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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry, but the search function and I dont get along well so if I have missed this type of discussion feel free to let me know!

My dog Bella is now 16 months old. As far as I am concerned shes the best dog in the world. An angel. My issue is that I havent figured out how to curb her excitement at greetings. I have learned from this site that when we leave the house and come home we make it a non-event. We dont get all excited when we come in the door or when we leave home. Its just very matter of fact. Now, she used to be a jumper but I have that fixed and she only jumps up now about 1% of the time. To me, I can deal with that. Her excitement level is still really huge.

When just one of us comes home she is very calm. For instance, I get home at lunch to let her out and she wants to loved but she doesnt go nuts. She just follows me around. If dd and I get home in the evening before dh she gets excited but its bearable. Not to the extreme. When the remaining family member gets home, dh, she goes crazy. Now this can be twisted as well. If I get home last shes just as crazy. Dont understand that. Anyhow, She will prance all around within inches of us, run around and do laps, and then just body slam into you. She'll use her paw to try to bring your arm to her and she'll be so close and wiggly that you really can just not put anything down. Its great that our dog loves us so much but its starting to hurt! LOL I am 6 months pregnant now and my sciatica is killing me. When I come in and get body slammed it knocks me off balance and hurts. When it comes to dd she doesnt do this. She does get in her face and try to give tons of kisses but she isnt as forceful. I dont want her to be crazy when the new baby comes and I am trying to get in the door. What do I do?

Her crate is near the front door. Whoever gets home first lets her out of the crate while walking by. We then proceed into the kitchen and put our stuff down and greet the humans first. We try not to make of issue of Bella and say hello to her only when our hands are free. Then we go to take her outside. We always go out with her, after she has done her business than we have our greeting. I'll hold out my arms to her and she'll come running and we then play and interact. By this time she has calmed down a bit and will lay on her side or back and act very submissive.

Let me mention that this behavior, while toned down, happens upon waking and getting out of bed! If I go out to get the paper shes acts as if I have been gone for years. Some days are better than others!

She gets lots of exercise and she certainly gets plenty of attention. Shes a happy and healthy dog.

What are we doing wrong? What can I do to get her to chill? If I havent provided enough info please let me know and I'll fill you in more. Sorry this is so long...Thanks for reading and for any input!
 

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Rafi is like this too. I remain very calm and ignore all of the antics. Shortly after I adopted him I taught him to put his ball in his mouth if he got excited. Now when I get home (he's not crated) he runs all over looking for his ball and then when he finds it he wiggles around me in circles with the ball in his mouth. This means he can't mouth me and he also feels like he has something to do to help contain his excitement. I remain calm and just give him a little pat and after about a minute he settles down on his bed with his ball.
 

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I wouldn't let her out of the crate until you are ready to give her attention I would wait until everyone is home and your hands is free,
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Originally Posted By: BowWowMeowRafi is like this too. I remain very calm and ignore all of the antics. Shortly after I adopted him I taught him to put his ball in his mouth if he got excited. Now when I get home (he's not crated) he runs all over looking for his ball and then when he finds it he wiggles around me in circles with the ball in his mouth. This means he can't mouth me and he also feels like he has something to do to help contain his excitement. I remain calm and just give him a little pat and after about a minute he settles down on his bed with his ball.
How did you teach him to do that?
 

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I told him to go get his ball the minute I walked in the door or the minute he started getting over-excited (same thing happens at walk time). He caught on pretty quickly and will get it anytime he gets over-excited now.

If she doesn't know that command then just stick a favorite toy in her mouth every time you get home and praise her for taking it. Then you can put a command on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Originally Posted By: mkennelsI wouldn't let her out of the crate until you are ready to give her attention I would wait until everyone is home and your hands is free,
Thank you. I have thought about this. Now, say I get home first and let her out to potty do you think I should then put her back in her crate until dh gets home? That would mean maybe an additional 30 minutes or so of crate time.
 

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Originally Posted By: JenniferH
Originally Posted By: mkennelsI wouldn't let her out of the crate until you are ready to give her attention I would wait until everyone is home and your hands is free,
Thank you. I have thought about this. Now, say I get home first and let her out to potty do you think I should then put her back in her crate until dh gets home? That would mean maybe an additional 30 minutes or so of crate time.
I don't think this solves the problem!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks! That sounds like a great option for us! Her favorite ball is her cuz so I could try that with her...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Originally Posted By: BowWowMeow
Originally Posted By: JenniferH
Originally Posted By: mkennelsI wouldn't let her out of the crate until you are ready to give her attention I would wait until everyone is home and your hands is free,
Thank you. I have thought about this. Now, say I get home first and let her out to potty do you think I should then put her back in her crate until dh gets home? That would mean maybe an additional 30 minutes or so of crate time.
I don't think this solves the problem!
I think this would work great for us if we are all entering the house at the same time. This way she could calm down before being let out but I dont think I could re-crate her before dh gets home.
 

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I would consider Janet's idea to be a great management tool so you are not knocked over or side swiped. I do this with my dogs. I come in put all my stuff down, put my purse away, take a deep breath - quitely say hello and open crates.

Havoc still gets way over excited and wants to jump and mouth. So we did waht Ruth does with Rafi- Havoc grabs his toy. You can use any toy your dog likes and put it in her mouth if you have to. It does work.

Hav was 19 months on Monday and he is ssllooowwwllyy calming down.

Now if I can just get the excitemnt level in agility down it would be perfect!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Kathy! I am all for Ruths idea of teaching Bella to get a toy when we come home. I also believe Janets idea is great except that we get home at different times. Whoever gets home first lets Bella out. So what do i do then? I dont feel right putting her back in the crate for that. Maybe its just me putting human feelings on the dog...

That would lead me back to my original post. Why would she get even more worked up at the 2nd homecoming than she did the first? I would think she would be chilled out by that time. Instead, she gets her second wind...
 

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We used to have problems like that with Sasha. She would go crazy when we came home, and it wasn't until one day we noticed that she was excited before we got through the door. She could hear us outside, putting the keys in the door. That would begin the cycle.
So instead of letting her out as soon as we got home, we would all come in, put our stuff away, do whatever we needed to do. Only after she relaxed, because we were "ignoring" her, did we let her out. A few more minutes in the crate isn't going to hurt. This cut down a lot of the excitement, as she realized that she was not coming out of the crate until she was calm.

Now, if I was home first before my wife was, then there wouldn't be any issues. She's excited, but in a calm way. When my wife comes home, she's got our 2 kids with her from school. That really gets her going. The rest of the pack just got home! When I see my wife coming toward the door, I immediately command Sasha to move to another area, in our case, the dining room. She now knows that we are waiting for them to come through, and my wife and kids can enter the house without being knocked over. When they are ready, we call her over to say hello.

I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for your input! I appreciate it!
 

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When I got my girl at home she was over excited the first days, what It worked for me was to not pay attention to the whining, if she get over the limit and start to scratch the crate I get close to the crate and talk to her hard, not yelling just marking the behavior, if she still over the limit I hit couple of times the top of the crate (softly, jut to call her attention not to scare her) while I talk with firm voice telling her about her bad behavior.
After a few days she was under control, I can get inside, turn on the computers, and change my clothes before let her out and she just wait patiently.

hope this helps.
 

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Since her highest level of excitement seems to be when the last of the family members gets home (she evidently is VERY happy when all of her family is there!) then you might try the crate this way.

The first person home gets settled and then lets her out to go potty. She's brought back in and maybe does a few obedience behaviors (sit, down, whatever) for a few treats. Then she goes back in her crate with a special treat - a chewie, a kong filled with peanut butter and bits of biscuit, maybe even frozen, a knucklebone, etc. - something that will last a while. And when the last person comes in, they may acknowledge her quietly but they can leave her in the crate while she continues to chew on her bone/chewie for a bit longer. Then when everyone's settled, she comes out and joins the quiet group.

She will probably still be excited, but since the excitement of people coming in and taking off coats, putting down keys, etc. is all over it may help her control her excitement. She WOULD be in the crate a bit longer, but since it's with a special treat it's not like a punishment in any way.

And when she's out of the crate and being calm, praising for that is a great thing to do. Keep your voice low and calm and quiet, and say things like "what a gooood girl you are .. I really like it when you're quiet". If she chooses to lay down quietly at your feet, calmly drop a treat between her feet and continue to watch TV, even if she gets up. Rewarding the quiet times will help her understand what you want.

She will probably settle more as she matures, too. At 16 months old she's still very puppyish, even if she looks mature. Most of the shepherds I've been around don't truly find their mature brains until they're three or so. My 19 month old is still very much an excitable brat but she's trying hard. She has figured out that if I turn away from her, she has to sit and hold still in order to get me to turn back. It's kind of funny .. I look at her and she's almost quivering, she's trying so hard to stay in a sit when every bit of her wants to be leaping around joyfully. I appreciate her effort!

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 
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