A very excited adolescent
Poppy is a sixteen months old adolescent and she has a wonderful temperament. She is a very stable dog in the main with few of the usual problems I go to.
She can be happily left alone for several hours a day in her crate. She’s extremely friendly. She has never shown any signs of aggression. She’s good if over-boisterous with other dogs. She’s not much of a barker.
It’s her over-excitement that is causing problems. She is very excited and hyped up around people, especially unfamiliar ones.
Her excitement and restlessness her seemed out of sync with her other traits and it was a bit puzzling.
Poppy lives with a single lady but is not over-indulged or spoilt; the atmosphere is calm although the lady does a lot with her. As an intelligent young dog, she may need more mental stimulation than she’s getting.
She may need to see more people to make them less exciting. It’s Catch 22, because due to her very excited behaviour, they avoid people.
If a human were this manic and excitable when I first met them, I would imagine them to be anxious and not really very confident. I think, under the bluster, it’s thus with Poppy. She sent subtle body language signals that backed up this theory.
Self-control and de-stressing
Poppy continued to pace and demand attention for a long time – until she was put in her crate. She instantly settled down, like she was relieved. It seems she goes to pieces unless she is externally controlled with commands. She has no self-control.
So, self-control and de-stressing are the angles we are working on.
On walks, despite wearing a Gentle Leader which she keeps trying to remove, Poppy pulls. She is so very excited when she sees a person that she has pulled the lady over a couple of times, resulting in injury. When she sees someone, if they take any notice of her at all she lunges, spins around and jumps about. She seems overjoyed.
She can’t be let off-lead because she would overwhelm people and other dogs with her excitement and jumping about.
Walks need to be done entirely differently, ‘self-control’ starting before leaving the house. I suggest the forget heel work for now and concentrate on walking on a loose lead, focusing on the lady and not other people.
This will take time, but we have a plan!
Poppy has been to lots of training classes. ‘Heel’ to Poppy means come back, receive a treat and then start to pull again! She’s not silly!
There is a saying – to alter the behaviour we need to alter the emotion. I did also wonder whether a change in diet might make a difference so the lady will try that too.