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Old 06-10-2012, 11:04 PM
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houlahoops houlahoops is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: North Dakota
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With regards to the original post:

The curs sometimes will do this before we give them an off-switch, and I wonder if it's the same behavior?

Bailey, for example, used to get riled up for whatever reason and then would start doing "zoomies," which in our other dogs is harmless. But for him, it seemed to be a complete loss of control, and he would sometimes escalate to jumping and even biting (he had very low bite-inhibition when we acquired him, unfortunately). He drew blood several times and it was frightening and stressful for the handler: especially since he wasn't being outright aggressive. He was just so wound up that he could not focus on us.

First off, what kind of lead do you have your pup on? A good quick fix for us was a head-harness (Gentle Leader), which gave us enough initial control to work on the behavioral aspect of the problem.

We also started working on the command "settle." You may see that there are precursors before your dog starts to lose her head. When you see these (with Bailey it was a rigid stance, quick movements, soft open mouth, and small vocalizations), put her in a sit and have her watch you. Tell her "settle" and as soon as you see a calming signal (licking lips/yawning/relaxing), praise her and continue walking. Try this in the house, too: get her really riled playing a game and then calm her down and reward her. For our dogs and the dogs we hunt with, it functions as an effective off-switch for dogs that otherwise easily lose control of themselves (a self-rewarding behavior).

Also, as soon as you get teeth on skin make sure that you react (however you want to do it...we just use a verbal "AH" and then give a command like sit or settle). That will likely teach her a little more bite inhibition which will make her zoomies less difficult to manage.

That said, increased exercise also works wonders in helping the dogs to control their behavior, so I would recommend that as well!

Good luck!
Emily and Pippa v. Johnson-Haus RATI
"Well, don't let me be the moldy cheese in your refrigerator of hope." - Justin McKee
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