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Old 06-10-2012, 02:55 AM
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Default Can you tell me if I did the right thing?

Please see my "zoomies" thread in the puppy forum for more of the backstory on this.

This evening after Katalin was fed, we went out and about for our usual walk. She's doing great, all of a sudden - out of nowhere she goes into her zoomie routine - flailing about on the leash, biting it, jumping up on me, mouthing my arm - the whole nine yards. I first go into "tree" mode as advised by my trainer and several other people, and COMPLETELY ignore her. What seems like 5 minutes pass and she has not calmed down AT ALL. I try telling her "No, enough" and walking but she keeps lunging and mouthing. She won't go into a sit or lay down, and I offer her a squeaker ball I brought along but she won't go for it either.

I proceed to tether her to a nearby streetlamp pole (again, as advised once by my trainer and the situation really warranted it). She goes berserk and I walk a few paces away and turn my back to her - a bark or two, wailing, whining, and rolling around occur - all of which I ignore. I approach her after about 5 minutes and she's still crazy - I say "No" and turn my back on her again and wait a few minutes more - this was repeated about 5 - 6 times. around 25 minutes later I approach her - she's seemingly worn out, I put her into a sit, then into a down, she licks my hand - I slowly untether her. She's calm - we continue on a few paces - she jumps on me again a few times but I ignore it and let it go - we continue on our way home and the rest of the walk is uneventful and easy.

Can someone please tell me if I handled this correctly or not? and pointers for future occurrences would be appreciated too.
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:33 AM
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In my opinion, tethering her to a street lamp pole is just making her worse. I don't get your trainer and personally would find another one.

When a dog is not behaving on a leash, you stop, and try to get the dog to sit. When the dog sits, you can say "good sit" and give a treat.

I know others may have more ideas.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:13 AM
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I've cancelled classes with my original trainer and have booked a new one - but the new one is busy and cannot come for a one on one assessment till week after next. The new one has experience with LGD's and used to train local police K9 units and uses positive reinforcement/balanced training. The original one was just too...erm..."soft". She didn't have experience with guardian type/working dogs she admitted herself once and all around is not the firmest person. Looking back the first thing I should have insisted on before "hiring" her was that experience with LGD's was a must. Oh well, trial and error.

Eh, she gets too into the "zone" to focus on a sit - and I've been told by a few people not to give treats during anytime that she is hyper/misbehaving.
And even if she does sit - she would probably spaz out right after she got her treat again. Redirecting to a toy doesn't always work either.
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:17 AM
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A lot of people are against this, but have you tried smacking or anything? My Chevelle used to do this exact same thing, and no sort of positive training was working. She would just get into that mode and nothing would motivate her and she wouldn't respond to me....

Until I gave her a good smack with the leash across her butt. A couple times of that, and she got the point. She hasn't done it in a long time.

Idk, just what worked for me.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:25 AM
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I just wanted to clarify "zoomies", it's a term tossed around bully boards alot in an amusing sort of way. There's even tshirts with " Got Zoomie???". But what you're describing sounds like some kind of reactive response something.

Zoomies usually refers to when a dog, especially the mega energy breeds have a wildly happy racing session, through the house, the yard, the woods...then they fall at your feet smiling and worn out.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:41 AM
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I've seen a lot of puppies have those "crazy fits", including Gusto. The thing that is nice about them is the often come at about the same time every day. Gusto almost always had way too much happy at about 3 pm. I know a lot of people who say their puppies get it after dinner. So, I'd plan for it. Lots of exercise and training early in the afternoon, so he'd be a bit tired around the time he usually got wild. They do grow out of them pretty quickly in my experience.

Granted, I also like him in crazy "go" mode, so when it did come, I'd be on the floor playing hard with him - constantly re-directing him onto a toy. With that kind of energy flowing through him, asking him to "sit" would have been like trying to get a sugar-charged 5 year old to sit in a desk and do math problems. I don't mind "crazy" if I can redirect it onto something appropriate.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:13 AM
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I always just ignored zoomies and waited the dog out. I usually laugh at them, and I occasionally even join in.

My understanding has always been that zoomies are a way for them to blow off steam and relieve stress, so trying to stop them would be counterproductive as that will increase the stress.

If you really are bothered by it, and if you can anticipate when/where it'll happen, reorient her attention to you before getting there.

How old is she? The biting sounds like stress/confusion, but could be play. Hard to know without seeing it.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara! View Post
A lot of people are against this, but have you tried smacking or anything? My Chevelle used to do this exact same thing, and no sort of positive training was working. She would just get into that mode and nothing would motivate her and she wouldn't respond to me....

Until I gave her a good smack with the leash across her butt. A couple times of that, and she got the point. She hasn't done it in a long time.

Idk, just what worked for me.

OK I'm not a trained trainer or anything like that but I just wanted to say this before you try it. This seems like a HORRIBLE idea.

It doesn't sound like the zoomies that most people talk about here. I agree with the person who says this sound more reactive then anything and since your dog is already biting at the leash, lunging, jumping on your and mouthing your arm to smack a dog that's already being insanely reactive to SOMETHING does not sound like a good idea and to me sounds like a quick way to go from 'mouthing' your arm to a decently painful bite.

Yoshi was never this bad but she'd do the pull/lunging and jumping thing when I first got her. Stopping made it worse. What I found worked was holding the leash really close to her so she had to be within inches of my leg while we walked and then I'd walk at a quick pace/jog. She likes going faster and with that small amount of leash she'd focus on keeping up with me and instantly loose interest in everything else.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:46 PM
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Yeah, do NOT smack the dog. You are really lucky that worked (and I bet it actually didnt but was just the timing).

I agree without knowing what set her off it's hard but in general I would agree safely confining or tethering and ignoring it is your best bet in the moment. Then go back and really work hard in focus and calming exercises.
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:42 PM
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There was really no need to reply to what I said or "doubt" that that's what worked in the first place. I asked if she had tried it, and stated it worked for me and it did.

Some great advice has been given, though.
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