Time for Calm

Tucker is hyper at two times 1. when he thinks or knows he’s going some where, 2. when he comes out of his crate. The crate issue has been going on since he was a puppy and we’ve not been able to break him of it. The excitement when leaving has developed over the last year as we’ve taken him to more dog shows and classes.  We’ve made very little progress in the past in breaking Tucker of his excitement, especially when coming out of his crate.  We were told to try putting him back inside the crate when he was hyper but that had limited success. We also had limited success with grounding him after he came out of the crate. We have also done crate games with Tucker.  He has to sit and wait to be released from his crate, which he does, but he still comes out just as excited as ever.

I read some time ago that a dog could be broken of forging forward by stopping and standing still until the dog comes back to you. I decided to try this technique with Tucker’s excitement. When he comes out of his running around and jumping on everything I just stand in one place without moving.  Once he calms down enough to realize he isn’t going anywhere without me, Tucker runs past me a few times thinking he can get me to move . When he sees that I’m not moving he slowly starts calming down.  Sometimes he comes to me and sits beside me or behind me.  Sometimes he just starts still for a few minutes and at that point I’m still to take one step because all I really want is for him to calm down.  At first that one step was enough to set him off again and I’ve have to go through the whole process all over again with every step all the way from one side of the house to the other.  Now he seems to be realizing what I want and calming down a bit faster.  I’ve only been doing this for about a week and it certainly hasn’t stopped the hyper behavior, but he is catching on to what I want very quickly, so I’m hoping the need for this exercise will eventually be eliminated as he sees that he gets what he wants by being calm.

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