Does anyone else's dog do this? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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Does anyone else's dog do this?

I'm not really sure how to describe this but when Nikon gets *really* overstimulated (like say we are at the dog beach and a bunch of other dogs are playing with his favorite toys in front of him but he's being held back, or we go away for the weekend and when we come home he's so excited to see us and really hyper), he has this meltdown where he's sort of whining/howling and chattering his teeth. I put him in a platz and calmly stroke him until he's quiet. DH and I joke about it like a little kid throwing a fit. He did it yesterday b/c we were gone for Christmas for 5 days and my sister probably did not give him as much exercise or mental stimulation as I do, so he was hyper and super excited to see us. Normally he would just bark a bit and maybe run around or jump on us but every once in a while he has his meltdown. The last time I remember him doing it before this was when we had him over at some fields to do tracking. He knows when it's tracking time so when I went to get him out of the car he was really fired up, then some other people walked by with two little yippy dogs, and I was getting some stuff ready while holding his leash so it's like he just lost it and starting the crying and teeth chatter. Same as usual, I put him in platz and wait, the other people just laughed.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 03:24 AM
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Re: Does anyone else's dog do this?

Yes, it's like a howel, cry, whine, bottom jaw vibrating creating this insane noise!

Stark does this when he is being held back or is 'hurt'. He puts on this "show" where he sounds like he is being beaten to death.. I laugh now, but I hope he NEVER does this in public..

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 04:06 AM
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Re: Does anyone else's dog do this?

A better way to handle this that will help get it to stop is to come home and totally ignore your dog until he's calm. I mean TOTALLY ignore the dog, no attention whatsoever. Nissa was horrible with the homecomings and after 3 days of ignoring her until AFTER she was calm. By paying him any attention whatsoever, like you're doing at the "almost calm but still trying to calm him stage" tells him it's ok to be like he's almost calm.

Because he's got what sounds like a lot of anxiety (chattering teeth and blowing hair out that kinda flutters the lips is huge anxiety) it may take you a little longer than it did for me and Nissa who was like almost airborne to see me it was just unreal! But what a huge wonderful difference it made!

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 11:54 AM
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Re: Does anyone else's dog do this?

Stark did this once a few times once I got a new halti for him. He was fustrated that he couldn't move forward where he wanted to go (love the halti!) and so threw a tantrum. BIG TIME. I stayed in place, ignored the behaviour (jumping, crying, whining, etc..) and when he settled and was calm we continued on our way.

I was so happy that no one was around because it sounded like I was hurting him. Which of course, I was not. He was just [pee peed] that I would not move or go where he wanted.

He learned very quickly that the only way to move forward is to walk nicely next to me, no pulling.

I agree though, ignoring the behaviour works.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 12:37 PM
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Re: Does anyone else's dog do this?

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Originally Posted By: elisabeth_00117Yes, it's like a howel, cry, whine, bottom jaw vibrating creating this insane noise!
Yes! That's it!! And Jax will paw at me, roll around. She did this while I was trying to talk to our school superintendent about some career options for my son! I wanted to have this conversation and she wanted to go play ball! Luckily her sister owns shepherds so she just laughed.



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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 12:54 PM
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Re: Does anyone else's dog do this?

Sounds like Otto when he's over stimulated taking my kids to the park. Dog who can be perfectly calm and far too mature for his age when he's at home, turns into a whiny yodeling idiot when my kids are running in the park.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 01:37 PM
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Re: Does anyone else's dog do this?

Yup, it's like their saying, "BUT IT'S NOT FAIR!! I WANNA GO, LET ME GO, COME ON, YOUR SOOO MEAN!!!". It's the equivalent to a kid stamping their feet and throwing a temper tantrum in a crowded grocery store..

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Does anyone else's dog do this?

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Originally Posted By: Riley's MomA better way to handle this that will help get it to stop is to come home and totally ignore your dog until he's calm. I mean TOTALLY ignore the dog, no attention whatsoever. Nissa was horrible with the homecomings and after 3 days of ignoring her until AFTER she was calm. By paying him any attention whatsoever, like you're doing at the "almost calm but still trying to calm him stage" tells him it's ok to be like he's almost calm.

Because he's got what sounds like a lot of anxiety (chattering teeth and blowing hair out that kinda flutters the lips is huge anxiety) it may take you a little longer than it did for me and Nissa who was like almost airborne to see me it was just unreal! But what a huge wonderful difference it made!
I think two things also contribute to Nikon's meltdowns: he doesn't have separation anxiety, but he is a bit "high strung" in general. He needs a LOT of mental and physical exercise, and if he's not getting it, he will act really anxious. Like pacing around, whining constantly at this or that. So I think he's more prone to this type of behavior. The other thing is that he gets mixed signals. When DH comes home from work, he's yelling to the dogs as he comes in the door. He runs downstairs and lets the dogs all jump all over him and they all dance around and rough house. Then he wonders why his dogs want to jump up on visitors and why Nikon has a meltdown if he's restrained when visitors come in the door. DUH! LOL. We have talked about this and he knows that he cannot be upset with his dogs for getting hyper about homecomings when he encourages this behavior. I am the opposite. When I come home, I purposely move slowly and quietly. Generally, the dogs might bark a few times but settle again before I'm even downstairs. If they are excited, they have to stay in the crates and wait until they are quiet and lying down. Then I will let them out. If they are not calm, they get ignored.

Generally the homecoming only results in a meltdown when it's the type of situation we had this week where we were gone for an extended period AND the dogs were out of their crates when we got home (because my sister was still here). But every once in a while it happens. I don't like it, but I don't sweat it, and it is kind of funny and cute in a way, this large 70lb dog lying there crying like a baby. When I tell him to platz, he does platz and stay but it's like he has s much pent up excitement he cannot control vocalizing it.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Does anyone else's dog do this?

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Originally Posted By: elisabeth_00117 I laugh now, but I hope he NEVER does this in public..
That's exactly how I feel! Nikon has done it in public three times. Once the time I describe earlier where we were getting ready to track. Another time was at the dog beach where it got really busy. I had Nikon on his leash by me b/c I was talking to a friend. Other dogs were starting to play fetch with toys that Nikon likes. The clincher was that this off leash dog ran over and buzzed Nikon. Nikon does NOT like rude dogs getting in his face, and since he was on a short leash he couldn't correct the dog for jumping on him, nor follow the dog to play, so he had a little meltdown (which resulted in him being crated and covered until he was ready to not act like a baby). The third time was last winter. DH was walking Coke and I was walking Nikon. I saw this loose dog charging up in the distance, so I told DH I was going to stop b/c of Nikon's issues with dogs charging him. I had Nikon sit and wait and DH decided to go forward and use Coke (who is friendly) to lure the dog away from Nikon until the owner could catch it. Well Nikon just lost it because not only was he being restrained while the other dog was running free, but Coke got to go forward and was playing with the loose dog. This time I was not amused at all and was pretty b/c the dog's owner kept trying to make small talk with DH and was not controlling her dog who was obviously charging and upsetting my dog. Nikon and I actually had to just leave and go home without DH and Coke. That was back when Nikon was super reactive, he's way better now with dogs in close proximity but we still avoid that house.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-31-2009, 02:14 PM
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Re: Does anyone else's dog do this?

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Originally Posted By: LiesjeI put him in a platz and calmly stroke him until he's quiet.
It's interesting, both platz and stroking, different than I usually do. In such situations I normally redirect and do not let it escalate beyond the point my dog can handle it, and I do not put a dog in a submissive position in front of a loose dog. But if I do decide down is the best way to go then it's down, no speak, and I do correct if both commands are not carried through.

I think I was blessed with a dog with good judgment since early on. I do like rough housing, and jumping on me, and my husband likes redirection to a toy and a quick play when we come home, but visitors are greeted with a quick sniff and then ignored.


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