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Dealing with a hyper dog

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by caffienefree, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. caffienefree

    caffienefree trying to stay awake =D
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    We have a little club that cares of abandoned dogs at our school (maintained by our PreVet/Vet Students) and recently I've been having problems with this huge dog that's there :( I don't know what breed she is but she's really loud and likes to jump at people - I know it's a bad habit.

    We take the dogs out every so often so they don't get bored staying in their cage all day long (Her name's Sheena) and I usually take her out but she runs away out of her cage really quick and off far away. I get real mad and go looking for her but when I do find her, it's when she suddenly leaps at my face. :( LOL

    I find the situation really funny (no, really)

    but this whole thing is getting tiring and I'm having a hard time controlling her. Does anyone have any suggestions? I know she's not my dog but I mean, she's gotta stop barking and leaping at people's faces!
     
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  3. lailanni

    lailanni c/o 2012
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    Here's a trick one of our vets always tells clients with dogs that jump up on people (I think it works pretty well!)

    Everytime the dog jumps up on you, take its front legs/paws in your hands. It will look like you're dancing together.

    Don't support their weight, just keep them upright. Play/talk with them, move around a bit. The idea is that their back legs will get quite tired. Doesn't matter. Keep them up there. Their back legs will start to get shaky, then finally let go.

    Do this every time the dog jumps on you. Instruct EVERYONE handling the dog to do it. Soon enough, the dog will get tired of jumping on people.

    --I'm not sure about your specific case, I don't know if the dog is on the aggressive side? But that's my small pearl of wisdom :)
     
  4. CalpardNY

    CalpardNY UIUC CVM c/o 2012
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    One thing I was taught when training my dogs was to not pay them attention until they are sitting or at least standing by your side - i.e. do not reward them for the behavior. If a dog jumps up, you are supposed to turn your back and ignore them. They want attention by jumping up and if you ignore them until they are calmed down (or preferably sitting) they learn to greet you with this behavior. Obviously this is easier said then done and a lesson in patience for both the dog and the person!

    I'm not sure how well this would work for you because you don't want her to go running off again (it seems like more of an in a home situation), but if you are in a confined room it might be plausible!
     
  5. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc
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    Calpard has it right. The best way is to do it when they are young and only give attention when all four paws are on the floor. This goes for little dogs too. I don't know how many times I've had my legs raked by dachshunds, Jack Russells, Yorkies, Boston terriers, etc because their owners have taught them (inadvertently or not) that it's okay to jump because they get attention for it. :rolleyes:

    When I've had behavior clients with this problem (labs and goldens are about the worst!) and the dog is already an adolescent or an adult, I teach them to fold their arms over their chest (touching the dog may be construed as petting) and kind of step into their space at a 45 degree angle when they jump up. It's kind of like a hip check/body block, which makes sense to the dog. If you watch dogs play, they hip check and body block them all the time. You don't want to hurt them, but just disrupt their momentum. It takes some practice and good timing, but the dogs usually get the idea pretty quickly.

    I've also used a water bottle and spray them right in the mouth (avoid the nose and eyes obviously) as they jump. Kneeing is a last resort and you don't want to boot them across the room, just impede their progress. And always reward reward reward when they actually get the idea. :cool:
     
  6. WhtsThFrequency

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    We take the dogs out every so often so they don't get bored staying in their cage all day long (Her name's Sheena) and I usually take her out but she runs away out of her cage really quick and off far away.


    She runs away? Why isn't she on a leash?? You MUST keep a dog who does not have a solid recall on a leash....you risk everything from them running away after a rabbit and getting lots to being hit by a car. What if someone is walking by and she runs up to them and knocks them down? You can get sued, the dog can get labeled. Not good. LEASH!!

    How long is she crated? When you say "take her out" do you mean a walk or just potty in the yard? The best way to reduce hyperactivity and make training easier is EXERCISE - absolutely, positively. At least 30 minutes of brisk walking a day, probably more for an energetic dog. They can't be expected to mentally focus on training when they are jumping out of their skin with physical energy.

    Conclusions: Execrise (a tired dog is a good dog) and training. When she jumps on you, turn away and ignore her. Tell your visitors to to the same. She will soon learn that when she jumps, she does not get the attention she wants - in fact, people ignore her. Pay attention to her only after she has calmed down/obeys a sit command/does something correctly etc. This may take a while, but you must be patient and consistent - very consistent. Ignore her EVERY time she jumps.
     
  7. caffienefree

    caffienefree trying to stay awake =D
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    WhtsthFrequency -- Thank you for the good advice. I haven't kept a dog before so I didn't know that her jumping up and everything was cause by lack of exercise or something. :thumbup:

    Thanks for the advice everyone
    Better go and try it all out tommorrow :):):):thumbup:
     
  8. WhtsThFrequency

    Veterinarian 10+ Year Member

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    Lack of exercise may not be the direct *cause* of a problem - dogs like to get up close to people's faces - however, exercise CERTAINLY makes a dog more trainable - it lets them get out that physical energy and focus on mental tasks. Try working on the "no-jumping" routine after a brisk walk or toy session - wear her out and have someone come over. I think you'll have *much* better results. Many "hyper" behavior problems can be much more easily fixed when a dog gets a lot of physical activity.
     
  9. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc
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    A tired dog is a good dog. :luck:
     
  10. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian
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    gentle leader:thumbup:
     
  11. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc
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    The problem I have with Gentle Leaders, Haltis, and other head halters/collars is that they can be very dangerous for dogs that jump. This is about the very last thing you want to use them for. The necks of dogs don't have near the muscle structure of a horse or cow and if they hit the end of the collar and their head jerks the wrong way, you can bet you may see damage to their neck. This actually happened to my own dog (a husky/Rottie mix with high prey drive). We were walking with him on a Halti and a cat was hidden under a car that we walked by. The cat bolted and he ended up hitting the end of the leash hard. :eek: He yelped and his neck was sore for a good week. One of the DVM PhD vets I shadowed knew a neurologist who said they've seen quite a few dogs come in with nerve or muscle damage because of these head halters. They can have their place, but I cringe every time I see a head halter on an excitable dog.

    Here's a great article from Suzanne Clothier, a well known and well known respected trainer and behaviorist on the subject:

    http://www.flyingdogpress.com/headhalters.html
     
  12. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian
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    Different strokes for different folks then.
    If we are gonna bring names into this then:
    I happened to be introduced to the gentle leader by Western's Veterinary Behaviorist....Victoria Voith. One of the first veterinarians to be boarded in behavior...not to shabby of a reputation in the behavioral world either;):
    http://www.westernu.edu/xp/edu/veterinary/vvoith.xml
     
  13. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc
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    Oh, I don't doubt she's a great veterinary behaviorist, but it's not about the behavior in this case. It's the anatomical differences between a horse and a dog (the whole reason it was designed in the first place) and it hitting the end of the line hard that concerns me. Would anyone suggest putting a head halter on an unruly child to control their head, especially if they are prone to being hyper and jumping around? I hope not.

    The head halter has way more opportunities for accidental misuse than even a choke/slip collar. I saw just two weeks ago downtown at a community wide festival a woman with a lab/poodle mix with one on. Her dog was not in control and was jumping, lunging at the end of the leash, and barking. I tried not to stare (and it took a LOT for me not to go over and tell her that this particular tool could be causing permanent injury in her dog), but sure enough, I saw her yank the leash with the head halter. :eek::eek::eek:

    Pat Miller, training editor of The Whole Dog Journal and one of the more sought after seminar speakers, had a similar article in this month's WDJ on the subject. I won't quote the article as they don't want their articles reprinted online, but suffice it to say, even though our opinions differ on other training tools, they are the same on head halters: they can sometimes have their place, but there's certainly big potential for harm in using them, especially on that sort of dog that jumps.
     
  14. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian
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    well you came off (to me at least) in your post like you were saying don't use gentle leaders, look what this world renowned behaviorist says. It came off (again to me) as disrespect for my opinion. Now I do not expect you to agree with my opinion, but rather than saying I don't like this...look at what this person with these credentials says...you should just state your opinion. Be very careful with differing opinion and advice to clients when you graduate vet school as the veterinary profession is a small world.

    My point is that you will find lots of different opinions from many veterinarians on many subjects. That does not mean one is wrong and the other is right.
     
    #13 chris03333, Jun 25, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008
  15. Electrophile

    Electrophile Working Dog Doc
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    Haha, yes, I know quite well about differing opinions as I'll likely want to do a residency in nutrition with a little behavior consulting on the side, which are probably the two fields in veterinary medicine where the only thing that two nutritionists/behaviorists can agree on are what a third is doing wrong. :laugh::rolleyes:

    I've learned to just roll with it and keep one's ears and eyes open to all opinions, learn a little bit from everyone, and be able to find some common ground. But as I learned in both grad and vet school, consensus of opinion is not evidence and advanced degrees don't always make somebody right. So one must simply use common sense sometimes.


    I've worked as a behavior consultant for several years and have fostered dozens of large and often very unmannered shelter dogs, so I not totally speaking from inexperience here. Clients have consistently praised my opinions as being moderate, informed, and tailored to an individual dog. No one size fits all. But one thing I don't like is violating one of my favorite sayings: first do no harm. I hope people understand that head halters have a very real danger to them. Any training tool (choke chains/slip collars, head halters, buckle collars, remote trainers/shock collars, prong/pinch collars, no pull harnesses, etc) has potential for harm as well as usefulness. But in the end, they are still just tools. A screwdriver should not do the job of a saw and vice versa, some from practicality and some for safety. I speak from experience that this is one of those times for safety. :) I do apologize if you took my comments personally, but I sincerely care for the safety of the dog over the opinions of others, experts as they may be. :luck:

    So back to the issue. Does putting a training tool (which is appropriate in some cases for some dogs) on an individual where there could be a real danger of harm if they jump up and get their neck tweaked? Sorry if you disagree, but my common sense says no. The risks outweigh the benefits and the aversive self correction of getting your head and necked whipped to the side following an attempted jump are much worse than say a prong collar or a remote trainer where they may feel a moment of discomfort, but no lasting harm. In addition, when we use self corrections for something like jumping, we're not teaching the dog what we want. It has no motivation for staying on the ground except avoiding getting its head whipped around, which is an aversive. So the owner/handler may mistakenly think, "Ah ha! Problem solved!" when in fact, the dog hasn't really learned anything except it hurts to jump up when it has a nylon leash thingy on its face.

    A better learning environment is using marker/clicker training and marking the desired behavior so it learns that all four paws on the ground=a good thing! This is why a lot of trainers call training tools like head halters, prong collars, remote trainers, even leashes and collars, a crutch because they're not taking care of the underlying "problem" (well, it's not a problem to the dog, as they're getting unintentionally rewarded for jumping!).
     

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