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Discussion Starter #1
Some of you have read about Leeroy, our rescue adopt spoo. He's 14 months old, not neutered, and was hardly trained (if at all). He was also neglected and left in a crate basically his entire first 8 months of his life.

We've had him for a week. He had submissive pee (though he hasn't done any for the past 2 days) and is still going soft poo. We're his 3rd family. Every day though he gets more confident, and more playful. I know the latter is especially because we give him lots and lots of love and attention and a good amount of training with words and treats.

So he rewards us with puppy play. In a big dog body. Especially before or after a walk (oh he goes nuts with that, he actually jumps into the air and grabs my clothes and nips my hands), or when one of us leaves and comes home. He stands up on his hind legs and puts his paws on us and does the puppy eyes.

I know he's doing it because he's excited and it's very possible that he never had the chance to really play like this very often when he was younger. So sometimes we love it.... The standing paws on us when we come home feels like a hug. Or when I pass him in the morning and he lick nips my hand. That feels like a kiss and like a kid going 'hey mom!'

At the same time.. I don't want to teach him that it's 100% okay to nip because I know it can escalate. We also have 2 cats and I don't want him to get in the habit of getting too carried away or hyper.

Also when he gets like that, he is hard to distract with his toys. He often pushes them out of the way and keeps pawing your face and licking and nipping.

Where should we draw the line?

As far as him being hyper or excited... I do have a post going in the exercise forum. We do walk him 2 times a day right now, morning and night, and I take him out occasionally to see if he has to potty in the yard. He also found a friend dog to play with across the street. They go nuts and play but after his session with her today he didn't want to sit when I told him to and got kind of bitey nippy because he was hyper. I'm trying to find a good schedule for physical exercise as we have long severe Winters here.

I'm just not sure. I do think a lot of his hyper behavior is due to us giving him attention in the past week that he really didn't have in his entire 14 months. So it's making him go crazy with excitement...?

But anyway. Just a little bit of info as far as his energy is concerned.

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Well mine is 9 months so some of that play is not totally unusual for us however I do not allow it. If he gets hyper indoors I tether him to me. In fact he is mostly tethered to me (leashed) My husband is older and unsteady on his feet. This past week I have been able to leave him just loose in the house, his behavior is improving. I mentioned the pet convincer before, I use it for jumping. I worked with a trainer for a week about 2 weeks ago and he worked with him and introduced me to the convincer, its just air but it gets his attention and he will then forcus. Use your crate to for down time or when you cannot be there to watch him. That way your cats are protected when your away. Otherwise just do what your doing but I would not allow the jumping. Mental exercise will tire him out. Take him out teach him to heel,,sit, down, stay. When he has to think about what he is suppose to do he will get tired. You can do this maybe for 15 min then go back in the house. I'm not a big believer that dogs need to play with other dogs, to me it makes them more hyper. But since you do, give him play time but incorporate your training into it. play, come (treat) play, come, sit (treat). He will get it.
 

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For mouthiness in an over excited state the dog is doing things they find very self rewarding/self reinforcing. You have to take away the opportunity to get that self reward. I recommend when you have reached the threshold beyond which you think it is too much that you turn yourself into a tree or freeze yourself in what ever position you were in when the behavior went over the top. Don't do or say anything. Once Leroy figures out that you aren't going to engage that behavior it will become boring and he will stop. Do this very consistently and he will quickly stop the behavior faster and do it less often until he extinguishes it by himself. Be aware you might get an extinction burst (lots of this behavior returning after it had mostly stopped) but just be consistent and make yourself very boring until he settles and it should all be good.
 

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I found freezing and turning away, as Catherine suggests, very effective. As Leroy is still learning, I would reward him with calm attention the moment all four feet are on the ground, freezing and turning away again when he starts jumping. From what you have posted elsewhere he is very quick to learn, so it shouldn't take long.

Do you reward him for settling down? Praising him and petting him when he is relaxed and lying down is a good way of encouraging calm behaviour (assuming he enjoys the petting - not all dogs do). The more attention he gets for doing things you want him to do, and the less - even adverse attention - for misbehaving, the faster he will learn.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you both. He definitely responds to the ignoring treatment with other things so hopefully that will help.

As for play with the other dog across the street he's now unfortunately used to it... I might just limit when he does. What I did yesterday when he got too hyper was I walked him after the play. That seemed to calm him down as he gets relaxed when we explore the neighborhood.

I don't think crating him is a good idea as he was traumatized by one for 8 months. I am also not sure the air spray is a good idea, as he is a sumbissive urinator and we're trying hard to be soft and patient. When we barely show any frustration he really cowers and he starts to pee even more.

It's a tricky balance. I'll work on being consistent with his training. We'll be sure to do that in the yard a little more too so he remembers to listen everywhere, not just in the house.

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Oh and yes we praise him very softly and calmly when he calms down. I've even been working on saying 'settle... Good boy' when I see him laying down to rest. I hope he catches the connection there.

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Oh and yes we praise him very softly and calmly when he calms down. I've even been working on saying 'settle... Good boy' when I see him laying down to rest. I hope he catches the connection there.

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This is essentially shaping and for Leroy I think shaping would be a very good training tool. What shaping does essentially is mark positively behaviors that are reasonable approximations of what your final behavior should look like. Many people who heavily use shaping as a method do is to load a clicker as a bridge marker to tell the dog yes and keep on with that. Since Leroy sounds pretty soft (understandably) I think a verbal marker should be fine rather than a clicker (some of which are loud and may be startling to a very sensitive dog). I also agree that I wouldn't use a crate, but you could teach him a go to place and train him to get on his dog bed or a mat as a place to settle. That will help you with the dinner time issues that you mentioned in another thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you very much. I'm glad to hear that what we're doing are good ideas so far. Yes we try to teach him to go to his blanket/pillow area. It's taking some work but he definitely treats it like his special place and often goes there on his own.

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My spoo was a well-behaved boy until about 8 months of age. Then he became a terrible teenager. He’s just gaining some sense at 2 1/2 years. He was nippy when highly aroused, which is at agility. It takes a lot of patience to deal with a teenaged dog, mostly to understand that the tendencies are biological, and to not get irritated, which the dog will know and possibly react to.

I had to plan extra time to get the dogs out the door because of the excitement level of going in the car—we must be going somewhere fun! I insisted that my spoo sit inside the door until I opened it, he made eye contact, and only then was released. Some days we went back inside and ‘reset’ before trying again. It’s pretty automatic behavior now.

One day I will miss that adolescent exuberance.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That is a good point. He's at his teenage years. But due to the lack of interaction for so long, I think he's also still experiencing the puppy way of being too. He *is* cute when he does it. I'm just trying to not get him into bad habits. He's very excited to learn. So we're being patient.

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I think he is a very lucky dog, with a very sound temperament. Lucky, because he has found a loving and understanding home prepared to gently teach him all the stuff he has missed out on; sound temperament because he is still so full of joy even after months of under socialisation as a pup and two homes before he was 18 months old. You are definitely on the right track, but be prepared for it to be a bit of a roller coaster - teenagers push boundaries, and he is still learning about where those are.
 

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I think he is a very lucky dog, with a very sound temperament. Lucky, because he has found a loving and understanding home prepared to gently teach him all the stuff he has missed out on; sound temperament because he is still so full of joy even after months of under socialisation as a pup and two homes before he was 18 months old. You are definitely on the right track, but be prepared for it to be a bit of a roller coaster - teenagers push boundaries, and he is still learning about where those are.
Thank you.. and ooooh yes. He did that tonight on a walk. I went with my daughter and she was the lead this time, but he gets so excited when there's more than one person walking him, like a kid showing off how awesome he is. After a while when we've been saying good boy enough (because he still gets so quickly scared), he starts jumping through the air in these little bursts of happiness, tongue lolled out of the side of his mouth, nipping at our clothes as he flies by. Because I was wearing a closer clothing (my fleece jacket) he pinched a few times. He got really wild with it tonight. I did say ouch out of instinct, and he suddenly stopped and closed his mouth and looked at me, wagging his tail. I even tried turning my back to him quietly until he'd calm down but the second I turned back around and started walking, he'd do it again. *Sigh* ... Oh what a stinker.

He is literally like a 12 year old boy, lol.

Something else happened on our walk and I came home in a bad mood (not due to him)... His temperament changed like he thought I was frustrated with him, I felt so bad. Not like he was cowering or anything, but like a kid asking if his mom is okay. When we came home he kept licking my hand and wagging his tail, putting his front paws up on me with the puppy eyes. So I rested on the floor with him as he chewed his doggy toys. He loved that. It helped him calm down and feel okay again. I try to do that with him any time I've made him nervous so he knows he's loved. I also do it when *I'm* feeling frustrated as a way to let it go and just share some bonding time.

I won't lie and say it's not exhausting though lol.

Thanks for the support everyone, I really am happy I found this place.

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Yes what works for me I guess wouldn't work for your boy since he is overly sensitive due to his circumstances. I think you are handling him the right way. You could teach the "place" command.
If you don't like this particular trainer just google and you will find more. This is the next command I will be teaching mine, but we are not there yet.
 

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Yes what works for me I guess wouldn't work for your boy since he is overly sensitive due to his circumstances. I think you are handling him the right way. You could teach the "place" command. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIGq_5r0DeE If you don't like this particular trainer just google and you will find more. This is the next command I will be teaching mine, but we are not there yet.
That looks like a promising video thank you.

It's hard to know where to start, Leeroy has so much to learn. I'm focusing on sit, stay, lay down and leave it. Lay down is kind of a side one though. Just getting him to listen is training in itself!

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Start by training for behaviors that are life savers like recalls and emergency sits or downs at distance in the event it is unsafe to recall. Then train house and interaction manners things. then have fun and teach tricks and such.


All of the hard work you are doing will pay off.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Okay do we got him a retractor leash and brought his training treats with us this time. The leash is a life saver..or an arm saver haha! The walk was much more calming. Also, we're going to work on making sure we give him a training treat when he calms down if he's too excited. Hopefully that will help too.

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