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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Stumped...

Sofie at 6 1/2 months is growing up. She is 11 pounds (has slowed down a bit in the weight gain department). She is 98% potty trained. Hasn't had an accident in 2 months! If we are upstairs will run down to ring the bells to go out. Big achievement, I think. We are way pass the young puppy nipping and chewing on in appropriate things. She seems to be going through the adolescent phase, however, as she is not as responsive as she was just a month ago. She is very much interested in anything but us. I have to repeat requests (commands) many times and then she may not do them. This was not the case a month ago. Who knew sit would be so hard!!

I walk her 2 times a day. She continues to stop frequently and look around or will just plop down in the road. It matters not, if the walk is short or long, this is what she does. She does walk fairly well on loose leash, as long as we don't encounter a neighbor or a neighbor with a dog. It is jump and pull till we pass or stop and visit (she will settle after a bit). The loose leash walk is over and it is pull the rest of the way home. Here is what has me stumped... When we get home and I go to take her harness off (easy walk harness), she jumps, growls and tries to bite me. Just acts a bit crazy...period. Even after I get it off, she may still continue in a frenzy for a short time. This morning she decided to remove her bed from her crate and pull the tuffs off , and other wise shake and growl at it. Sometimes she will do a short RLH and then plopped down on the floor, spent. This has been going on now for 2 weeks or so. I have checked her for irritation from the harness and found none. I did go ahead and loosen it a bit anyway. That did not change this post walk behavior. After she settles and has a 10 minute rest, she is her sweet self again. It is like she is bipolar. She also will behaves like this when she can't have something she wants (sounds bratty). Any ideas what is going on with trying to get harness off and this aggressive behavior?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 12:02 PM
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I think you hit the nail on the head -- adolescence! Do you know many teen-aged girls who don't act bi-polar?? When I was 13-18 I didn't even like myself!



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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 05:53 PM
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Sofie at 6 1/2 months is growing up. She is 11 pounds (has slowed down a bit in the weight gain department). She is 98% potty trained. Hasn't had an accident in 2 months! If we are upstairs will run down to ring the bells to go out. Big achievement, I think. We are way pass the young puppy nipping and chewing on in appropriate things. She seems to be going through the adolescent phase, however, as she is not as responsive as she was just a month ago. She is very much interested in anything but us. I have to repeat requests (commands) many times and then she may not do them. This was not the case a month ago. Who knew sit would be so hard!!

I walk her 2 times a day. She continues to stop frequently and look around or will just plop down in the road. It matters not, if the walk is short or long, this is what she does. She does walk fairly well on loose leash, as long as we don't encounter a neighbor or a neighbor with a dog. It is jump and pull till we pass or stop and visit (she will settle after a bit). The loose leash walk is over and it is pull the rest of the way home. Here is what has me stumped... When we get home and I go to take her harness off (easy walk harness), she jumps, growls and tries to bite me. Just acts a bit crazy...period. Even after I get it off, she may still continue in a frenzy for a short time. This morning she decided to remove her bed from her crate and pull the tuffs off , and other wise shake and growl at it. Sometimes she will do a short RLH and then plopped down on the floor, spent. This has been going on now for 2 weeks or so. I have checked her for irritation from the harness and found none. I did go ahead and loosen it a bit anyway. That did not change this post walk behavior. After she settles and has a 10 minute rest, she is her sweet self again. It is like she is bipolar. She also will behaves like this when she can't have something she wants (sounds bratty). Any ideas what is going on with trying to get harness off and this aggressive behavior?
As others have said, a lot of this sounds like adolescence... it's just another stage to get through. As far as the "post-walk mania", it sounds to me like she is just totally over-wound. When a dog (or puppy... and she IS still a puppy, no matter what her size is) gets to that state of arousal, they can't think and they can't learn. What I would do is just unclip the leash (if she'll let you do that without a fuss... if you can't even do that, let her drag the leash) let her do her RLH to get it out of her system. Then, when she crashes, quietly remove her harness, telling her what a good girl she is, and giving her a treat-reward for being cooperative.

I would also be helping her much more with her "commands" while her adolescent brain is having trouble "hearing". That means get out those treats again, and lure her into the sit EVERY TIME for a while, even though she knows how to do it.

I can tell you, that even seasoned competition obedience dogs often "lose their sit" from time to time in training or when they are under stress. (and hormonal changes in an adolescent dog cause stress too) We ALL have to go back and strengthen these cues (I like that term better than "command") from time to time, by helping our dogs (usually with food) for more accurate position and quicker response.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 06:29 PM
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My trainer has also stressed the importance of not repeating commands/cues - don't nag your dog she says. With Emmie, I give her a verbal command first and if she doesn't respond immediately I follow up with a hand signal. Prior to this, she was a naughty teenager and often ignored me but now she's doing much much better.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Karen, today I did just let her go about with leash on for awhile when we got home and she was more cooperative with removing harness and leash. Not perfect, but she was settling enough to get it off. Next time I will wait a bit longer. Yes, I put requests with commands in parenthesis, because I don't like commands either.

MarnieGirl, thanks for sharing your experience, too. It is like taking 2 steps forward and three back some days!! She really is a sweet puppy and I love her so...
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 08:33 PM
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Karen, today I did just let her go about with leash on for awhile when we got home and she was more cooperative with removing harness and leash. Not perfect, but she was settling enough to get it off. Next time I will wait a bit longer. Yes, I put requests with commands in parenthesis, because I don't like commands either.

MarnieGirl, thanks for sharing your experience, too. It is like taking 2 steps forward and three back some days!! She really is a sweet puppy and I love her so...
I think, when she is grown up, she is going to be a DYNAMITE companion. She's just giving you a run for your money growing up!!!


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Indeed she is and when she becomes that DYNAMITE companion, I will have you all to thank for holding me together to help her be the best that she can be. :-)
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-12-2013, 09:34 PM
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Thanks for posting about this behaviour. My puppy probably still has a couple of months before adolescence kicks in. It's good to read other people's experiences so i know what's happening when he inevitably plays up - he's been such a good puppy. It's great to get this reassuring advice from those with more experience.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-13-2013, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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It is reassuring to hear others experiences. Your puppy will not necessarily behave the same way. I think it may have much to do with temperament and response to stimuli. Sofie is easily excitable.
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