Author Topic: Over Excited 18month Old Cocker  (Read 390 times)

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Offline Trigger

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Over Excited 18month Old Cocker
« on: April 27, 2021, 10:37:05 AM »
Hi All,

I am after some advice regarding my (almost) 18month old male working cocker spaniel, Trigger. Incase it maters he is not intact having the procedure roughly 3months ago.

The issue is Trigger becomes really over excited when in new situations, walks with people that are not just me or people come to the house and this last for literally hours. I have tried distracting with toys, treats, playing games with him and long walks in ahead of new situations but this doesn't work. He will bark, jump up and generally act over excited.

My current thoughts are to basically take him to as many new situations as possible with new people, other dogs etc and just "power through". However, thought it best to check first.

Any advice would e much appreciated.

Thanks

Offline Suzisooz

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Re: Over Excited 18month Old Cocker
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2021, 11:51:37 AM »
I found a great resource yesterday if nobody comes along, on FB called: Dog Training Advice and Support. Its a group with guides and behaviourists.  They seen to advocate rewarding calm, less interaction with other dogs until behaviour has been taught at distance using click treat or open bar closed bar. Think the guide is: Frustrated Greeter.

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Over Excited 18month Old Cocker
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2021, 01:20:09 PM »
I would agree that rewarding calm and ignoring the excited behaviour is certainly a good start. The problem with trying to distract with toys is that he‘s  learning  that that behaviour is getting your attention  and he‘s infact being rewarded with a game. Try not to interact at with him at all, I know its hard but even talking to him and asking him to calm down (or sit or whatever) is giving him the attention he‘s trying to get. As soon as he‘s quiet, then you can praise and give him a treat but try and do it as calmly as you can.
Introducing him to as many situations as possible certainly helps as long as you take it slowly and make sure  he doesn‘t get over stressed, - my dog doesn‘t get to walk in towns very often and consequently got very worked up everytime we went anywhere fairly busy. I started taking him to town a couple of times a week, just for a few minutes at first and then built it up, I‘d sit with him outside the entrance to the supermarket and praise him when he sat quietly, let him sit at the crossing while the traffic goes past. It might even be worth trying to practise before he has a long walk rather than afterwards, sometimes being over tired can increase the problem. I know a lot of training videos and books advocate letting the dogs race around and unwind before training but I‘ve actually found the opposite to work better for us, - first the training and then the walk or play is the reward..
My dog certainly calmed down somewhat with age (he‘s now 5) but  cockers do naturally tend to be excitable dogs, they‘re ruled by their noses and every new situation brings new smells and new stimulations and that‘s when they start to get a bit overwhelmed.
Try and get everyone else on board too - ask friends and family to ignore him until he‘s quiet and hopefully  ;) :lol2:, it‘ll click with him that being quiet brings more rewards!
Hope that helps a bit!
Oh, and another thought - instead of distracting with games and treats, try getting him to sit or lie down or walk through your legs or around you- anything that gets him to concentrate on you or something which you‘ve asked him to do will take his mind off everything else, in other words, try and keep his mind occupied,..... :luv:

Offline Trigger

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Re: Over Excited 18month Old Cocker
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2021, 09:17:12 AM »
Thank you both, much appreciated and definitely things I can start doing straight away. 

Offline caro

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Re: Over Excited 18month Old Cocker
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2021, 10:55:47 AM »
I found a great resource yesterday if nobody comes along, on FB called: Dog Training Advice and Support. Its a group with guides and behaviourists.  They seen to advocate rewarding calm, less interaction with other dogs until behaviour has been taught at distance using click treat or open bar closed bar. Think the guide is: Frustrated Greeter.

I have used this facebook group quite a bit and so much of it is good, but some of the things they say make me feel like a massive failure - such as you shouldn't need to rely on recall because your dog should be more interested in you than anything else.  I can only think that they don't have spaniels!!  I would definitely recommend taking a look but try and establish what works for you, and if their advice doesn't work that doesn't mean something else won't, and it doesn't mean you have failed.

I often read stuff online and think I am doing it all wrong then read something else and it completely contradicts.  This forum is so good because it is all things cocker!  I read back posts from years and years ago and it all still relates.  I have been on here (on and off) since I got my first spaniel in 2005 and I would recommend it to anyone.  People on here have different opinions too of course but I feel it is a bit more balanced.

Also, a lot of the training guides and videos on the internet make it look so simple.  It is only since Sam became one that things are starting to fall into place and he is learning so much better,  but he is still a mad spaniel and sometimes makes me look like I have no control - yet other times he is an  :angel:

I took him to a garden centre yesterday and my goodness he was pulling all over the place yet our lead walking is coming on well on our walks where we live. I forgot to take treats!! 

What I would do in your situation with visitors, is to provide him with a kong on his bed/crate.  It might not work for you but this is what I would do.  It is giving attention, but the licking might sooth and calm him a bit.

Bizzylizzy's advice about gentle short introductions to distracting places sounds like a good idea too. 
Caroline & Sam RIP Fern x RIP Charlie Cat x

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Over Excited 18month Old Cocker
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2021, 01:09:02 PM »

Also, a lot of the training guides and videos on the internet make it look so simple.  he is still a mad spaniel   

I‘ve scoured the internet for  videos on lots of aspects of dog training, they NEVER feature spaniels,  :lol2: - the only exceptions are a couple of clips by Top Barks‘ on his fb page.
Its easy to fall into the trap of feeling like a failure - I don‘t know how many times I‘ve walked away from a training class in tears, but I’ve learned  to adapt the methods to suit me and my  dog and stopped trying to  compare  my  dog with anyone else’s, the more laid back you become, the easier it is. Ignore the failures and celebrate every single little step forward and remember to  congratulate yourself and your dog!   :luv:

Offline ejp

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Re: Over Excited 18month Old Cocker
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2021, 08:17:35 PM »
I take comfort in the fact that a police dog unit had one of their working cockers go rouge when out on a job  :lol2:  If it can happen to them, then all is well in my world of Daisy doing what she likes (mostly!).  :005:

Offline JohnMcL

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Re: Over Excited 18month Old Cocker
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2021, 10:20:50 AM »
I take comfort in the fact that a police dog unit had one of their working cockers go rouge when out on a job  :lol2:  If it can happen to them, then all is well in my world of Daisy doing what she likes (mostly!).  :005:

Brilliant, thanks for the chuckle; I’ll remember that one!  :005: