Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! I'm new here. First time dog owner. Our little cavapoo is about 4 months now. Our time with her at home, on walks, and out and about is *mostly* mellow.

When she's at home she's very calm, whines a bit when we leave her, never barks, often is attentive, and will spend extended periods of time quietly snuggling with us on the couch.

On walks she's much more amped up, it's a struggle to get her to walk nicely sometimes--when she's distracted by new smells, sounds and sights that she wants to check out, but it's something we've been working on, and she's got it maybe 50% of the time.

"Out and about", visiting friends or strange new places she gets really amped up. She gets super excited by the new people and place, dancing in circles on her leash, jumping to smell and lick the new person. When this happens, we mostly just wait it out, till she calms down, and then we can proceed with the meet and greet.

We took her to puppy kindergarten last evening and it was a *mess*. She was sooooo excited by the new smells, all those other people and puppies, she was wild to be let off her leash the entire time. Not barking or aggressive in any way, but simply quivering with excitement. It was a very frustrating hour.

What can we do? We would like to encourage more calm, attentive behavior. We know she's a puppy and it's going to take time and patience, but is there anything proactive we can be doing to help that process along? And specifically what do we do in puppy class where literally this lasted the entire time?

Thanks so much for your help!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
You keep taking her lol. She's excited by the new smells and needs to be exposed to them. They'll stop being new that way. Have a really high value treat and reward any calm, attentive behavior. But don't expect it overnight lol. And a nice walk before class to tire her out a little couldn't hurt. Any trainer teaching a puppy class should expect excited puppies. Er, any decent trainer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,350 Posts
I agree, keep taking her.
As for walking: I remember walking my new puppies. It really wasn't much of a walk, in the beginning. We really didn't want a dog that pulled, so we would stop and "be a tree" every time they would pull, or sometimes we would do "back aways" or we would turn around and walk a few steps in the opposite direction. All these techniques teach them that pulling doesn't get them where they want to go.
In the beginning we had lots of short walks throughout the day, because we didn't get to go very far each time, as the pulling thing was an issue. But, as they got better at that, we could do fewer walks for longer distance.

As for when you're out and about greeting people, I'd recommend backing away from people if she's not calm. Back away to whatever distance it takes for her to be calm again. It really helps if you have a "look" or "watch me" command for this. Then, when she's calm, you can move forward towards the people. If she goes crazy again, back away again.
For something like this, it can help to have a friend or relative meet you when you're out and about somewhere, a friend that understands you're trying to teach your pup to greet calmly. That way, your friend won't get frustrated if you have to back away several times before getting close, they'll know it's a training exercise.

Did the trainer/instructor give you any tips at kindergarten? How did they deal with it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I agree, keep taking her.
As for walking: I remember walking my new puppies. It really wasn't much of a walk, in the beginning. We really didn't want a dog that pulled, so we would stop and "be a tree" every time they would pull, or sometimes we would do "back aways" or we would turn around and walk a few steps in the opposite direction. All these techniques teach them that pulling doesn't get them where they want to go.
In the beginning we had lots of short walks throughout the day, because we didn't get to go very far each time, as the pulling thing was an issue. But, as they got better at that, we could do fewer walks for longer distance.

As for when you're out and about greeting people, I'd recommend backing away from people if she's not calm. Back away to whatever distance it takes for her to be calm again. It really helps if you have a "look" or "watch me" command for this. Then, when she's calm, you can move forward towards the people. If she goes crazy again, back away again.
For something like this, it can help to have a friend or relative meet you when you're out and about somewhere, a friend that understands you're trying to teach your pup to greet calmly. That way, your friend won't get frustrated if you have to back away several times before getting close, they'll know it's a training exercise.

Did the trainer/instructor give you any tips at kindergarten? How did they deal with it?
Thanks for all the great advice. That's pretty much what we've been working on. She's already made a lot of progress with the walking. :)

The problem with the class situation was it was a situation where what we would have done anywhere else was "back away", and not return to the crazy room until she could do so calmly. But that didn't feel like an option, and so she proceeded to get more and more excited throughout the hour.

All the trainer said was "it's her first day" and "she's just a puppy". We know that this kind of reaction is to be expected, but we want to be proactive about helping her through it, you know? And not just leaving her in the situation.

We're thinking next week of showing up half and hour early and see if we can introduce her to the room more slowly. And I guess if she can't calm down, one of us will just have to take her out of the room? It feels disruptive to the class, but I'm not sure what else to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
We had this exact same issue when we took Fiona to puppy school the first time. We had this vision in our minds that she would be the best puppy because we'd already been training her.

She was horrible! jumping, pulling, barking, knocking over the water bowl!

By week four, she was a top of her class. She needed to get used to the surroundings and her co-pupils.

Puppy school worked wonders for her! Just the socialization aspect alone was worth the money!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,350 Posts
Absolutely, most trainers/instructors will want what's best for the dog. You might consider coming a bit early, and leaving early as well, and not staying for the entire time. As your puppy progresses, you can stay for the entire class.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top