extreme squealing/crying when excited

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extreme squealing/crying when excited

This is a discussion on extreme squealing/crying when excited within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello, this is the first time I have ever posted on a forum, but I have been dealing with this for a few years now ...

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Old 04-22-2011, 10:36 PM
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extreme squealing/crying when excited

Hello, this is the first time I have ever posted on a forum, but I have been dealing with this for a few years now and tried a few things without success.

I have a 5 year old shepherd/lab/husky girl (she is very tiny though - only about 1.5 feet tall, and 30-35 pounds)... I've had her since she was 2.5 months old, and had her spayed at 6 months.

Inside the house, she is the perfect dog. She is quiet, calm, obedient. When left at home she does not bark or do anything destructive. She is the love of my life!

However, when it is time to take her for a walk, everything changes. She becomes so incredibly excited she runs around, jumps up, and most of all - Makes A LOT of noise!! She squeals and cries so loud, and will not stop. It sounds as if she is being hurt. She will not listen to any commands in this state. It is not just the initial getting out of the house either - for the first 5-10 minutes of every walk she will continue to squeal. People constantly stare or ask me what is wrong with her. I am already trying to deal with her annoying squeals, I hate trying to explain her "excitement" to strangers. After about 5-10 minutes, she will begin to settle down and the cries will turn into smaller whines. But if we have to stop for any moment, say to cross a street, she will immediately begin jumping at me and squealing in full force again, ignoring any commands.

I have tried using treats as a reward for refraining from crying, but it has not worked. I have tried not letting her go for a walk UNTIL she calms down and becomes quiet, but it will not happen. Ignoring her does not stop it either. I also have another dog as well, and have began walking them seperately to try and work on her behaviour by herself, but it has not helped. I would just love to take a stress free walk with both of my dogs at once!

Lastly, I will mention, I live in an apartment complex, so I take the dogs out several times a day to go to the bathroom. When we are just leaving the building to take them to their usual area, she remains much calmer, only making minimal peeps. As soon as she is aware that we are going for a WALK, not just out to the bathroom, the terrible, high pitched, uncontrollable squealing/crying begins.

The first year or two or her life she was not AS bad, but it has become such an issue with her these past three years. Is there any hope to change this behaviour after so many years?

Last edited by ofthewoods; 04-22-2011 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:15 AM
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It sounds like she's either scared or excited, and the behavior can get worse over time. Excited = she only gets outside once a day, so over the years she has gotten to the point where she can't control herself, and walks are just like ZOMG-THE-BEST-PART-OF-THE-DAY-ZOOMIES. Scared = she must go outside daily, and outside it just so scary, so over the years that fear builds up because she is constantly exposed to her fear without enough reward to overcome the fear.

She's most likely not scared/excited to go potty because the front of your complex is well known to her. I'd suggest "walking" in the area she knows, with treats, and work on her being calm in the area you know she's ok with. Our http://www.dogforum.com/dog-training...-walking-1683/ thread (the third method) has some really good suggestions on how to make walks fun (lots of treats for walking well, basically). Once she seems confident in that area (no whining), add a bit - go an extra 20 steps (or less or more, depending on her level of excitement), and do the same thing. You basically don't want to go too far too fast. The goal is that she always stays calm.

Walking for awhile will probably be really boring for you, but calm and a positive thing for her.

Last edited by seebrown; 04-23-2011 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:07 AM
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We had a husky that did the same thing and it was pure excitement. I would read the sticky seebrown posted because that will help alot and I would also try to get her more exercise and mental stimulation. Try food puzzles and hiding treats and having her find them, plus adding more walks to her schedule once you have the whining under control.
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Old 04-23-2011, 03:27 AM
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Thank you both for the advice. I will definitely work on transitioning her from her home area to public domain like you suggested seebrown. Usually I do kinda just try to get away from my apartment complex fairly quickly so my neighbours aren't looking out their balconies at the crazy lady and her banshee dog haha... my husband and I often joke she is part Shiba Inu due to her small stature and loud scream. A lot of huskies seem to have that squeal too.

Any advice on some D.I.Y. food puzzles? I read somewhere about filling a kong with food and placing it in a box? Is that a good start? She has a hollow bone that I put treats in which I could use.

Thanks again, I am excited to try some new things with my Freya girl!
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:20 AM
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Great discussion. The only thing I might add is the thought that you may unknowingly be re-enforcing her squealing. It may be that her squealing causes you to hurry to get her out on her walk. If that is the case, then she is for sure going to learn to squeal more and more as it gets the response she would most prefer, which is to go faster! And I think she is doing the same thing when you stop the walk to cross the street or what ever... "hurry up!!! Let's go!" she says, and if you do go forward in response, then she sees that it pays off to do this.

Our Tessa also gets VERY excited when she knows we are going for a walk. She expresses her excitement with a lot of jumping around and a little vocalization. I have to be very careful to stay extremely calm, and move slowly, so as not to encourage her to get too crazy. So I know where you are coming from! I've even consciously forced myself to sit down and wait for her to calm down, before putting on the next boot, and so forth. If you can think of it as "the more excited she gets, the slower I move..." that in time will help re-program her reactions somewhat. She'll likely always be a very excited dog when walk time comes around, but you can temper this or make it worse, depending on your consistent response.

You can also do self control exercises with her. For example ask her to sit before giving her a bowl of food, or before going out the door. You stay very calm and teach her not to go forward until you give a release word.

Have you seen kikopup's channel? You might get some good training ideas here on how to teach self control and calmness.

YouTube - kikopup's Channel

Last edited by Tess; 04-23-2011 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ofthewoods View Post
Any advice on some D.I.Y. food puzzles? I read somewhere about filling a kong with food and placing it in a box? Is that a good start? She has a hollow bone that I put treats in which I could use.

Thanks again, I am excited to try some new things with my Freya girl!
I use a an old soda bottle and cut a couple little holes in it and then put some treats in. My girl loves it and chases it all over the house flipping it around to get the treats out. They also have kongs that have a little hole in them that the dogs have to do the same thing with to get the food out. The idea of the kong in the box and the hollow bone are good too.
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Old 04-23-2011, 02:25 PM
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I would say condition for calm.

Go walk to were you keep the leash and walk away. Repeat until she is bored with this behavior. Then move on to touching the leash and walking away with out a walk. Then picking up the leash. Then moving towards her with the leash and putting it back. Reward for calm at all steps. Move on to touching her with the leash, again not actually putting it on, then to clipping it on and then back off. then on and walking to the door and back off. Continue in these small steps until she is calm at ALL points not moving on until calm has been achieved.

Its will be a lot of steps and a lot of work. But I could help a lot.
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