How to tain a really sweet dog but a dog that has a lot of energy ?

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How to tain a really sweet dog but a dog that has a lot of energy ?

This is a discussion on How to tain a really sweet dog but a dog that has a lot of energy ? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello guys, (not a former english speaker here, I'll try my best!) I work at an animal shelter. And Im currently caring for Bobba, a ...

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Old 06-05-2019, 05:18 AM
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How to tain a really sweet dog but a dog that has a lot of energy ?

Hello guys,

(not a former english speaker here, I'll try my best!)

I work at an animal shelter. And Im currently caring for Bobba, a young American Staff (1,5 yo).
He's there because he doesnt get along with other dogs at all. So he's staying in a cage (relatively large with an exterior part, as big as a sleeping room) all day. Every day at 4pm I take him for a walk.

As the title says, he's really sweet and kind, but he has a lot of energy. So everytime I'm in his cage, he has one thing in the head : going for a walk. So he juste jumps everywhere, cries, etc etc. And no way to stop him.
So while I'm on the cage, I'm not really confident, and I can't trust him because of this, I feel like he's
unpredictable and that he could bite me anytime.

This is my first question : What can I do to calm him in his cage? What sort of training could I do? (while walking or on a garden) He scares me a little bit, but he scares the visitors too, so nobody want to adopt him.. Even if he's a really sweet dog that has never done anything to a human.


While we walk, I'm kinda stressed because I'm scared of walking past other dogs. Bobba doesnt seem to love dogs at all, so everytime we walk past a dog (from the shelter) he just runs to the other dog pulling as much as he can. He's young but already have a lot of muscles, so its hard for me to handle him. SO when he sees an other dog, he pulls, bark, cries etc.
What can I do as a training for him to listen to me and stay close to me?


I know my questions are a bit vague, but I really want to be confident about him and him to be adopted !


Thanks a lot for your answers !
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:38 AM
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The walk is the highlight of his day, so when he sees you that is his cue that he is about to get his walk. Naturally all his pent up energy is now let free and he can't contain it any longer. Poor guy is in solitary confinement all day too, so that just adds to it. Is there a way to get him walked more frequently?

Also, I am not sure if he really is not liking other dogs, looks to me he is just wanting to play if he pulls and cries. Dogs often are more reactive to other dogs while they are confined and held back, and turn into happy playful friends when allowed free access to each other.
Some dogs are fear reactive and you can actually re-condition them with treats and positive things like praise and pets.
Sometimes dogs truly are aggressive so the first step is to find out which category he falls into and set up a plan to help him become a better mannered dog. This will be a lot of work, but it also will increase his chances to be adopted. Is there a way for your shelter to get a behaviorist in to see him? I fear that because of his breed, if your shelter does not address his issues and only locks him away, his future looks very dim!
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Old 06-05-2019, 07:06 AM
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Well, his previous owners left him here because "he wasnt getting along with the other dog", and I used the wrong word for the cries. Its more a piercing bark.
I guess we didnt test with an other dog other that while walking.

Well before me, nobody in the shelter ever walked him out. Maybe once a week at all.
So it's just since last week that he's going out with me almost every day. But with my day work I can't take him out more... Maybe should I walk with him and then go in the garden where he will be able to run and play as he wants for 10-20 minutes?


As for the behaviorist, this dog is really kind apart from this energy and behavious against dogs. Compared to other dogs here, he's the best. So behaviorist comes when there's a dangerous behavior by a dog. He never showed any signs of agressivity agaisnt us, you see he loves us. I guess it's just me not being confident enough yet with dogs I don't know (working there for 6 months now, first I cared about little doggos, now I'm going for bigger dogs with a little more difficulty, that's why I'm not really confident for now ! The 2 other "greater" dogs I cared for were absolutely good dogs so this is the first hard)

Last edited by bybyle; 06-05-2019 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:00 AM
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Lucky dog that you are caring for him. It’s hard when you have such a short time but a mixture of a walk where he will see other dogs at a distance and a less anxiety provoking run in an enclosed yard would be a good compromise. Take treats in your pocket so if you see another dog in the distance get his attention with a command like “ look” and a reward for not reacting to the dog, and when he’s more comfortable you can gradually allow him to get closer. And I’d also suggest some puzzles for the long days inside if he doesn’t already have them, like a snuggle mat or puzzle ball.


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Old 06-05-2019, 09:14 AM
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Yes, if you have the option to let him run free in the garden let him have that exercise before her walk. A good game of fetch to get his overflowing energy out will give you a much more pleasant walk. And he might actually react much less to other dogs.
Treats in your pocket will keep him more focused on you, especially if he receives a nibble now and then throughout the walk.

Just because he did not get along with the other dog in his previous home does not mean he can't get along with any of the other dogs. Quite possibly his needs for exercise were not met within the family and he became too much of a nuisance to the other dog, who then tried to put him in his place.

High energy dogs, like this one, are not for everyone! He will need a home where the people are quite active themselves and who are willing to put a lot of time in his training! Let's face it, most people don't have the energy and time after a 8-10 hour work day! Families have after-school activities with their children, and then there is homework and making supper....

The medium/large dog my children grew up with shrieked at the beginning of her walks too. She pulled and shrieked from all the excitement, it was embarrassing. She just had so much energy. We brought her to a field where she could run to her heart's content.
Today I would know to play fetch with her in our back yard before attempting to put her on the leash. Today I would know to start the walk only if she sits calmly. Today I would know to get the leash out throughout the day without actually putting it on, just to get her desensitized to that cue. Today I would know to properly leash train her with treats and walking into the other direction as soon as she pulled...

From what I can tell there is a lot of potential in that dog in your shelter! In time you should loose the fear that he might bite you, the more positive experiences you share the better it will get. This is important because he can sense your fear. He needs a confident care-giver who trusts him and whom he can trust! He is lucky that you are willing to try!
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:10 AM
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I didnt read your answers before now, so I couldnt do what you guys said yesterday.

First thanks for your answers.

So we went for a walk yesterday too. He was a bit more excited than days before, I guess because there was an other dog before us, I had to wait so we couldnt see the other dog before continuing.

I took some treats for the walk, and tried to perform some sit/stay exercices with some investigation exercices like hiding a treat in the grass and let him look for it. It worked quite well but I didnt have enough time and treats to perform this longer.

When we're coming back to the shelter I try to tell him everytime he focus on something else that the road that he has to stay focus, so maybe he wouldnt mind seeing an other dog from far away. (He stops quiet frequently to eat grass, so for that too I try to keep him at my feet as much as possible)


I didn't try the garden yet, other people told me he didn't like it, but I'm planning on trying to put him in the garden saturday before our walk just to see if I can work with him. From the garden there's a direct view on the other dogs's exterior cage, so maybe he'll be hella excited. I'll keep you guys in touch !


Thanks for the help !
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:54 AM
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Little update : A family came to see him yesterday. Tehy've put an option on him, they're interested but the women wanted to see him several days so she could be sure.

They have a kid, and we did a meet up with them and the dog : he was sooooo good, like he knew it was maybe his new family. He even kissed the little baby. I guess the work paid !

They come back today, I should be able to see them again ! Let's hope they go with him at the end of the day !
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:11 AM
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Great news, and good that they are taking care with their decision. Hopefully you can share what you’ve been working on.


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Old 06-18-2019, 07:12 AM
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Yeah I had the chance do talk with them and to tell them everything I wanted them to know !
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:43 AM
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Aaaaand he's gone ! The family came back yesterday. They waited for me but missed my train so I was late and they were already gone. But the dog's found his forever home ! I'll miss him, but now he'll be happier than ever !
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