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Wild after exercise

642 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  troglodytezzz
I love hiking with my 2 year old Spinone Italiano. He is mostly well behaved. Sits to have leash put on and taken off. Runs off trail but always seems to keep a pretty tight circle around me. He will turn on a dime when called.
When he was a puppy I used to encounter some wild behaviour after exercise, particularly swimming. Lately I have experienced wild eyed behaviour again and always when time to put leash back on. It seems like natural reaction to wanting to play more but uncontrollable. Sometimes after short walk or after long walks if he has not found other dogs to run with. He does not run off but grabs leash and twists and turns to not have it put on. Since he does not run off, I eventually get leash on but he remains wild for another minute or 2. We have done leash training and he is difficult but does heel but not off leash.
I have a training collar but have only used it to train yard boundaries and has worked great. Wondering what an alert will mean to him when on trail.
Hoping for some ideas.
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Wait. So your dog comes to you when called on the trail, and then you want to shock him for being happy and exuberant ???

Great way to ruin a recall, among other things.
Sounds like a bit of zoomies to me. I'd probably put in a bit of obedience practice before attempting to leash him. Using a few tiny treats request sit, down, come all off leash as a bit of transition between the intense focus he had on environment and you during the off leash part of the hike and going home. You are getting focus on you rather than the smells and sights of the wild in preparation for getting leash on and going home.

If you are really frustrated and don't want to play into his game then make a slip lead by pulling the loop end through the leash and putting that over his head. My dogs aren't fond of me fussing around between shoulder blades fastening and unfastening harness clips but will readily shove heads through slip leads. Then train him to accept you fussing around his neck during regular training sessions.
I agree with Kathyy.

Don't shock. That will just make him hate leaving (and coming to you) even more.

Make leaving just as rewarding as playing. He's thrilled he's been off having a blast, but that doesn't mean leaving has to be a bad thing. He just gets rewarded in a different way. Also, you don't say, but does calling back = leaving all or most of the time? If so, I'd also incorporate some calling back, sitting calmly (maybe even allowing you to place your hand on the collar and eventually clipping the leash on), and then releasing to run off again. This way sitting calmly and you reaching for the collar/leashing him does not always equal leaving. Sometimes it means he gets to continue the fun. You could even work up to walking a minute on the leash, then releasing to play again. This way he doesn't think leash = ending the fun ALL the time. Behaving instead means he gets to go back and play again.
Marvel has the right idea.

Practice putting the leash on and off frequently so that it no longer predicts loss of freedom. Call the dog, treat on arrival, put on leash, treat again, take leash off, treat a whole bunch for staying off leash with you, release, repeat. I will call a young dog 10-20 times doing this before I keep him clipped on. Pulling the leash out actually becomes part of the recall over time.
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