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Advice needed - overexcitement before walk?

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Jordana, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. Jordana

    Jordana New Member Registered

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    Hi there,

    I have a 4 year old Whippet mix who I adopted from a shelter about 2 years ago. For about 9 months now, whenever I take her lead and harness out to go for a walk (which we do for an hour daily), she gets consumed with overexcitement: she yips (high pitched), jumps up and down, shakes, and tries to bite the harness/lead. We've made some improvements, I can now tell her to stay/leave it and she'll stop biting them long enough for me to put the harness/lead on.

    However, when I clip the lead on, she again starts barking/yipping and shaking until we get outside and start moving, at which point she's fine.

    Does anyone have any advice on curbing this behaviour? I'm not clear what started it, as the first 1 year+ that I had her this wasn't an issue!

    TIA x
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    It might help to do some work on impulse control - have a look at this video: If she's able to contain her excitement while you put the harness and lead on, you might then be able to ask her to stay calm a little longer. You could try to teach her that if she starts up then she doesn't get to go out, but that will only work if she's actually capable of controlling herself - otherwise she'll just get into more of a state.

    Is she excitable in any other circumstances? Is she generally hyper, or is it just in this situation?
     
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  3. Jordana

    Jordana New Member Registered

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    Thanks Judy, this is really helpful -- she's quite excitable when the doorbell goes, but othewrise it's just the harness/lead! I think I'll try a combination of what you said and perhaps taking the harness/lead out sometimes and then NOT taking her out -- in an attempt to break the association of the harness/lead with going outside... maybe? I sort of thought this was just a phase, so I didn't try to nip it in the bud quickly enough, which was my bad!!
     
  4. Anouk

    Anouk Member Registered

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    Well we got a rescue and that happend. Harness and belt we got? We got was pretty much chewed up and dead. We found out ten steps and no furder, sort of say. That said? Suggest you ignore that behavior and stop all the lease up, since you dont wanne take 15 min before the out time. Botty is sitting right now and when we lease up laying down. For us much eassier and for him much quikcer. That without the candy.
     
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  5. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Yes, definitely:) To avoid it leading to more general overarousal and stress, I'd start from just picking up the lead and harness and putting them down, building up through walking over to her while carrying them, and so on and so forth, not progressing until she's pretty much 'meh' at the step you're on.
     
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  6. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    Please always reward the 'calm' when you want to extend it, as in do what JudyN said but when she stops stressing, give her a high-value reward.

    It sounds counterproductive, but I suspect as has been said, she may not be able to control herself for more than three-tenths of a nanosecond - yet. So start the harness/lead training after she has had her walk to begin with, then build up to having the harness beside you in every room etc. as already outlined.
     
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  7. Jordana

    Jordana New Member Registered

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    Such great advice, thanks so much again all! Really appreciate it.
     

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