Dog Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Pablo - Liver Dalmatian
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our dog is making our lives a misery, to be honest. We love him and he is part of the family but I sometimes dread coming home from work because I know I will have to deal with the dog when I get home...

He is an absolute mental case. He is totally wired constantly and it affects his behaviour. He can be perfectly fine one minute and the next he is jumping up all over you and mouthing on your arm. This is a particular issue as he is a 40kg Dalmatian and is also very tall, he can easily put his paws on your shoulders when he jumps up.

Eating anything around him is totally impossible. He will jump on us, bark in our face and mouth us whenever we have any sort of food. We've tried putting him in his crate when we eat, but he goes absolutely berserk, even moving his crate around the room from all the thrashing around. We've tried giving him toys and treats while we eat but he is totally uninterested in them, all he wants is what we have.

That brings me onto his crate... He has been crated since we got him at 12 weeks old, (he's now 1) but he still goes crazy when we put him in there sometimes. I should note, he sleeps in his crate every night and has no problems with this. He never makes a peep from his crate at night, he just goes to sleep. However in the daytime is another story. We thought he'd get used to it by now but he absolutely hates it. It can take up to 2 hours for him to settle down.

I've worked with 2 trainers but we haven't seen much in results.

I don't know what to do any more.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,571 Posts
He is totally wired constantly and it affects his behaviour
First question, what are you feeding him? Some dog foods have additives that cause dogs to behave like toddlers on a diet of blue Smarties.

Second question, how much exercise and mental stimulation does he get in the day? What does a typical day look like?

Eating anything around him is totally impossible. He will jump on us, bark in our face and mouth us whenever we have any sort of food
The crating him sounds like it is adding to his frustration but there are several other things you can do about this.

One is to train a calm Settle on your Mat (details how in a moment). Now, this will take a bit of commitment, and I don't suggest you do this at a mealtime to begin with, because he is clearly over-aroused. You start with baby steps - teach the settle, then work on keeping the settle while someone eats a biscuit, then build up through eating a sandwich and so on until he can stay in a settle while you have a proper meal. Until then, use management to let you eat. How you do that depends on your household set up. The easiest way (although least convenient) would be have someone take him for a walk while the rest of the family eats, then someone else takes him to another room and engages him in training while the first person eats. If you don't want to do that, you could use baby gates or a closed door, but that will be more frustrating for him. But do what you need to do.

I would also really recommend impulse control training.

Settle -


Impulse control -


About the crate. How much time does he spend in it? It's great that he sleeps in it at night, but if he is protesting so much in daytime, you are risking it becoming a bad place at night too. When you say he doesn't settle, how do you know - is this while you are out and watching on camera (in which case it might not be a crate problem, but rather a separation anxiety problem) or is it while you are actually there (in which case it might be fear of missing out - if that's the case, does he need to be in it)?

I'd also like to know more about the trainers. What did they suggest, did you manage to implement their suggestions, why do you think they haven't worked?

I want to finish for now by saying he is at a difficult age, and that won't be helping. But come back with some answers to the questions above send we will try to help more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
I second what Joanne says. My first thought is that dalmations are very active dogs. I suspect he is not getting enough exercise, and he also needs some concentrated training. The training is also a part of exercise, as mental stimulation is just as important for high energy dogs as physical exercise is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
No dog should be caged most of the day and all night too. They should not be caged animals.
Dogs are social creatures, they love to learn and need quality company with good daily exercise.
If you give your chap more freedom and company you will probably find his over excited behavior will settle.
Also as Joanne has mentioned, his diet could also be affecting his over excited behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,004 Posts
Our dog is making our lives a misery, to be honest. We love him and he is part of the family but I sometimes dread coming home from work because I know I will have to deal with the dog when I get home...

He is an absolute mental case. He is totally wired constantly and it affects his behaviour. He can be perfectly fine one minute and the next he is jumping up all over you and mouthing on your arm. This is a particular issue as he is a 40kg Dalmatian and is also very tall, he can easily put his paws on your shoulders when he jumps up.

Eating anything around him is totally impossible. He will jump on us, bark in our face and mouth us whenever we have any sort of food. We've tried putting him in his crate when we eat, but he goes absolutely berserk, even moving his crate around the room from all the thrashing around. We've tried giving him toys and treats while we eat but he is totally uninterested in them, all he wants is what we have.

That brings me onto his crate... He has been crated since we got him at 12 weeks old, (he's now 1) but he still goes crazy when we put him in there sometimes. I should note, he sleeps in his crate every night and has no problems with this. He never makes a peep from his crate at night, he just goes to sleep. However in the daytime is another story. We thought he'd get used to it by now but he absolutely hates it. It can take up to 2 hours for him to settle down.

I've worked with 2 trainers but we haven't seen much in results.

I don't know what to do any more.
I'm not going to repeat what the others are saying but what I'm reading here sounds to me like a combination of:

  • the dog's age
  • lack of setting boundaries for behaviour and/or possible inability to apply effective and consistent training
  • dog being amped up by being "cramped up".
  • and finally, when you get home you say you're anxious. Dogs have a MASSIVE radar for that kind of thing so your own demeanour and body lanague will affect his behaviour. If you're on edge, he's on edge. It's that simple. (what is NOT simple is getting out of that cycle).
 

·
Registered
Pablo - Liver Dalmatian
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No dog should be caged most of the day and all night too. They should not be caged animals.
Dogs are social creatures, they love to learn and need quality company with good daily exercise.
If you give your chap more freedom and company you will probably find his over excited behavior will settle.
Also as Joanne has mentioned, his diet could also be affecting his over excited behavior.
Sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear in my post, but he is in no way caged all day and all night. He sleeps in his crate at night time but that's about it. The only time he is crated during the day is if we need to keep him separated for some reason, and is never more than 10 minutes or so. Otherwise, he has full freedom of the living room and dining room.
 

·
Registered
Pablo - Liver Dalmatian
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
First question, what are you feeding him? Some dog foods have additives that cause dogs to behave like toddlers on a diet of blue Smarties.
He is fed on Southcliffe Raw Mince and we add our own vegetables, kelp powder, salmon oil and the occasional egg.
Second question, how much exercise and mental stimulation does he get in the day? What does a typical day look like?
He does get a fair bit of exercise, probably 2 1/2 hours per day over 2 or 3 walks, sometimes more. He does spend some time alone most days but never more than a couple of hours.
About the crate. How much time does he spend in it? It's great that he sleeps in it at night, but if he is protesting so much in daytime, you are risking it becoming a bad place at night too. When you say he doesn't settle, how do you know - is this while you are out and watching on camera (in which case it might not be a crate problem, but rather a separation anxiety problem) or is it while you are actually there (in which case it might be fear of missing out - if that's the case, does he need to be in it)?
He doesn't spend time alone in the day in his crate at all. If we are out during the day he has full roaming privileges of the living and dining room. He settles fine alone when not in the crate - we have a doggy cam which we use to check on him and if left alone he will curl up on the sofa and go to sleep. When I say he won't settle in his crate, I mean when we are at home. Since writing this original post we have tried to stop putting him in his crate at all - however sometimes he gets so wound up and mental we don't have any other option - this is usually when we are trying to eat dinner. He goes absolutely mental and will constantly bark at us, jump all over us, try to steal our food and bite us on the arms (We are sat at the dining table at this point, not on the sofa).
I'd also like to know more about the trainers. What did they suggest, did you manage to implement their suggestions, why do you think they haven't worked?
The first trainer we tried was in my opinion, very poor and held outdated views. His method essentially consisted of shouting at him when he did something wrong, clapping our hands and spraying him with a water bottle. All we found was that he would totally ignore any shouting or clapping, and actually become aggressive if spraying him with water. We did not have many sessions with this chap.
The second trainer is much better, using techniques designed more about rewarding good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. And, to be fair we have seen some progress since training with this lady. Our problems start however, when he becomes so wound up/excited that you can't control him at all. For instance, again, when we are eating. Or, when we have a visitor. He gets so uncontrollably excited that nothing will distract him, and I mean nothing. Treats, toys, nothing. This is where it was suggested to us that we put him in his crate for a few minutes, not as a punishment, but as an opportunity to calm himself down to a level that he is more controllable. However, as I stated before - this doesn't work.

I must add, its been a while since I posted this originally, and we have seen progress since. He has calmed down a bit, and we have learned to manage his behavior a bit better. At times though, he can still work himself into that uncontrollable frenzy.

Sorry for the long post! :ROFLMAO:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,571 Posts
when he becomes so wound up/excited that you can't control him at all
as an opportunity to calm himself down to a level that he is more controllable. However, as I stated before - this doesn't work.
I think timing is important here. If you let him get worked up, then try to calm him, you have left it too late. It's a little bit like trying to apply the brakes after the car has gone over the cliff edge.

Can you settle him somewhere before visitors arrive or you eat, with something like a Kong with a frozen filling that takes him a bit of time to lick out, or with a safe but long lasting chew toy? And are you working on the impulse control as above?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
I second Joanne's advice above. there isn't anyone who can work effectively with a dog who is already over threshold. No one, human or dog, can learn a new thing when they are overly excited, because they cannot think clearly.

I would make this problem one of not only retraining but also of management while you are retraining. Prevent the behavior you don't want by settling him in another room ahead of time. Don't allow him around you when you are eating; put him in a different room. And apply this to any situation where he goes over the top. That's the management part. It will give you the space in which to use the retraining.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,138 Posts
Can you settle him somewhere before visitors arrive or you eat, with something like a Kong with a frozen filling that takes him a bit of time to lick out, or with a safe but long lasting chew toy?
^^This. We give our pup a stuffed Kong when we eat dinner, if he's done before us, he's satisfied because he lies down and waits until we're done when he gets a treat for waiting and a few tricks to keep it fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Our dog is making our lives a misery, to be honest. We love him and he is part of the family but I sometimes dread coming home from work because I know I will have to deal with the dog when I get home...

He is an absolute mental case. He is totally wired constantly and it affects his behaviour. He can be perfectly fine one minute and the next he is jumping up all over you and mouthing on your arm. This is a particular issue as he is a 40kg Dalmatian and is also very tall, he can easily put his paws on your shoulders when he jumps up.

Eating anything around him is totally impossible. He will jump on us, bark in our face and mouth us whenever we have any sort of food. We've tried putting him in his crate when we eat, but he goes absolutely berserk, even moving his crate around the room from all the thrashing around. We've tried giving him toys and treats while we eat but he is totally uninterested in them, all he wants is what we have.

That brings me onto his crate... He has been crated since we got him at 12 weeks old, (he's now 1) but he still goes crazy when we put him in there sometimes. I should note, he sleeps in his crate every night and has no problems with this. He never makes a peep from his crate at night, he just goes to sleep. However in the daytime is another story. We thought he'd get used to it by now but he absolutely hates it. It can take up to 2 hours for him to settle down.

I've worked with 2 trainers but we haven't seen much in results.

I don't know what to do any more.
my grandparents have a dog named lucy who is the exact same. She is an Australian shepard and has sooo much energy. It is the same situation and I just posted a thread asking about Ideas. We're on the same train, dude. :oops::)
 

·
Registered
Pablo - Liver Dalmatian
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Prevent the behavior you don't want by settling him in another room ahead of time. Don't allow him around you when you are eating; put him in a different room. And apply this to any situation where he goes over the top. That's the management part. It will give you the space in which to use the retraining.
Unfortunately, our house isn't very big and the downstairs is open plan so putting him into another room isn't really an option - That's why we've been attempting to use the crate as his own little separate 'chill out zone'. Unfortunately it seems to have the opposite effect :ROFLMAO:

Just to make this clear as I fear I may have not been entirely clear originally - He generally settles well whether in his crate or not, if we are not there. If we were to put him in his crate (when already in a calm state) and leave the house he would settle pretty quickly (We know this thanks to cameras). Although, we don't do this any more anyway, if we go out he has free roam of the downstairs. However, If we put him in his crate, even if he's already in a calm state, he will go crazy if he can still see us. For example, if we were to go and sit on the sofa.

Like I say, this is a particular issue as he can see us most of the time due to the layout and size of the house.
 

·
Registered
Pablo - Liver Dalmatian
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Can you settle him somewhere before visitors arrive or you eat, with something like a Kong with a frozen filling that takes him a bit of time to lick out, or with a safe but long lasting chew toy?
The problem we face is the sheer escalation of excitement. In general day to day life he has become much calmer thanks to some training advice and I think just because he's getting a little bit older. The problem is, he could be absolutely calm and settled, say, on the sofa with a lick mat or Kong whilst we sit and watch TV - So he's already nicely settled. We can then go and sit at the table to eat and he will instantly become a raving lunatic. He would no longer be interested in his treat, dinner, etc. Only what we have.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,571 Posts
It sounds like FOMO then - fear of missing out.

Not something I can offer much about but no doubt others will jump in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,138 Posts
The problem we face is the sheer escalation of excitement. In general day to day life he has become much calmer thanks to some training advice and I think just because he's getting a little bit older. The problem is, he could be absolutely calm and settled, say, on the sofa with a lick mat or Kong whilst we sit and watch TV - So he's already nicely settled. We can then go and sit at the table to eat and he will instantly become a raving lunatic. He would no longer be interested in his treat, dinner, etc. Only what we have.
Is there a room you can give him his Kong in? Or barricade? That could be his "chill out room/area?". I agree, I would keep him out the kitchen when you are eating and give him his Kong. Maybe once he sees he is not able to be in the kitchen, he will return to his Kong?

I have a FOMO dog too, he gets a Kong when we are eating and a treat once we are done. I'm just thinking to break the habit of going berserk when you are eating and to replace it with good behaviour such as eating his Kong. Once he is in the habit of using his Kong when your eat, perhaps you could try a mat to lie on in the kitchen?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,512 Posts
Unfortunately, our house isn't very big and the downstairs is open plan so putting him into another room isn't really an option - That's why we've been attempting to use the crate as his own little separate 'chill out zone'. Unfortunately it seems to have the opposite effect :ROFLMAO:

Just to make this clear as I fear I may have not been entirely clear originally - He generally settles well whether in his crate or not, if we are not there. If we were to put him in his crate (when already in a calm state) and leave the house he would settle pretty quickly (We know this thanks to cameras). Although, we don't do this any more anyway, if we go out he has free roam of the downstairs. However, If we put him in his crate, even if he's already in a calm state, he will go crazy if he can still see us. For example, if we were to go and sit on the sofa.

Like I say, this is a particular issue as he can see us most of the time due to the layout and size of the house.
I understand having a small space, and this makes things more challenging. but you have a room somewhere that you can close the door. Put him there while you eat. And before people come.

the thing is, from what you are describing this dog goes from zero to maniac in 1/10th of a second, when certain stimuli are present. The fact also is that you cannot work with a dog when the dog is over threshold. So, you will have to find some way to prevent his over-the-top behavior while you are eating. Can you put him outside in a fenced yard? You'll have to find something. If there's nothing you can dream up except to use the crate, then you will need to use the crate, but I'd really advise trying to find something else instead.

What I would try (and understand I haven't done this myself so this would simply be the first thing I would try if I had your situation) is to work with the dog in a similar way that people work with separation anxiety. Have the dog be very, very calm as you are describing, then let one person go and sit at the table, while the other person keeps the dog occupied on the couch. After only 30 seconds the person at the table comes back. If the dog gets frantic before 30 seconds, back the time down to where it doesn't make the dog lose his calm, even if that is only 3 seconds.

Do this many times a day for a couple of weeks. Switch off who gets up and goes to the table. Very gradually increase the amount of time that one person sits at the table pretending to, or actually, eating something. The other person keeps the dog occupied with treats being calm on the couch.

If you can get the dog comfortable and calm when one person is at the table for, say, 5 minutes, then give the dog something - stuffed king maybe - and both go to the table and sit down, but only for 3 seconds, then come back. If the dog has stayed on the couch, lots of praise. If the dog doesn't, then back up again to having only one person at the table, and do that for another week or so.

While you are doing this, you will have to put the dog elsewhere while you are eating because every time he has the opportunity to go nutso while you are eating will work to undo all your training. Put him in an upstairs room and close the door. Or, put him in the crate when he is calm, give him a kong or whatever he likes, and make sure he cannot see you while he is in the crate and you are eating. Whatever you have to do to make sure he doesn't see you at the table, do it.

Try this and let us know how it goes.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top