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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have an 11 month old male Chesapeake that is a very friendly dog but has a few really annoying traits. The most serious one, for me, is that he has a high pitched whine that comes and goes throughout the day as he paces around the house. He’s been excersized, fed, has toys—but seems so needy and high strung. On walks, the whining becomes extreme when he sees a dog or person even in the distance. I might prefer a root canal over the sound he makes.
I’m having trouble dealing with this in part because I had a female Chessie for 14 years that never gave so much as a whimper and walked right on by distractions without pulling or crying. I’m close to returning this dog to the breeder, any thoughts appreciated!
 

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Does he have proper mental stimulation? Exercise is necessary, but so is mental stimulation-perhaps even more so. This could be trick training, scentwork or find the treats, a dog sport, puzzle games (especially complex ones, like the TRIXIE toys, although a stuffed Kong is good too). Another need- does he get a lot of interactive play and petting from you? Playing with a toy he likes is good, but dogs are bred to work with humans, so he'll want to do things like tug.
Has he been properly socialized? By which I here mean: have you practiced calm greetings of strangers? Is he overexcited, or anxious?
 

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If all his needs - including mental stimulation as Kensi mentioned - are being met, he may just need to be taught to settle in the house. Some dogs - even high-energy, intense ones - are born with a natural 'off' switch and are really good at lying down and chilling when there's nothing going on actively involving them, but others actively need to be taught how to relax and enjoy down time.

Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol or Sit on the Dog by the late Margot Woods are good places to start, but if neither is quite right for you or your dog, I'd suggest looking into Deb Jones' Zen Games class that's occasionally available on the Fenzi Dog Sport Academy or Suzzane Clothier's Really Real Relaxation. Both are excellent, but unlike the first two are paid courses/videos, so it depends on what works for your budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If all his needs - including mental stimulation as Kensi mentioned - are being met, he may just need to be taught to settle in the house. Some dogs - even high-energy, intense ones - are born with a natural 'off' switch and are really good at lying down and chilling when there's nothing going on actively involving them, but others actively need to be taught how to relax and enjoy down time.

Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol or Sit on the Dog by the late Margot Woods are good places to start, but if neither is quite right for you or your dog, I'd suggest looking into Deb Jones' Zen Games class that's occasionally available on the Fenzi Dog Sport Academy or Suzzane Clothier's Really Real Relaxation. Both are excellent, but unlike the first two are paid courses/videos, so it depends on what works for your budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to you both for your replies and suggestions. I will look into relaxation protocols etc. My frustration results in part from the fact that the dog is getting much more stimulation than average—I have no job, and we’re out on the farm for hours each day. While he definitely does chill out occasionally, it’s not his normal mode. Just now, after playing outside for two hours, he’s looking out the window and whimpering. I just fear that I got the wrong dog for me. Thanks for listening and I’ll look into the resources you mentioned.
 

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My standard poodle was like that at that age. He's still super energetic, but he has learned to settle, partially just because he's older now (2 years), partially due to doing lots of "sit on the dog" and the like.
 

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I've had to work with my Lagotto from day one with relaxing - he had to have enforced naptime or he'd get overtired and cranky, even as a baby puppy. Some dogs are just wired that way, and need our help learning how to relax, self-soothe, and self-entertain. Kind of like how some people are really naturally laid back and zen, while others need to force themselves to take breaks and remind themselves to do calm or relaxing activities. Chewing is naturally calming, so having some of his daily meals frozen into Kongs and/or offering long-lasting chews regularly is also part of our strategy.
 
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