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Old 12-16-2012, 06:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anxiety/excited behavior?? Maybe.. (text heavy)

My almost 3 y/o Titan is a very driven dog. He can play/work for HOURS. I have posted before about how to get his energy out and a lot has helped, more exercise, more fetch, Search and Rescue and now he is usually fine.. no more chasing his tail unless he's outside alone and he is calm in the house, which is simply awesome.

I had a question though about guests. I think I posted about something like this before but didn't get into real detail about it then and now I'm noticing an "issue" a workable one but and issue none the less. I notice it the most with my boyfriend. When it is just me and my roommate in the house, Titan appears "normal" he is calm in the house, plays hard outside and is over his tail chasing phase.. 90% of the time. When Dan gets here, he goes bonkers. Not attack bonkers, like tail chasing, fetch obsessed, attention seeking bonkers. He follows Dan around the entire time at his feet. If Dan moves he runs to the back door like he wants to play. If Dan doesn't play with him he will whine and sit literally right next to him, and the first move of a muscle, he's at the back door, or bringing a toy for fetch to him. (he is typically on toy restriction so no toys are left out, but we have a cat who likes to jump in the box and take the toys out for him.. lol) If i leave the room for a second and he is left in the room with Dan he starts chasing his tail. As soon as I enter, he stops.

When I posted before about this, it was probably a good 3 or 4 months or so ago and it was suggested that Titan may associate Dan with playtime since that was typically the first thing Dan would do with him when he got there when we started dating almost a year ago. So for months.. Dan didn't play with Titan unless we were at the dog park, but never at my house. I reference Dan like he's the only one this happens to but it is anyone that comes over. Dan is just the main person in and out of my house all the time.

I'm kinda at a loss of what to do. When someone, including Dan comes over, Titan goes to his bed until he calms down, because he gets really excited when new people are here. Then when he is allowed out.. anything and everything becomes a fetch toy and any movement made he b-lines it for the door to go outside, once let out.. he stares at his toys that are out there waiting for someone to play.

it's just becoming exhausting, especially because he's now never sitting down when guests are over, and constantly in their face, I'm always telling him to go to bed or go lay down.. and he listens, I'm just wondering why he does this only when guest are here and not when it's me and my roommate. and how can I help it?
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Keeping him on the leash and making sure he keeps a sit/stay next to you for when the guests come in, then the down/stay next to you while you are visiting. It would help if he could have a favorite toy to mouth to keep him occupied and also if you have treats to reward him for the sit/stay and the down/stay. When he is calm, your guests can pet him if he likes that but not to make a big fuss. If you need to go into another room, take him with you. The purpose is to teach him that the visitors have come to see you and not him and he can't be pestering them for attention. Since he loves to learn, you may to teach him some tricks so that he can show off, but only after he has been on his good behavior.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you! I will definitely give that a shot when guests are over. What about when my boyfriend is over? Granted it won't be for a while now because he just deployed, but being that when he does come over it's for a weekend or a night or two what would you suggest? I know that when we end up moving in together, Titan's behavior will change, it happened with my roommate.. he always was in her face, but it's like once he realized she was a permanent member of the house.. he treats her just like me and isn't always in her face for attention.

Thanks again for the response!
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For your boyfriend, I would do the same as you did with your roommate. If Titan gets too excited, put him for a time out in his crate or outside (if you have a fenced in yard) or use a gate inside. The gate could block off one room - say the entrance to the kitchen - so Titan stays in the kitchen but can still come to the gate to be petted for anyone in the adjourning room. That may also work for your guests. You can keep him by you on his leash for a bit, and then give him a break. My Sting gets excited also and I got a gate when remodeling was done - it worked well - he could "greet" the carpenter and the carpenter would pet him, but then that was it. If Sting insisted on barking, I would insist he go on the down/stay and I rewarded him with his favorite treat when he was quiet and did so. As the carpenter said, once he realized Sting was friendly, is that the dog just wants to say hello and be noticed.
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