getting out of hand. We need to incorporate brief interruptions into their play before this becomes a problem. Many people who do sport related activities or conformation need to be vigilant to signs that is becoming too much at the time. You can do irreparable damage if this continues unabated. An activity that you both found endearing can become unwelcome and unenjoyably. While exuberant activities may not seem like a problem in itself, combine that with other identified stressors such as boredom, poor diet, excessive noise, moving to a new home, or adding a new pup to the family and you have a recipe for trouble. Constant adrenaline production can lead to a host of immune system problems fatigue or eating problems over time.

To reduce stress ,plenty of relaxation and quiet time should be given. Major events like moving or introducing a new pet to the household should be followed with a balanced sort of activity/stimulation. Time has to be taken in your own stressful situation to listen to your dog's needs as well. Try to keep your dogs lifestyle and schedule as consistent as possible. DOGS LOVE CONSISTENCY AND ROUTINE.
Boredom is perhaps one of the leading causes of stress in dogs. At the earliest time possible ,we need to encourage alone time by leaving our pups with something to do. KONGS and other chew toys make this much easier and enjoyable when they are left alone. Here are two good articles on this, Errorless Chewtoy-Training | Dog Star Daily and here Separation Anxiety | Dog Star Daily
One of the worst thing owners can do is smother a new pup with attention. The dog becomes used to it ,and when the time comes for the dog to endure some alone time, he hasn't been given the conditioning necessary to deal with it. Please take the time to teach this to your dog. Separation distress/anxiety can be devastating and an example of stress at its worst. Dogs need S P A C E. DOGS need S P A C E. When you see the precursors to stress ,give your dog relief in the form of space or remove from stressor immediately. Further flooding the dog will only make things escalate. General obedience training relieves stress and a dog that has rules and guidance will cope better with our lifestyles than one who is constantly reprimanded and doesn't know its boundaries.
Some interesting research shows that certain groups of dogs tend to have higher general levels of stress than others. Working dogs, tended to have the highest levels of stress ,while guarding dogs the lowest. One reason for this is thought to be the fact that guarding dogs have a lower threshold for stress . Toy/companion type dogs were somewhere in the middle of the ten groups studied by Scholt and von Clarissa. As far as gender, female dogs had the lowest stress levels followed by spayed females, then male dogs and finally neutered males. It also found that the more hours a day that a dog rested , the lower the stress levels it exhibited.
When trying to predict how our dogs may react to new stimuli, keep in mind that slow gradual emersion to the situation is key. Systematic desensitization is key. Desensitization works by gradually exposing the dog to low levels of the fearful stimulus. Lets say our dog is reactive on leash when out walking and meets another dog.We may let our dog see the other dog from a distance long enough so he does not show fear. Gradually, we will let our dog get closer and closer as long as he still shows no fear. Desensitization is usually accompanied by another training called counter conditioning. This is similar to classical conditioning and defined as a process in which an animal learns to associate one event that comes immediately after another event. The animal does not have to do anything in order for this association to take place.Classical conditioning was discovered by the Russian scientist Pavlov. In his lab, Pavlov brought food to dogs. When the food was shown to the dogs, they began salivating. Then, Pavlov preceded the food with a ring of a bell. He rang the bell and immediately brought the food. He repeated it many times. Bell ring, show food, dog salivates, and again and again.Now, here’s the cool part. Pavlov now decided to ring the bell without bringing the food. He rang the bell, DID NOT bring the food, and……guess what – the dogs still salivated. What happened? The dog has learned the association between the bell and the food. Since the bell was rung, the food must be coming – hence, saliva. Here is wonderful article on classical conditioning... Classical Conditioning | Dog Star Daily By combining counter conditioning and desensitization We will start exposing our dog to other dogs at a very low level – in this case a far enough distance (that’s the desensitization part|) and we will give the dog tasty treats when he sees the other dogs (that’s the counter conditioning part). This teaches our dog that other dogs mean good things happen and hence we remove them hopefully as a stressor. This can be done with anything that stresses our dogs. As a note of caution ,if you are not comfortable when dealing with potentially aggressive behaviour. please consult with a professional as you may do more harm than good.

Dave and Molly
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 12:24 PM
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if you really want to get adventurous Tellington TTouch Training™

Dave and Molly
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheri View Post
Thank you for your "take" on the issue of our dogs' being able to handle fun and/or exciting things, Karen.

I appreciate reading and "hearing" everyone's thoughts on this. It does seem to be a prevalent issue with our Havs, especially.

I hadn't heard about red in the whites of the eyes being significant. I'll watch for that...
It's actually a problem in ALL breeds of sporting dogs. Everyone I know keeps their dogs on probiotics all the time and doubles them on trial days.

I hadn't heard about the whites of the eyes either. Of course, only Panda shows any white, so I wouldn't have noticed on the other two.


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plus Starborn's Picture Perfect & Nauti Herd Compact Flash RN, CGC, NTD, SN-C, RL1)






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