It is very common for the dog’s arousal levels to build up during the day and peak in the evening
What is strange in this case is that Momo is calm all day. She lies around sleeping. Then all her energy and excitement switches on at about 5pm when the man comes home from work.
Momo is a beautiful Eurasier aged 18 months. They also have a one-month-old baby who Momo loves.
Why does the fun only start at about 5pm?
The man comes home from work and enjoys his massive welcome and hands-on play session. Momo is super-excited to see him.
Next to happen is a long walk.
Momo comes home looking for mischief. She steals the baby’s dummy or bottle top and runs off with it. It could be the remote. This guarantees a fun chase.
The sofa has chairs on it to stop her nicking and running off with the cushions. In the evening, and only in the evening, she’s up to any trouble she can find that gets her some fun.
Then the are driven to shut her away ‘with no stimulation to calm her down’.
All her activity is concentrated into the evening.
Examining Momo’s day is enlightening. Very little happens. She sleeps.
So now they will introduce a daily routine of punctuating the daytime with various activities, with Momo working for food and with training games. They won’t worry about not disturbing her when she’s peaceful – it’s tempting to let sleeping dogs lie. This will let her know that she doesn’t have to play them up in order to get attention.
They will no longer leave her food down all day but make her work for it. She can have Kongs – maybe frozen. They will scatter feed and get her to hunt for food.
The young lady will take her outside the front for short sessions with baby in buggy, getting her used to walking beside it.
A fulfilling day
By the time the man comes home from work, Momo will already have had a fulfilling day. He will do his bit by toning down his excited greetings and giving her something to chew.
Their walk is great with a lot of running off-lead. On the way home they will mooch more, giving Momo time to calm down and decompress. The usual evening exciting games of tug can now be reserved for the daytime instead.
If Momo still eyes up things to nick, they will interrupt and call her away with praise and reward and given something else to do. She will do a lot better when taught the behaviour they do want than given a lot of reinforcement for taking something – by scolding and chasing her.
I’m sure with activities spread over the day that Momo will learn to settle down and give them the peaceful evening they would like. If she does get too much, when they shut her away it should be with lots to for to do to help her to unwind instead of ‘no stimulation’
NB. For the sake of the story and for confidentiality also, this isn’t a complete ‘report’ and is always written with permission of the client. If you listen to ‘other people’ or find instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dog it can do more harm than good. Click here for help.