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Teachers pet to disrupting rebel: is this what adolescence looks like?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by ZiggyB, Jun 29, 2017.


  1. ZiggyB

    ZiggyB PetForums Senior

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    Hi there, it's been a while since I've posted. Ziggy is 1 1/2 yrs old now, and has grown into a very handsome young lad. I still take him to training, we're on our gold award, although things seemed to have peaked a while a go now and is going downhill. He gets so excited about going to classes, as usual, but just wants to play when there, his attention/focus is nearly non existent, and when he's given a command he's started answering me back! Really! The treats aren't enough, so I've swapped to a toy, which certainly keeps his focus near me, but is not actually on ME, rather the toy, which is also not helping with his over excitedness. If he has to stand or sit for any length of time he whines, not in a cute way! Which gets louder and turns into what sounds like screeching. Of course this then disrupts the dogs in the class. Good job most are pros, just like he was :(, but not all. I've been putting this down to adolescence. Terrible teens. Hehe, he's not neutered, I'm not sure how much this is effecting this behaviour. Our first thoughts were that perhaps there had been a bitch in season about and he's picking up the scent. But I'm not so sure now. He doesn't seem sexually frustrated, doesn't hump, but does get excited to see other dogs, and is starting to eye up the males which is far from comfortable. I've been told to try Csj herbs like 'down boy' and 'calm down', has anyone else tried these? Others have suggested the castration! I guess I'm asking, all you lot who have gotton through the different years and stages with their dogs, can I put all this down to adolescence, expect a bit less for now as he'll prob calm down when his hormones have settled? Or do I need to do something about it as the eyeing up the male dogs does make me a little uneasy and wouldn't want that to escalate at all. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    It could be worth trying the herbal calmers, but if he's so over the top at training classes, it would be better to lay off them for a while. You can train and practice the exercises at home or in local parks, and go in to take the test when it's due if he's ready - or get some 1-to-1 training. The more he gets into the habit of being over-excited at training class, the longer it will take to get him to calm down and respond to you. An alternative would be to take him and watch but not take part or allow interaction with other dogs, so going there becomes boring for him. If he gets wound up, take him outside until he's calmed down then go back in - repeat as often as it takes.
    The eyeing up of other males could indicate he's heading for trouble in that direction. I'm not in favour of lopping bits of dogs if there's no problem there, but in this case, as long as you're not planning on showing or breeding (which wouldn't be a good idea with such an excitable chap), you could be at a good time to castrate.
     
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  3. ZiggyB

    ZiggyB PetForums Senior

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    Hi burrozig, thanks for that great advice. I also forgot to mention that I have started helping out with puppy training classes for an hour beforehand which he has to wait before starting his. I do take him out for a quick run off lead before we start our class but that could be adding to his excitement/frustration levels. But also handy to teach him some patience as well. I've been tieing him up close by and giving him rewards for quiet behaviour. I think I will try cutting the time training shorter, taking him out too. But if this doesn't help then I will take some time out. We don't have parks here, but I do take him on off lead walks often and his recall is great. Will practice some more training in those situations, though he will be super frustrated then as he's so used to it being his fun free time. I've been agonising over neutering, I've no intention of breeding him, or showing for that matter! But I don't want any potential fights on my hand. He's had a few starts with other dogs lately which has caught me by surprise as it's such a change of behaviour for him and could be dangerous. It may be time to bite the bullet. Thanks again :)
     
  4. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    could he be bored with training ?
    As yo said , he stills going through stages so it could be that .
     
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  5. ZiggyB

    ZiggyB PetForums Senior

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    He's bored of listening!

    I also think that he may have picked up a habit of getting over excited when he goes there like burrozig mentioned.

    They've also started using toys as a distraction and he's to walk to heal through a tunnel of toys which is proving too difficult for him, and just seeing them come out hightens his excitement. We also have to keep them in sit while toys are being thrown around close by. We have lost before we've even begun!
     
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  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    I'll start by saying I know little about this but what about the temporary chemical castration? It would let you see if it makes a difference before going for the full thing?
     
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  7. ZiggyB

    ZiggyB PetForums Senior

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    I did look into this but it works out quite expensive. They don't actually do it at my vets but said they could get it in if I want to go for that option.
     
  8. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    There's rarely a walk with my dogs - on lead or off - where there is not some training as part of games. This is one - I throw the toy then lead them away from it before releasing them to find it.

    It gives lots of practice in self restraint and makes the walks much more fun and interesting for the dogs than just letting them do their own thing all the time.
     
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  9. ZiggyB

    ZiggyB PetForums Senior

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    Such well trained dogs! Looks like they're having so much fun too. Training on walks at the mo goes, give me the ball back or I can't throw it again for you! We have done a lot of work on his behaviour around other dogs, up until lately it was purely wanting to play, but still resisting the urge to charge. I am so pleased with this. Time to focus on, well, focus!
     
  10. ZiggyB

    ZiggyB PetForums Senior

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    I just want to give you a quick update on how Ziggy is doing.

    Training whilst out and about has made such an improvement, thanks burrozig. It seems to have concreted what he's learnt so far and some self restraint too. I also chatted to the trainer about the toys and have been leaving before they come out. Since then we've gone for gold, and although we didn't quite pass, it wasn't on any of the previous issues as he's really made some great improvements, he was like the pro I knew! but because he whined when I left him from 3-5 mins where he couldn't see me! Doh! There's still a bit of anxiety left there we need to work on.

    As for castrating him, seems he could sense what was coming and calmed down! He still stiffens up a bit with a couple of entire males, and he still gets a few going for him now and then, so I'm still thinking over it for now.
     
    #10 ZiggyB, Aug 4, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  11. speug

    speug PetForums VIP

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    males seem to have a testosterone spike somewhere between 12 - 18 months. Both mine had issues with other males trying to squash them at around that age but it died down quickly enough.
    whining because of nice smelling bitches nearby is intensely irritating but nothing compared to lovesick howling in the middle of the night - thankfully my older lad doesn't go in for that any more and my youngster has only tried it once - if the vets had been open he might have been on his way for a wee op on the spot.
     
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  12. ZiggyB

    ZiggyB PetForums Senior

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    Oh dear! Thanks @speug , reassuring to know that the attention from other dogs may calm down. The fact that when other dogs approach and can clearly see me call my dog, put on his lead and take him off the path (just in case) and still let theirs rock right up to him is baffling! It's not usually the case on our normal walks, but with the hols and tourists visiting it's keeping me on my toes for sure.

    I haven't noticed him whine a great deal over bitches, but if they've left a bit of pee behind it's like prying superglue off!
     
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