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Old 04-18-2011, 05:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default best way to calm or settle your dog???

What is the best way to calm or have your dog settle down when getting ready to go out for a hike, run, ride in the car, etc. Both of mine (5 year old male GSD and a newly rescued 8 year old female GSD) tend to predict when we are about to go somewhere and become...for lack of a better word...CRAZY!!

I've tried having him sit/stay but since she hasn't mastered the stay command yet her barking, excited state gets him all worked up and it turns to mayhem as I try to get them down the stairs to the garage without hurting themselves, each other, or me with all the craziness...

They are usually very well mannered, well behaved dogs and are very responsive on and off the leash but it's just the getting ready part that seems to have gotten out of control. Buddy used to get excited but her presence along with his activity being restricted the last few months due to ACL surgery seems to have escalated the problem.

Any ideas would be appreciated!
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ok, here's the best method for doing that, but you're going to have to set aside some time, and you're going to have to use some self-discipline.

In their minds, getting excited and acting goofy and barking their heads off is moving you along in the walk/hike/run preparations. You have to show them that it has the opposite effect.

Start going through the motions of getting ready to go. When they start to get hyper, stop dead in your tracks and stare into space. They'll bound around, barking and acting crazy for a while. The activity will escalate because they're trying to get into gear. The eventually, they'll get bored and settle down. Once they're calm, start going through the "getting ready" motions again. They'll become excited again. Once again, you stop dead and stare into space. Eventually, they'll get bored and calm down, then you get moving again.

You ONLY proceed with getting ready for the fun stuff when they are calm. You getting ready to go is a reward, and they only get rewarded when they're calm. When they're excited and barking and bouncing around, you are a statue. (wear some jeans; they'll probably jump on you) The first time you do this it will feel like FOREVER, but it will probably be actually less than 20 minutes. The second time it will take half as long, and within a few days or a week, they'll be calm and quiet when getting ready to do something fun.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What she said...
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I do what Emoore does
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That sounds like a GREAT idea!!! Although it will take some time and effort on my part.. I really like it....wish me luck
~Melinda
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do what Emoore says as well. In fact, I've spent a lot of time sitting on the washing machine (right by the back door) waiting for my GSD to chill.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well I tried it today and it took 44 minutes and about 15-20 times of stopping and starting again by the time I got dressed, gathered hat, gloves, jacket, snow shovel... It was great though..it started with all the craziness, barking running around the island, play attacking each other....to intermittent barks, whining, attempting to nudge me along with their noses-all of which I ignored until they both lay quietly. And then we finally walked calmly down the stairs and out the door

Ahhh the feeling of accomplishment was great!! Thank you all so much for the advise. I'll keep working it until we get it perfected....I love this forum!

~Melinda
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Awesome! High five!
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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YAY!!!!! good for you!!!! now each time you do that they'll be calmer and calmer!!!
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Old 04-20-2011, 03:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Great method. Great results. Having the patients is very key to dog training.

I'm going to have to do this one myself once my daughter moves out. She can get Dakota in a whirlwind mode just by walking to the door with her running shoes on. Of course she did this by getting her all excited every time she did take her for a walk. She liked it and now it is annoying her. I can tell you there is going to be some big payback when this girl gets a dog of her own, not to mention when she has kids of her own lol.
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