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Boundless Energy and Annoyance

1146 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  hanksimon
Hi all. I'm posting in part as a followup to a post I made a few months ago here: http://www.dogforums.com/first-time-dog-owner/112166-new-dogs-behavior-training.html

This is about my Beagle mix (she is beagle sized with beagle ears and shepherd colors) named Maya. She is 1-1.5 years old and I have had her for about 5 months.

So lets start with the good:

Maya has gotten really good with her crate. I go to the kitchen get a treat and say "go to bed" and she'll run into the living room and sit in her crate. She doesn't Bark/Dig/Whimper at all anymore - during the day or at night.

Walking - My training class had me get her a Gentle Leader. On this leash she is perfect. She walks perfect, she might try to rubber neck a bit if we see another dog but she never barks or pulls (I'm sure the story would be different on another type of leash but this is fine)

Ok, and now for the problems:

She NEVER calms down. It doesn't matter if it's a day where I'm gone for 4-5 hours or a day where I am home all day. She just wants to play, play, play, play, play. Sometimes she will stare out the window which is the only quiet I get. She often barks at things - usually somewhat under-her-breath barks which I don't mind. Occasionally she will see a dog and freak out a bit - I'd like to stop this if possible, but this isn't my main problem.

My main problem is she barks AT ME... A LOT... AND DOESN'T STOP. This problem seems to have escalated since we moved from Michigan to Nebraska. Perhaps becaue we have more space now, before I lived in a very tiny room where we spent most of our indoor time - we had no option but to interact. Now she just wants me to play with her ALL THE TIME.

Everywhere I have read says just ignore her... well I have been for about 3 or 4 weeks. It doesn't matter though she gets down on her front paws with her butt in there air and barks on the top of her lungs. This goes on anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes. If she does stop it usually ends in her running top speed around my couch in the living room or going and getting her rope toy and tossing it at me and then returning to barking.

I am a professional musician and I am seriously concerned that this will damage my hearing. Not to mention that my next door neighbor is probably plotting how to make my dog disappear.

When she looks like she's getting antsy I try to distract her by giving her commands - this doesn't work long because of problem #2. She's super ADD. I'll give her a sit command or a down and she will do it but she will only hold it for maybe 30 seconds MAX. I try to yell 'EY EY EY' when she breaks it and give her the command again. This will work maybe 3 times in a row.. then she just gets up and walks off. How can I get her to listen and stay ... to calm down?

These two things are the main problem. Perhaps some of you can offer some suggestions? There are a couple more things but I really need to get the barking under control NOW.

Thanks for any help!
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Pretty much what Gingerkid said. It sounds as though she's bored, frustrated, maybe hungry for attention... Make sure she's getting sufficient physical and mental exercise. Work with her patiently. As she's learning new cues, very gradually increase the difficulty (e.g., duration, distraction, distance). For example, if you know she can only hold a stay for 30 seconds, reward and release her at 25, then at 26, then 27. Eventually you'll work your way up to longer stay. She needs to have some success to know what you want from her.

Food dispensing toys, like Kongs, Tug-a-Jugs, Bob-a-Lots are great for keeping dogs occupied. You can buy or make them. There is some info on the forum about homemade toys like oatmeal cartons with holes or crumpled / tied up towels with food hidden inside, food scattered on a cookie sheet or across another area for her to find. My dog rarely eats from a dish and I get a quiet breakfast and dinner.

I don't have any real basis for this assumption, but I'm sure someone will come along with a correction or more details. If she is a year old and is new to training, she is used to doing what she wants and needs to learn how to learn. It's almost as though you need to break old habits before you can build new ones. It sounds as though she's eager to interact with you, so that's a great start. She needs you to show her how to channel her energy into something positive.

Here are some resources: Before & After You Get Your Puppy (I know you're dog isn't a puppy, but the info is good), Kikopup videos, and Tab289. Check for both Kikopup and Tab for videos on teaching impulse control and the settle cue. They would probably be very useful for you. Also, be sure to check out the stickies for recommended reading and training videos in the training section.

Good luck!
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