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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Too Much Enthusiasm

Is there such a thing? My dogs are over enthusiastic and although pretty consistent do jump/hop instead of using all fours sometimes. At first, months ago, I was using premo treats and thought that was the cause but I have switched to portions of their daily kibble ration and they still won't stay on the ground properly at times and still bounce..

Any suggestions? I don't want to deter them from really getting into it because they are completing what I ask of them and that's a good thing. Our training periods used to be after a good run but due to the snow melt that's impossible for them as they disappear, get bogged down and we haven't been able to do our usual burn off energy. Might this be the problem? Getting frustrated, not at them but my disability of figuring out how to fix this and what's causing it. We are moving to an indoor class environment in a few weeks but I need help, the sooner the better.


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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 04:15 AM
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Remember a tired dog is a good dog.

I remember having to take Dexter outside when he was younger and running him back and forth from front yard to back yard because he had so much energy at night. It was not every night, But, on those nights that Dexter was about to drive me out of my mind, we had to do something!

After all the exercise, Dexter would settle down and stay out of trouble and he would go to sleep.

As Dexter has grown older, he has settled down lots more.



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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Cailleach View Post
Is there such a thing? My dogs are over enthusiastic and although pretty consistent do jump/hop instead of using all fours sometimes. At first, months ago, I was using premo treats and thought that was the cause but I have switched to portions of their daily kibble ration and they still won't stay on the ground properly at times and still bounce..

Any suggestions? I don't want to deter them from really getting into it because they are completing what I ask of them and that's a good thing. Our training periods used to be after a good run but due to the snow melt that's impossible for them as they disappear, get bogged down and we haven't been able to do our usual burn off energy. Might this be the problem? Getting frustrated, not at them but my disability of figuring out how to fix this and what's causing it. We are moving to an indoor class environment in a few weeks but I need help, the sooner the better.
Practice "doggy zen" (or Susan Garret's "It's yer Choice" game) with them. You can start just sitting on the couch while you are watching TV, so it's EASY to do. Put some high value treats in your hand, and show them to the dog. The dog will, of course, move forward to take the food. Don's say ANYTHING, just close your fist around the food so they can't get it. Expect that in the beginning they will nose, lick and paw at your hand. Just sit still and don't do ANYTHING. When they back off, open your hand. When they move forward close your hand.

Sooner or later, they will offer a sit or a down. At that point, take ONE piece of food with your OTHER hand and hand it to them. When they are reliably moving away to sit or down the minute you start the game, up the ante and put the food on the floor in front of you. If they move forward, cover the food with your hand or foot. It they maintain a nice position, feed them a piece.

When they really understand this game, you can start doing it in a "working" position. Ask them to "set up" (or what ever your command to sit at heel is). Go to hand them a treat, but if their feet come off the floor, close your hand and take it away. Since they already understand the rules of the earlier game, it won't take long at all for them to catch on to "feet on the floor, I get a treat, break position and I don't"! Then take it one step further. Show them the treat while they hold position, move it back and forth in front of them. They can follow it with their head, but they must not move their feet or break position. If they maintain position they get the treat, if not, try again.

If you are consistent with the rules, they learn this VERY quickly. (Kodi was doing the "It's yer choice" game at 16 weeks) Then it's just a matter of YOU being consistent in real life... not just when training, and doing occasional "brush up" games. They really like the game because it's easy to understand and they are in complete control once they learn the rules.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by HavaneseSoon View Post
Remember a tired dog is a good dog.

I remember having to take Dexter outside when he was younger and running him back and forth from front yard to back yard because he had so much energy at night. It was not every night, But, on those nights that Dexter was about to drive me out of my mind, we had to do something!

After all the exercise, Dexter would settle down and stay out of trouble and he would go to sleep.

As Dexter has grown older, he has settled down lots more.
If what you want is a quiet dog, you are absolutely right, Linda. And even a performance dog needs to get adequate exercise. But in performance sports you are looking for brilliance, and you don't get brilliance with a tired dog. They need to learn the rules... and in this case, it's pretty easy once you know the trick.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 11:17 AM
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I had trouble with Yogi having too much energy sometimes in class. I tried running it off but this tired him and made him defensive. Yogi is reactive so I need focus at all times around other dogs so we have found taking him for a short walk, if the weather is on ourside, helps with some of the excess engergy. We also practice heeling with spins, traveling touches, and weaves through my legs, this helps burn off some energy, tones down the excitement and keeps things fun and different. It is also ok to do these things when in the ring. I think each dog is different and sometimes we have to be more creative with some. Sounds like childern.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 03:43 PM
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I should add that SOME bounce is absolutely fine. Look at the photo I posted in Kodi's Rally Update thread... That's about as bouncy as a pivot can get! I've NEVER had a judge say anything negative about his pivots or finishes, and they never take off any points. In fact, I've had several say how enthusiastic he is, and one later told me that if she were allowed to give extra points for "cuteness" he would get them all.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 04:55 PM
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Karen, is the game you mentioned above from the Crate Games author? A book, DVD? Sounds like a good exercise. Augie gets a bit 'exuberant' at times. We could use a little work. I don't want his enthusiasm squashed, but if we could just control it a bit. We do better on the day of classes if he gets a walk in; he is not so all over the place then. There are times, when he hasn't had a walk, where I feel he is about a second away from a good RLH. I so don't want him to do that at class. But our weather has been sooooooo UGLY here. Rain, rain, rain. We aren't walking like we need to be.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-04-2011, 05:36 PM
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Karen, is the game you mentioned above from the Crate Games author? A book, DVD? Sounds like a good exercise. Augie gets a bit 'exuberant' at times. We could use a little work. I don't want his enthusiasm squashed, but if we could just control it a bit. We do better on the day of classes if he gets a walk in; he is not so all over the place then. There are times, when he hasn't had a walk, where I feel he is about a second away from a good RLH. I so don't want him to do that at class. But our weather has been sooooooo UGLY here. Rain, rain, rain. We aren't walking like we need to be.
Yes, It's Yer Choice" is a Susan Garrett game. "Crate Games" is actually a DVD, and she has many other great DVD's as well. She is mainly an agility trainer, but much of her training is as pertinent to dogs in other sports.

I'm currently doing her on-line course "5 Minute Formula for a Brilliant Recall". It's not just for recalls. (Kodi's is actually very good) But it's for developing increased value for your dog to pay attention to YOU rather than distractions in the environment. It's really cool. (unfortunately, it's also closed for this year, but I think she's planning on doing it next year again)


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