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One of the things I love about Willow is her exuberance. Exuberance...such a great word, and the word I think of whenever we go for a walk.

SHE IS CRAZY. I've taken to nicknaming her "Psycho Dog".

I haven't done myself any favors in that our walks are very predictably timed: a short one in the morning and longer one when I get home from work. As soon as I go to change my clothes, the whining starts. Sometimes I'll throw her outside so I don't have to listen to it while I get ready. Other times I try to get her to shut up, to no avail. Anyway...then we put on the collar (whining), I put on my shoes (MORE whining), I put on my jacket (OMG WHINING AND NOW JUMPING AROUND). If I've thrown her in the backyard, as soon as I get outside she's jumping like a kangaroo. Seriously, like a kangaroo.

Whether leaving from the backyard or the house, I always put her in a sit and wait until she's COMPLETELY calm before we leave: no whining, no trembling, no sitting there with one foot lifted. Then I tell her "Good girl" and we leave. And yes, I try to put her in that sit while I'm getting ready too, but she can't seem to stay there, she's too jumpy/excited to sit still. So it's a constant game of putting her in a sit, putting on a shoe, putting her back in a sit, putting on a glove, putting her back in the sit, putting on my other shoe....

So...the jumping thing does kinda drive me crazy, especially because when we're in the house, she slips and slides around on the hardwood floor and doesn't seem to learn that that's not smart (and I'm afraid she'll hurt herself). The whining drives me UP THE WALL but she's a GSD, I guess that's just something I'm gonna have to live with (honestly had no idea GSDs were so classically whiny until I got her). But...the jumping thing is kinda cute and a huge part of her personality. And if helps use up some of her energy, great.

Should I be correcting this? She knows not to jump ON me--sometimes she can't seem to help herself and gives me a punch, and I strongly tell her "No!" or push her away. But yeah....anybody else's dogs do this? If I should correct it, how do I do that? I've thought about crating her until I'm ready to go, but I don't want to encourage whining in the crate.
 

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Well, I know I'm one of the more easygoing "pet parents" on the forum - but I enjoy my dog's pre-walk excitement!

His is not as jumpy and whiny though..he manifests by "huffing" impatiently at me and trotting back and forth between me and the door. I think the funniest thing he does is, he will get in front of me and stick his chest out and lift his chin, like "Put My Leash On Now!!!"

Anyway if he was acting over the top, I would just always ask for calm collected quiet behavior before the door opens. Maybe a Sit or a calm still Wait. Like, we are not stepping out the door until you are calm...

The skidding around on hardwood doesn't seem good (potential for tendon or joint injury if she slips too much?)...so maybe I'd put her out in yard first, then exit from the yard? The kangaroo jumping sounds amazing, I can see why you call her "psycho dog"!

( Again, I'm pretty easygoing... I was driving with another Mom somewhere, and our kids were singing loudly at the top of their lungs in the back. I thought it was amusing, but she was like, "I can't stand this!" And she was actually irritated and told her kids to pipe down. Different people have different expectations - I do get that! )
 

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Samson gets super excited every time one of us heads for the door.I have him sit/stay while I get bundled up.I move slowly and calmly and don't make eye contact.If he moves it's Eh Eh! and he sits back down.It's just like any other training - repetition and calm.Touching or talking will get him more excited so I've learned not to do either.
 

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Rio gets crazy excited when he knows he's going for a car ride. The yipping, crying, jumping around, spinning, barking nonstop once I let him out all the way to the truck... I try to sneak in the collars to my truck when I think I can. I rarely succeed and even the slightest, far away jingle sets them to suspicion. When I put on certain shoes they know they're going somewhere. Maybe they can just feel the energy.
 

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Zive exhibits the same behaviors as Willow but only with my husband. Especially on the weekends when he is home mid morning. She starts the minute he starts getting dressed. It annoys us both beyond words. The problem I have is he "taught" her this awful behavior and yet he gets frustrated by it even as he is amping her up more. He's an idiot some times. I haven't trained the husband well enough...lol!
However Ziva doesn't behave that way with me. She may get a bit excited just at the door. I called it her whine and hold hop. I don't tolerate the antics and getting my feet stomped on by an 80 lb dog hopping around in uncontrolled excitement and she knows it. If she gets too amped I put her in "place" or "sit" until she chills.
If she thinks we are going out to play or walk and we aren't all I have to do is tell her i'm going to the store, appointment or 'you aren't going" and she will go off to bed on her own.

But yeah...if you don't like it and she is over the top correct the behavior to what you want to see and you both will be happier.
 

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Self-Calming. Continue to work towards this in a young exuberant dog. They need to over-ride their natural desire
to go over the top. Thinking age and maturity will help here.
In my dog, whining is a step down from barking louder. She knows to tone it down so she whines instead.
Sometimes a shhhhhhh, w/ finger at mouth will suffice. The noise alone sometimes works.
Honestly a short leash walk for my dog (farm dog) is a joke for exercise. Her stamina is astounding. Stretch out the morning walk or make it a short run, more cardio. Pent up energy will make them crazy for exercise.
 

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Karma is a spaz like this too. Especially in the mornings or when i first get home and let her out of the crate. She goes 100mph towards the door to be outside, not to go potty, but to zoom around the backyard with the bullies (they get let out different doors). She will jump up and down, she hasn't started to whine yet when it comes to go outside or anything, just if i haven't let her out of her crate quick enough for her.

My main thing is Karma will jump and paw at my hands as i'm trying to undo the lock. Not sure if she is trying to help or not, but when she does it, i stop, put my hands to my side, and tell her to sit. Sometimes it takes a couple times of me telling her to sit, but i refuse to touch the handle until she is sitting. When she does, i open the door, and in a brown and black flash she is gone!!

Maybe do something similar? Maybe giving her exactly what she wants (letting her outside, or taking her for a walk) while she is doing these behaviors is what got her to do them? Almost like you rewarded these actions without knowing? As annoying as it may be, maybe try to make her calm down before you do anything (put on collar, attach leash, open the door)?
 

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I would have her expend some of that energy. These are dogs that were bred to trot around all day, if they are cooped up they go crazy. Get a frisbee or a ball and go out there in the back and throw it until she’s panting with her tongue out, then take her for a nice walk.
Also, remove the predictability. Sit down, put on a shoe, put on the other shoe, then take them off and go about your business, while ignoring her. Then she will learn that these actions do not necessarily mean she is going for a walk.

Some of this energy, they get from us. She gets like this, you get frustrated, she smells that, and it amps her up. Close your eyes and think of the beach, or something relaxing, take a deep breath. Don’t think for a second that they don’t feel stress and mirror it.
 

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I had to work on this. At each stage nothing happens until he is calm.This one takes patience.
In my case, the dog got excited when I would go to the closet where his leash. He is put in a down/stay before I go to the closet door. If he reacts to the closet door, it gets closed, he gets a "hush" command. only when he relaxes completely, do I try again.
-Same thing with putting the collar on.
-Same thing with the front door opening.
-Same thing with crossing the threshold.
-Same thing with leaving the driveway.

You have to be prepared to wait at each stage until the dog is in a calm state at each stage. At first this can take a while, but your dog will get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all. Yeah I make her calm down before we leave, but not necessarily before the other things. When I let her out she does zoom around the yard a few times (especially if there's snow....she loooooooves snow) and we won't walk until she's calm and sitting beside me. Even though our morning walk is short (20-25 minutes) I try to tire her out, either with fetch when we get home, or by letting her run off leash for a while (if it's safe).

Yeah maybe I'm encouraging this to some extent because I find it almost equal parts annoying and adorable, haha....but all good advice and thanks!! I"ll give this stuff a try.
 

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I would work on having your dog calm down before anything you do with her that amps her up. Dogs can't attend and learn when they are spazzing out. You will have to wait some things out for an extended time, but after a while, your dog will likely get it. I see the same thing with people training their dogs in the protection sports. They think the dog should be amped up all the time and the dog is not able to learn to control himself.
 

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Haha, I feel like sometimes I'm in the same boat! I find it so adorable and funny when my girl is happy excited, I know I'm failing at training her properly composed because honestly, I kind of like it! My girl gets to run around outside all day though, so she doesn't usually get to this level of over the top excitement just for a walk, but if I pull out the chuck-it her excitement goes way high. Good fun! :) I think the problem only exists if it creates a problem for you, or if you feel it's contributing to her anxiety or obsessive behaviors in a negative way, but in my situation the excited behaviors are usually self-limiting so I'm fine with it!
 

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This is an interesting question - I deal with this with my dogs when we start out on hikes or runs. And it's not an exercise question- they get tons of exercise daily.

I am/was a competitive runner and skier and before a race I get jittery and adrenalized and all excited to go. But I also am not hitting people, bouncing up and down or screaming at the top of my lungs. I channel that adrenaline and nervous energy toward the race.

I believe to some extent the same is true for our dogs? The are working bred dogs designed to love their jobs. A walk/hike is a "job" in the dog's mind, I believe. It's patrol duty.

So maybe the key is teaching the dog a proper outlet for that excitement rather than trying to put them in a down stay the entire duration of getting ready or changing the routine up in hopes of tricking them? I have concluded that some basic OB make all the difference.

A sit-stay at the gate but- this is key- once the door/gate is open the dog walks through calmly and sits-waits for the owner and then walks behind the owner until released. Three commands here- sit, stay, and behind.

This gives them a task to do - a place to direct their drives- until you have walked a few hundred feet, or a mile, or whatever, and can release the dog to fetch, sniff, do dog stuff, whatevs. Just having them sit until the door is open might actually build up more excitement. Make sense?

That's what I've seen actually works- and it takes practice at other times, you can't just practice during walks (but that is crucial), and probably leash work to start- depending on your goals and the dog.

A skilled trainer can actually train "calmness" in a dog- take her from 100 to 0, but that is going to be a challenge for a pet dog owner without a lot of experience.

I always correct, for example, jumping on me, biting at other dogs, jumping at the gate. None of those are OK, excited or not. I've found teaching the dog to hold something- a tennis ball, rag, piece of cardboard- helps give them something to do and can minimize vocalizations.

You can practice calmness in general, at non-walk times, too. And link it to a command. It may help... but remember you are dealing with the most exciting time of their lives with pre-walk jitters. Without a skilled trainer to assist (and those that can actually teach calmness are rare) it will be tough to make it stick. We see so much about building drive, I wish there was more about building calmness- because balance is key unless the dog is a kennel dog.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
 

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End of the day for me is these over the top excitement behaviors can end in a pushy dog that doesn't take no for an answer when they want what they want. Like I said in my previous post my dogs behaviors regarding this are totally different with my husband then with me. Why because he thought is was cute when she was young and encouraged it. I never thought it was cute. She is an absolutely different dog during the day on the weekends when hubby is home or when he is on vacation then with me when he isn't home. She is pushy, whinny and just a PITA. When hubby is at work or out of town she is calm and knows that I don't stand for that crap. The only time she gets pushy with me is when I can't do our normal. Like this past week as I have hurt my back and haven't been able to follow our normal routine. Yeah she is sad that we have missed our normal after dinner walks for 3 days and I get it. But she is dealing with it. It's temporary.
One thing I have can say from experience is for the most part is that this breed can easily fall into a routine and when the routine is disrupted they get pushy. Be firm...sometimes life happens and routines go out the window. And if at all possible keep the routine varied so it doesn't have a set pattern. My dog can tell time....not kidding...she knows 9:30 am Saturday and Sunday mornings is Daddy better be dressed and ready to take her out to play or the PITA comes out to annoy all in the house with whining, moaning and pawing. Same thing happens as soon as hubs comes home from work. If he doesn't feel like playing The PITA shows her butt until she gets her way ...because he inadvertently trained that behavior. I don't play that game for the most part. I do get doggy grief if we don't get our after dinner walk for whatever reason...bad weather, illness, stuff needs to get done but she is far less pushy with me than hubby because I don't let her get away with it.
So my advise is decide what you are willing to tolerate and put up with and train out behaviors you aren't willing to put up with. The whining and hopping around in over excitement may be cute now but after a year will it be so cute and adorable? Probably not. Don't get me wrong I like to see my dog excited but I expect a level of control and capping of that excitement in general.
 

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This is an interesting question - I deal with this with my dogs when we start out on hikes or runs. And it's not an exercise question- they get tons of exercise daily.

I am/was a competitive runner and skier and before a race I get jittery and adrenalized and all excited to go. But I also am not hitting people, bouncing up and down or screaming at the top of my lungs. I channel that adrenaline and nervous energy toward the race.

I believe to some extent the same is true for our dogs? The are working bred dogs designed to love their jobs. A walk/hike is a "job" in the dog's mind, I believe. It's patrol duty.

So maybe the key is teaching the dog a proper outlet for that excitement rather than trying to put them in a down stay the entire duration of getting ready or changing the routine up in hopes of tricking them? I have concluded that some basic OB make all the difference.

A sit-stay at the gate but- this is key- once the door/gate is open the dog walks through calmly and sits-waits for the owner and then walks behind the owner until released. Three commands here- sit, stay, and behind.

This gives them a task to do - a place to direct their drives- until you have walked a few hundred feet, or a mile, or whatever, and can release the dog to fetch, sniff, do dog stuff, whatevs. Just having them sit until the door is open might actually build up more excitement. Make sense?

That's what I've seen actually works- and it takes practice at other times, you can't just practice during walks (but that is crucial), and probably leash work to start- depending on your goals and the dog.

A skilled trainer can actually train "calmness" in a dog- take her from 100 to 0, but that is going to be a challenge for a pet dog owner without a lot of experience.

I always correct, for example, jumping on me, biting at other dogs, jumping at the gate. None of those are OK, excited or not. I've found teaching the dog to hold something- a tennis ball, rag, piece of cardboard- helps give them something to do and can minimize vocalizations.

You can practice calmness in general, at non-walk times, too. And link it to a command. It may help... but remember you are dealing with the most exciting time of their lives with pre-walk jitters. Without a skilled trainer to assist (and those that can actually teach calmness are rare) it will be tough to make it stick. We see so much about building drive, I wish there was more about building calmness- because balance is key unless the dog is a kennel dog.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
^^^I love this as it is so on point.
 

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One of the things I love about Willow is her exuberance. Exuberance...such a great word, and the word I think of whenever we go for a walk.

SHE IS CRAZY. I've taken to nicknaming her "Psycho Dog".

I haven't done myself any favors in that our walks are very predictably timed: a short one in the morning and longer one when I get home from work. As soon as I go to change my clothes, the whining starts. Sometimes I'll throw her outside so I don't have to listen to it while I get ready. Other times I try to get her to shut up, to no avail. Anyway...then we put on the collar (whining), I put on my shoes (MORE whining), I put on my jacket (OMG WHINING AND NOW JUMPING AROUND). If I've thrown her in the backyard, as soon as I get outside she's jumping like a kangaroo. Seriously, like a kangaroo.

Whether leaving from the backyard or the house, I always put her in a sit and wait until she's COMPLETELY calm before we leave: no whining, no trembling, no sitting there with one foot lifted. Then I tell her "Good girl" and we leave. And yes, I try to put her in that sit while I'm getting ready too, but she can't seem to stay there, she's too jumpy/excited to sit still. So it's a constant game of putting her in a sit, putting on a shoe, putting her back in a sit, putting on a glove, putting her back in the sit, putting on my other shoe....

So...the jumping thing does kinda drive me crazy, especially because when we're in the house, she slips and slides around on the hardwood floor and doesn't seem to learn that that's not smart (and I'm afraid she'll hurt herself). The whining drives me UP THE WALL but she's a GSD, I guess that's just something I'm gonna have to live with (honestly had no idea GSDs were so classically whiny until I got her). But...the jumping thing is kinda cute and a huge part of her personality. And if helps use up some of her energy, great.

Should I be correcting this? She knows not to jump ON me--sometimes she can't seem to help herself and gives me a punch, and I strongly tell her "No!" or push her away. But yeah....anybody else's dogs do this? If I should correct it, how do I do that? I've thought about crating her until I'm ready to go, but I don't want to encourage whining in the crate.
When Kias is going out he is crazy too, you know, jumping around in his crate and stuff. I just stand there and don't open the door or even put my hand on the latch until he is sitting quietly. I just don't like him being bonkers, but I guess it's just a preference.
 

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I allowed my gal-dog to prance and get excited about going outside but the last few months her cries of joy have been ear splitting. I call her to heel with me through the house. It is good practice for her and the pay off is being allowed to run in the yard. That is a better reward than treats or toys! Of course she also has to be quiet before I open the door. It is interesting to see her think it through and decide if she will or will not be quiet (hint: she eventually has to decide it is worth it or she gets to watch my big-boy go outside without her)
 

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Count me as one who enjoys the enthusiasm. When she knew she was getting a walk, our previous girl would prance about and "bugle", or at least that's what we called it. Kind of a cross between a happy dog noise and a lower pitched elk bugle. She really, really loved a walk. Sometimes if the weather was bad and we were tossing a ball in the house, she would stop in mid-retrieve and point with her nose to the leash basket, as if to say, "in case you forgot, it's over here!"

I'm not saying I wanted her out of control to the point of knocking over furniture, small children or infirm elderly persons, but it was never that way.
She just had an irrepressible joy at some things, like going for a walk, seeing my wife come home every day (my wife was the one who picked her up and drove her home from a rescue), or seeing a squirrel to chase in the backyard. Now that she's gone, I miss that unbridled joy.

With her life having run its course, I should also say, she had astonishing self control where it counted. She had complete run of our house, from age 1.5 to 9, and stayed there for hours while my wife and I were at work. She never did any destructive chewing. True, she was past teething when we got her, but she did not do "boredom chewing" at least not of furniture, clothes, shoes, etc.. She never hurt the cat, and was routinely left alone in the house with him.. On at least one occasion, I accidentally left the side gate open, then put her out in the backyard for 10-15 minutes. She did not leave the backyard. Dumb move by me not to check the gate, but it was not dumb luck that she stayed in. She knew the gate was open. My point being, the moments where she was prancing around, barking and bugling for happiness did not translate into a destructive, sulky or unbiddable dog. Had she been calm and unruffled over going on a walk, I'd have probably taken her to the vet.

Don't get me wrong, I understand there are degrees of acceptable enthusiasm. But for a lot of dogs, like the one I describe, they get left alone, or in a crate for good spells. They live for the time with their humans. I would expect a certain pent up enthusiasm, and I'd miss it if it weren't there.
 

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Just came across this thread. Aah, excitement in my GSD and GSD/ACD mix.

Not so much for walks, but when I walk through the door after work OMG MOMMY'S HOME!!!!!
they mostly control the jumps, kinda sorta. But they are vying for my attention. So I have the 100lb GSD and the 55lb +/- GSD/ACD swirling around my legs jockeying for position for the pets. Then the whining starts with whoever isn't getting the pets at that moment, and back and forth it goes.

Feeding time. OMG, the GSD acts like he hasn't eaten in a week. every... single... feeding! The routine is to go to kennel and down/stay. He mostly does this. though I swear he has a spring in his butt. The whining starts low, just a little whimper. Then as I start to add food to the dishes (3 dogs total, 3 dishes, all stainless, noisy) the whining gets a bit louder. Butt spring kicks in, I have to pause and stare at him till he lays back down and the whine returns to a whimper. He is beside himself when I start to stir pumpkin into the food, I pause and stare until he quiets back to a whimper. This goes on till I set dishes down. They are all trained to stay until release for feeding, so all 6 eyes are on me, but it is quiet now. They don't want to miss the release word. But you can see the energy just vibrating in the GSD, he is ready to bolt to the dish.
Release! GSD is like a missle, he has to be the first there. He gives a little yip if one of the others are in front of him (even though all have their own position and all go to that correct position)
60 seconds later, they are done.

It is a bizarre ritual we got going, drives the hubs nuts (the whining). I think it's kind of cute, I look at it as his talking to me. Something along the lines of "Is it ready yet? Is it now? MOM, MOM, is it ready? how bout now? is it now? MOM MOM WHERE IS IT? ok, mom is it ready now?"

It's adorable.
 

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lol, the feeding routine. Willow HAS to follow me into the sunroom when I go get her food (I keep the goods in the garage next to the sunroom), and she'll repeatedly run away when I tell her to but reappear moments later peering at me over the little pony wall. Just her eyes showing. I stare at her until she runs away again, but she'll keep circling back to peer at me, like making sure I'm actually getting the food.

Then when I finally open the door to the garage and start scooping it out, she races back into her crate and gives a couple really sharp whine-barks and is there, "waiting patiently", when I appear at her crate with her bowl of food.

EVERY. TIME.

It's kinda cute so I'm kinda allowing it.

And yeah, for the stuff other people have said.....I do enjoy the cuteness of her excitement and I don't want to suppress that completely. But the whining really does drive my batty and I worry about her hurting herself on my slippery floors. So...we're working on it. Now I put her in "place" as I'm getting ready for our walk, and she'll stay there (for the most part) and whine. I'm trying to get into the habit of just waiting her out for the whining, waiting for that moment that she relaxes before we go out.
 
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