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My working line boy is 14 mos old and is high energy ( surprise) and high drive. I have done what I think was in his best interest meeting his needs by providing regular activity for his energy outlet, and training for his drives. We have lots of on and off leash walks, and ball play, and hes been in training classes 2-4 times a week for everything from OB, Rally, Barn hunt, dock diving.

What is happening, which is what happens before any high drive activity ( dock diving, lure coursing, or barn hunt) is he is winding himself up in anticipation of being " off leash" when we walk. Pulling, whining, vocalizing in anticipation of a correction for pulling, and when corrected ( sound like hes been murdered) but yet he STILLLLLLLLL does it. I have varied my walks. I have skipped off leash , I have skipped walks altogether. I have walked him on leash in the off leash area. I have done down stays and then left the area i have done OB and left the area.. I have waited him out until he was "calm" and let him off leash . I have let him off leash but didn't throw his ball. i have changed direction, i have stopped and waited him out to respond to leash pressure .
Every day i try something different because he KNOWS every single off leash area and will be drawn to the most recent place .
There are multiple places I can let him off leash during our walk (about 12) and I have several places I can take him off leash .... and he does this at EVERY point and any place hes been before.. Some days are better, some days are worse. I think that in my attempt to full full his energy outlet I have just made a monster.

suggestions or is this just how hes going to be .... needing to be lunged before being walked? The only thing that has worked is ball play in the yard until his tongue is dragging... but thats not always practical and easy in my .10 acre of a back yard.

I really just want to have a dog I can walk, calmly. I am totally willing to put in the miles and time to work this dog and full fill his energy outlet needs, i just want to be able to calmly have him get to the point where I can let him off leash to run to his hearts content!
 

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walks 2 times a day.... off leash and on leash . my phone logs 4-6 miles a day. Who know how much his logs off leash . when not trialing, long hikes at various parks on weekend.Underwater Treadmill sessions weekly. Training almost every day. Weighted vest. Thowing his ball until his tongue drags.
 

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Sounds like you inadvertently keep him in an amped up state,always anticipating action.Relaxation can be taught also.Would you consider walking him to one of your off leash spots,then sitting with him quietly?Talk to him softly or stroke his chest if that helps soothe him.When he's chill just allow him to explore and do doggy things.You both may find that relaxing and satisfying.
 

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You also sound like you aren't doing anything consistently. A lot of times when you have a problem and try something to fix it, it isn't going to work right away. By switching up your techniques every single day you aren't giving any of them a real chance to work and you're sending mixed signals to the dog.

When you are on walks do you keep him in a heel or do you let him walk on a loose leash/free dog? It might be good to put him into a formal heel when approaching the places. Work on getting his attention on you, do focus exercises to reinforce that YOU are the source of all things good, not the off leash time.

I personally really like the turning around and walking in the opposite direction when the leash is pulled if I'm not trying to walk in a heel. You really need to be consistent with it though or it's just a weird thing the human is doing and can be written off and ignored. Show him that there is a consistent reaction to his actions.

It might also be good to consult a trainer if you continue to have issues with it.
 

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Sounds like you inadvertently keep him in an amped up state,always anticipating action.Relaxation can be taught also.Would you consider walking him to one of your off leash spots,then sitting with him quietly?Talk to him softly or stroke his chest if that helps soothe him.When he's chill just allow him to explore and do doggy things.You both may find that relaxing and satisfying.
I work hes kenneled 730-4pm so Ive always tried to make sure hes exercised am and PM and walking on a leash has never tired him out.
yes I can def try that, but I can tell you right now he will stare at me the whole time waiting for me to move. he doesn't go off and do doggy things. His MO on off leash walks is loping around me as I walk. Hes very handler aware.
 

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You also sound like you aren't doing anything consistently. A lot of times when you have a problem and try something to fix it, it isn't going to work right away. By switching up your techniques every single day you aren't giving any of them a real chance to work and you're sending mixed signals to the dog.

When you are on walks do you keep him in a heel or do you let him walk on a loose leash/free dog? It might be good to put him into a formal heel when approaching the places. Work on getting his attention on you, do focus exercises to reinforce that YOU are the source of all things good, not the off leash time.

I personally really like the turning around and walking in the opposite direction when the leash is pulled if I'm not trying to walk in a heel. You really need to be consistent with it though or it's just a weird thing the human is doing and can be written off and ignored. Show him that there is a consistent reaction to his actions.

It might also be good to consult a trainer if you continue to have issues with it.
thanks ! I was following the advice of a trainer by changing it up so he wasn't anticipating anything. And one of the reasons i dont do change of direction all the time is my husband and I walk the dog together. Have you ever tried to walk the dog with 2 people and do multiple changes of direction ? Its not pretty and only works when we walk solo. We both use the walks for our fitness/activity. I can DEF do the focused heel by places because I use that by dogs and it works well , albeit, his reward/focus point is his ball sooooo there is that.
 

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The first thing I would do is lose the ball on his walks. Balls amp dogs up, you are looking for calm.
yep I agree , tho we did loose the ball for about 3 weeks and we still had the same Behavior.
let me explain, we did not THROW the ball for 3 weeks but I did use it for OB training and rewarded with Tug. and I do use it for training on walks ( focus point for heeling)
 

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Put a prong collar on him correctly fitted. Use a six foot leash. Don't try to hold him back and if he goes to the end of the leash,quickly go in the opposite direction while giving him a correction and keep going. If he lunges forward again, keep repeating. No need to say anything to him. Eventually he will stop lunging. The other thing to consider is have him on leash while you ride a bike next to him so he can run rather than walk. Or you can tie him to the front of the bike and let him pull you. You can do the same thing on skates. You just have to be in a low traffic area..
 

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thanks ! I was following the advice of a trainer by changing it up so he wasn't anticipating anything. And one of the reasons i dont do change of direction all the time is my husband and I walk the dog together. Have you ever tried to walk the dog with 2 people and do multiple changes of direction ? Its not pretty and only works when we walk solo. We both use the walks for our fitness/activity. I can DEF do the focused heel by places because I use that by dogs and it works well , albeit, his reward/focus point is his ball sooooo there is that.
Tbh, that reads like an excuse.
Train him how you want him to act. Lose the ball, work on engagement to you. Not quoting Cesar, but you need to train the dog how you want him to act.
For example. When I'm doing sport stuff, I use drive. When I'm at home I use calm and slow.
If any of that makes sense...
Curious if you are working with a trainer?
 

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he doesn't go off and do doggy things. His MO on off leash walks is loping around me as I walk. Hes very handler aware.
Regular off leash walks provide so much physical and mental stimulation to a dog. One trainer of military dogs has gone on to say that off leash hiking meets drive requirements for most working dogs.

yep I agree , tho we did loose the ball for about 3 weeks and we still had the same Behavior.
let me explain, we did not THROW the ball for 3 weeks but I did use it for OB training and rewarded with Tug. and I do use it for training on walks ( focus point for heeling)
You have been training your dog in drive throughout these walks? Like Dogma said, start teaching him calm when you are out. Drive vs calm, pick one.

If it were me, I would have him heel (not focused heel) in leashed areas and I would dump all training for now during off leash time. I would even ignore the dog except to encourage him to go off on his own to be a dog. Constantly bothering me when I am walking would be met with a stern "no". Following his nose and doing other doggy activities would be encouraged.

I am an avid hiker. Sometimes that is on a well traveled path in a park, other times it is in remote and isolated areas. I can have anywhere from one to three dogs with me on the average. I know they can get very excited especially when we first arrive. Loose leash skills are invaluable.
 

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My working line boy is 14 mos old and is high energy ( surprise) and high drive. I have done what I think was in his best interest meeting his needs by providing regular activity for his energy outlet, and training for his drives. We have lots of on and off leash walks, and ball play, and hes been in training classes 2-4 times a week for everything from OB, Rally, Barn hunt, dock diving.

What is happening, which is what happens before any high drive activity ( dock diving, lure coursing, or barn hunt) is he is winding himself up in anticipation of being " off leash" when we walk. Pulling, whining, vocalizing in anticipation of a correction for pulling, and when corrected ( sound like hes been murdered) but yet he STILLLLLLLLL does it. I have varied my walks. I have skipped off leash , I have skipped walks altogether. I have walked him on leash in the off leash area. I have done down stays and then left the area i have done OB and left the area.. I have waited him out until he was "calm" and let him off leash . I have let him off leash but didn't throw his ball. i have changed direction, i have stopped and waited him out to respond to leash pressure .
Every day i try something different because he KNOWS every single off leash area and will be drawn to the most recent place .
There are multiple places I can let him off leash during our walk (about 12) and I have several places I can take him off leash .... and he does this at EVERY point and any place hes been before.. Some days are better, some days are worse. I think that in my attempt to full full his energy outlet I have just made a monster.

suggestions or is this just how hes going to be .... needing to be lunged before being walked? The only thing that has worked is ball play in the yard until his tongue is dragging... but thats not always practical and easy in my .10 acre of a back yard.

I really just want to have a dog I can walk, calmly. I am totally willing to put in the miles and time to work this dog and full fill his energy outlet needs, i just want to be able to calmly have him get to the point where I can let him off leash to run to his hearts content!
Why is your dog anticipating a correction? Why does your dog sound like he has been "murdered" after a correction? This is something that you need to address and evaluate.

You need to work on impulse control and capping. Working a dog in drive is great, but you need to know how to manage the drive and control it. Developing drive is one thing, drive with out control is a real issue. You must learn how to control and channel your dog's drive and you must teach your dog to control his drive.

The vocalizing is your dog "leaking" drive and lacking proper "capping." If you are new to working high drive dogs, you will need help from an experienced trainer. A trainer that can work and handle high drive dogs, not a pet trainer. Preferably, some one that competes in a sport at a high level. Or at least works dogs to a high level of proficiency. You also need to adjust your corrections. A prong or e collar may make the vocalizing worse.

There may also be a genetic component to this. I'd love to see your dog's pedigree, if you would PM me that would be great. I've worked with several dogs like this over the years. Some were great working dogs, others had issues that were hard to correct.

This will require some very good handling to improve going forward. Be careful how you correct and reward this dog in the future.
 

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I have a similar dog. Dogma13 said it best imo. Teach the dog and yourself to be calm. Maturity helps. Allowing the dog to do what it's getting itself all worked up to do is counterproductive. I've had to abort/change plans many times to not reinforce that behavior. Correcting the dog with E or prong when it's over excited is counterproductive and probably why it sounds like it's getting murdered. I created a similar pattern because I wasn't patient, didn't know what I was doing and had a bad trainer. You can change/reduce that behavior. Patience. Your dog needs to learn self control more than it needs physical activity.
 

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You need to teach the dog that it can do what it is getting all worked up over, once it calms down and contains itself. The dog needs to learn that frantic behavior and hectic behavior is not going to get it what it wants. Barking, jumping, spinning, vocalizing or any extreme outward display of excitement is NOT going to get the dog what it wants. It is really simple, but not easy for some folks to implement. There are no physical corrections needed, with holding what the dog wants is enough. That and lots of patience and self control on the handlers part.

Ausdland, you are correct. Patience is absolutely the key and so is remaining very calm. Ear plugs may help also. ;)

I wouldn't change my plans to avoid this, I would use it as a learning and training experience. I would address this head on. I'd bring the dog to the area that it loses self control in and wait for the dog to calm down and contain itself. Once the dog was "capped" I would go into the field, on the walk or do what ever. But, I have a lot of patience and I would wait a 1/2 hour or longer if I needed too. Eventually, the dog will stop and look at the handler asking "what is going on? What do I need to do to go?" At that moment of clarity I would proceed. But, not a second before. I would remain very calm and plan my session to include all the time I needed to do this.

So much of dog training is patience and so few dog owners have it. In our world of instant gratification we expect things to happen right away. In a dog's world things take time to change, especially patterns of behavior that have been allowed to occur for some time.
 

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walks 2 times a day.... off leash and on leash . my phone logs 4-6 miles a day. Who know how much his logs off leash . when not trialing, long hikes at various parks on weekend.Underwater Treadmill sessions weekly. Training almost every day. Weighted vest. Thowing his ball until his tongue drags.
On another note, please do not use a weighted vest on such a young dog. Also, throwing his ball until his tongue hangs out can be counterproductive. Dogs need rest between exercise sets. You need to slow down on all the physical activity as that is part of the issue. You need to calm the dog's mind, not exhaust him constantly. with all the activity you are doing you may very well be spinning him up even more, thus creating more of the problem.

A major part of training is teaching the dog containment, impulse control and capping. After reading this post I can start to understand why your dog is behaving this way. Some training sessions may be 1, 2, 5 or 10 minutes of sitting at the heel position focused on your face. Not moving, not looking away, just solid intense focus and 100% complete undivided attention. If the dog looks away,even for a split second the clock starts over. You mention you trial? What do you trial in?

When I did IPO with my last dog, I could stand at attention for 10 minutes and the dog would focus on me the entire time. You could pour water on his head, a stranger grab his ears and he would never look away. The dog was very much "in drive" and very much "capped." He was like an arrow in a bow, just waiting to be released.
 

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lots of good suggestions , thanks for all the tips. Found a working dog trainer to meet with , so hopefully we can get a better handle on this.

Slam dunk i mentioned in my original post he trials in Barn hunt, dock diving, lure coursing, Rally and Ob. I dont do IPO. Also his weighted vest is 2#,it hardly weighs more then some of the tactical vests I see dogs wearing.
 

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lots of good suggestions , thanks for all the tips. Found a working dog trainer to meet with , so hopefully we can get a better handle on this.

Slam dunk i mentioned in my original post he trials in Barn hunt, dock diving, lure coursing, Rally and Ob. I dont do IPO. Also his weighted vest is 2#,it hardly weighs more then some of the tactical vests I see dogs wearing.
Yes, I see that you did mention the sports that you do. Those are all excellent activities.

I am a handler that has a tactical / ballistic vest and I do use it on my dog for some deployments. Keep in mind that a Police K-9 rarely wears a tactical vest for long periods of time. The activity of the dog is generally somewhat restricted while in the vest, unless we are training. The new vest that I have for my current dog weighs about 6 lbs. I do not use this vest for conditioning, but for serious call outs and in training to get the dog accustomed to it. I live in a rather hot environment and a vest can cause heat exhaustion.

Two weeks ago I attended a seminar on K-9 conditioning held by a Veterinarian who was a former SF dog handler. The seminar was geared around conditioning working dogs for LE and Military deployments. They had great equipment and various exercises to condition the dogs. There was an emphasis on getting Tier 1 dogs spun up and in shape pre deployment.

I've been involved in sport and working dogs for many years and I learned quite a lot about the science behind conditioning dogs in that seminar. I am implementing many of the exercises and drills for my K-9 unit. One big take away was the amount of rest a dog needs between sets. The other take away was how little weight you need to condition a dog, even when doing sled pulls.

I hope your working dog trainer can help you manage the excitement of your dog and show you ways to gain that impulse control. There is a fine line between amping up a dog and putting it in "drive" verse amping the dog up beyond the point of the dog being able to control it's drive. From what I gather that is one of the issues? If you get frustrated when your dog becomes frantic or hectic, the situation will become worse as the dog will have a harder time controlling itself and keeping a clear head.

I, more than most appreciate and value super high drive dogs, but not at the detriment of losing clear headedness or becoming hectic. For what I do at work that diminishes the dog's ability to work well, even on simple tasks. For a sport dog, it can be tolerated but is can also be rather frustrating.

You need to ask your new trainer how to "cap" your dog and teach the dog to internalize it's drive. You also need to evaluate how you handle this dog. Dogs like you describe need to be handled some what differently than other even higher drive dogs with clearer heads.

The good news is that this is not a major problem or even a big deal, if the dog is handled properly. With most dogs, unless it is a genetic nerve issue, this can be easily fixed.
 

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One big take away was the amount of rest a dog needs between sets. The other take away was how little weight you need to condition a dog, even when doing sled pulls.
I would love to hear more detailed information on this if possible.
 
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