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calming beagle pup in house and with other dogs

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by stephent, May 7, 2011.


  1. stephent

    stephent PetForums Newbie

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    We have a 7 month year old beagle (Phoebe) who is doing quite well with her training. Sit, lay, wait, recall and toilet training are all going well. She is a high energy dog and gets plenty of exercise, regular walks through the day on and off the lead.

    We do have two problems, which we cant seem to overcome or make any progress.

    1. Behaviour whilst out with other dogs

    Whilst we are out, she is just desperate to say hello and play with every dog in sight. If she spots another dog nothing we can do will get her attention. We have tried high value treats (chicken, beef etc...), and the problem seems to keep getting worse. When she sees another dog she will whimper and whine, and has also started to bark. I am sure other people must think she is a vicious dog, but she is totally the opposite and doesnt have a nasty bone in her body. She is just so desperate to say hello and play. Its got to the point where this is very embarrasing and we need to fix this!!!


    2. Being calm in the house

    In the house, we just cant get her to settle, unless we go upstairs out of the way (where she is not allowed). We want her to be able to have access to downstairs whilst we go about daily activities (watching tv, reading, cleaning) but she is just totally into everything. Up on the sofa, window cill, biting magazines, etc... and just WILL NOT SIT STILL. We have a crate in the kitchen which will calm her down sometimes, but i cant help but feel if we use that tactic it will be like a punishment and she will then hate her crate. We try to keep her occupied as much as we can, with the use of Kongs, toys, bones, exercise, training etc... but nothing seems to work once we stop.

    Your help would be really appreciated, as we are just stuck with these problems.
     
  2. Helbo

    Helbo PetForums VIP

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    1) Charlie was exactly the same - pulling towards every person and dog in the street desperate to say hello. I didn't find any particular strategy to deal with it - but with time he seems to have calmed down a lot. He's been allowed to meet hundreds and hundreds of dogs and people and I think now he knows he's got a good chance of meeting them, he's not so desperate. Sorry I can't be of more help.

    2) Are you sure she's not over-tired and acting up? Charlie used to run around the house like a mad dog for hours until I posted on here and realised that putting him in his crate for a nap stopped it. If you do it nicely, a nice calm lovely voice, gently put them in, stay with them a bit till they settle then they won't see it as a punishment. I didn't realise how regimented I would have to be with making a puppy sleep, but they don't learn to take themselves off for a nap until they're older.

    Also, try to play calm games. Avoid tug/chase games and get her to sit for a treat. I used to either do a bit of training as they have to be obedient to get the treats, or I used to sit next to Charlie and gently rub his chest in a circular motion.

    But in this situation I found trying to entertain the dog was the wrong thing to do. As backwards as it seems, trying to get them to settle worked much better for me.
     
  3. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Good! You've far worse problems if your teenager was already shy and didn't like other dogs.

    What I did (with BC) was from early on practice getting attention of pup during play, and recall him to me, for calming breaks. Doing games like acting crazy, so my dog would jump about and bark excitedly and then freeze... rewarding his freeze and calming with some more action.

    That's having the dog practise, breaking focus in distracting situations; it means that if he bolts off after a squirrel say, I can stop him & recall, rather than have to wait for a moment where he will be able to listen.

    At first, if we ignored someone or they ignored him, he'd whine frustrated. At about 5 months old, I started using "say Hello!" as a cue. After many months, he generally ignores ppl & dogs, but expects a friendly meet on cue. Or if approaching and I stop, then he weighs up and I let him decide for himself, as he's a better dog reader than I'll ever be now.

    Tug can be a calm game! See kikopup's Mogodon style YouTube - Dog Training Tip of the Day- Tugging with your dog. A similar aged GR, that didn't grow up playing tug, does tend to growl if game not controlled, but it's a convenient and fun exercise and practice makes perfect. You also get better at managing your dog's arousal levels, by exploring what revs up & down.

    Things will wind your dog up, what matters is how they cope with it. So games and then calming settling activities can mix, if you're sensible about it.
     
    #3 RobD-BCactive, May 7, 2011
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  4. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I think a lot of it is maturity. My pup is now 8.5 months and has calmed down significantly around other dogs in the past month. I'm about to start taking her to a social walk class as well which should help her learn to be calm around other dogs.

    I'm guessing she hasn't had her season yet but I've heard that this really calms dogs down, and it was true for McKenzie.

    Good luck :)
     
  5. theevos5

    theevos5 PetForums VIP

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    Regarding the excitement in the house have you tried a tether,make a comfy corner with blankets and chew toys,use a lead under the leg of the sofa and attached to her collar,and sit close enough to be able to treat,every time she lays down to settle,treat her,it may take a while my beagle was like a bucking bronco the first time we did it protested alot!each time she lays down gives loads of fuss and use the settle down cue,eventually she should just go and lie down if you give the command.our beagle was exactly the same,you have to show them what is expected of them in the house and what you find acceptable behaviour,if not you are in for a whole lot of fun!!!overtiredness causes naughtiness in my experience,so plenty of naps and calm time.good luck
     
  6. lexie2010

    lexie2010 PetForums Senior

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    hi, i totally know what you are going through with phoebe-lexie is nearly 14mth old beagle and is (although its reducing) the exact same.
    as far as the greeting other dogs-lexie is always mad to say hello-paws at the shoulders (which is not a good hello in dog world) licks face but never barks, as she wears a halti some people think its a muzzle and that she is being agressive but i always say can she say hello is your dog ok with that-there are times that i know before she gets to the dog that a greeting will be a no-no so i dont even attempt it, so i do think if possible with your dog on lead pick the ones you think are suitable to greet and ok it with the owners and eventually as helbo says if she knows she can meet some she will content herself with that.
    as for the bouncing off the walls-we are still trying our outmost to calm lexie down, i didnt crate her at the start but quikly realised that this would be a positive thing for her and us-didnt know how important it would be to actually enforce some quiet time and like you we would like her to have freedom to wander around when we are in kitchen/living area, but if we are gona be out of there for more than few mins we put her in her crate and the other day i left her free and went to bathroom and when i came back she was in her crate as if she knew that if no-one was with her she would usually be in crate-very cute!!! the tactic we are using at the moment and have been for a while as we dont want her on the sofa (baby on the way so we are trying to teach her certain things are not allowed) so everytime she is in her bed we say "good girl lexie in bed" and give her a treat every so often when she is in it-not just when you send her to it, even if it means getting me getting up every 10mins and going over to her do it.
    she will start to calm down generally, the teenage bouncyness is worse than the puppy stage-there are good days and bad days but i deffinately feel that they still need "time out" at this stage and we recognised that when lexie was getting hyper it was crate time just to chill-and she never protested just lay down and slept.
    i removed all rope/tug toys at that stage too and at the moment i have taken rope toys off her as i feel they hype her up too much some times. she has nylabones that she could chew on forever. and we still do training everyday throughout the day to keep her focused. alot of beagle owners think their beagles are meerkats-we do too-up on back legs looking out the window to see whats going on!!!!
    we just learnt that we cant leave things lying aroung-shoes go on top of fireplace, teatowels go on window, everything on worktop is pushed back out of reach and constantly enforcing down and leave it.
    sorry for lengthy reply-hope there is something in there that you can work on ;)
     
  7. stephent

    stephent PetForums Newbie

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    wow thanks for the replies everyone, its all really helpful. We do let her greet some dogs, depending upon what they are or how they act, and we always ask.

    I think we are going to try the crate in the lounge when we are there and put her on a lead to the crate.

    Then when she calms down, reward her with food or letting her off a bit. The moment she plays up, back on the lead.

    How does that sound?
     
  8. beagleweiler

    beagleweiler PetForums Junior

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    Hi, I think your Beagle sounds like a perfectly normal Beagle for its age.

    My Beagle is 7 years old now and she is a totally different dog to the one she was in her first 2 years. She has met thousands of dogs and will happily sniff them with no aggresion but she will still let off a couple off bays if she sees one across the street & then carrys on with her walk.

    She was also a live wire when younger but with time and maturity she has calmed down to the point where she sleeps most of the day only waking for walk time, her food and my food! When i get up in the mornings at around 6am she wont even get off her bed to go toilet until 9am!

    Beagle ownership is a tough long challenge, mine was especially hard as it took along while to toilet train her, get her through seperation anxiety (rectified by getting another dog) and letting her off the lead. None of these problems exsist for me any longer and i even have her trained on a whistle so all i can say is give it alot of time and it will all come together. I must say as a pup i made things hard for myself by treating her as a child having her on the bed sofa's etc but when i got Teddy my Rottie i trained him in the correct manor where he slept downstairs in his crate. Once he was trained to know his place i trained poppy to sleep downstairs too, it took months of howling at me up the stairs but she got through it. Even now i have dog gates on the stairs and livingroom so she just has run of the kitchen/diner & outside and as long as she has a VERY comfy bed & rays of sunlight she is perfectly happy.
     
  9. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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  10. harriemac

    harriemac PetForums Newbie

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    Hello! We have a 17 month old beagle - it has been very challenging but all I can do is assure you that they DO calm down. What you're describing may be the "zoomies" - a sense of over-excitement - a bit like children after too much sugar!! Hang in there, keep providing him with toys, teach him some tricks... Our beagle has always been extremely sociable and we have encouraged this fully including getting him together with other beagles regularly and letting him off lead as much as possible..even now he doesn't come back straight away when called and will resist leaving the park;) - but these days he rarely strays very far from us. Sorry to say I still lose the occasional pair of shoes when I get careless :rolleyes:: Good luck with it all :smile:
     
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