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Correcting the Pogo

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I could use some help with my six-month-old, Kaylee. We've had her for two months, and she's coming along pretty well. Both DH and I work from home, so we interact with her a lot. She's biddable most of the time. We're still working on a Down Stay that will last through a whole meal without ending in the crate, but it's getting longer. Fresh turkey has helped that a lot! The biggest issue we have, however, is with hysterical greeting.


Here's a description. Good friend Morgan comes to the door. Kaylee knows and loves Morgan. I have to have Kaylee leashed or held by the collar to keep her from wiggling and jumping all over Morgan. I restrain her and get her to Sit: it takes a couple of minutes for her to stop wiggling and whining and calm. Then Morgan gives her quiet, gentle attention. Kaylee will try to lunge at her a few times, then will settle down and busy herself with the nearest ball or bone. Strangers in the house will receive much the same treatment, but the hysteria is worse for those she knows. One friend has named her 'Projectile Dog', which is certainly embarrassing. I do crate her if she ignores me after working through the initial greeting period.


She has learned on walks that she doesn't have to greet every person she sees: this is progress. I still have to step on the leash to keep her from jumping on those that do want to acknowlege her. I ask people to wait until she Sits before they pet, but I still have to hold her until she calms. She has outgrown the submissive peeing, except with new dogs, and outdoors.


We have worked for two months using the command 'Off!' to get her to not jump on people, on us or up to look at counters. She knows what it means, but is smart enough to know that she can get one jump in before she has to obey. The challenge is to get her before the first jump. I do encourage visitors to fold their arms and turn their backs until she behaves, but most of them will yell 'Down', jump back and wave their arms, to good effect, thinks Miss K: what fun!


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Lately I've noticed that the leash restraint itself seems to make the hysteria worse, especially with greeting other dogs, either known playmates or at the dog park before she's unleashed. I've also seen two instances of the leashed hysteria beginning to sound aggressive, if the other dog is an unknown bitch.


Six months. And adolescence is coming on! It's going to be a long winter, sigh.



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First-don't panic. The leash pressure on her neck is causing her neck muscles to tighten, which strengthes them. When they get strengthened, she doesn't "feel" the pull.


The key is prevention. Do set ups. Have Morgan or other people she loves come over. If you see she's about to jump, have them back away quickly out of her space and avoid eye contact. Have them turn their backs on her. When she calms down a bit, try entering her space a bit more. If she lunges, then back away immediately and avoid eye contact. When she gets the picture and sits until you pet her, pet her gently. If you have to back away mid pet because she gets up, or starts barking, do it by all means!


Four ways for the victim to avoid being jumped on:


When jumped on, sweep legs from beneath dog...they will lose balance

Before being jumped on, take the leash and tug down, mid-jump

Bump your knee in her chest lightly

Turn away all together so she misses


I'm losing my focus, so I'll have to add more later, LOL!

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Another set up you could try is have Morgan and others willing to help, come to your door, knock and when you answer and let her in, if Kaylee jumps or what ever, the friend turns and goes back out the door. Bummer, me jumping just made my friend leave. Wait a minute, try again. If she jumps, friend quickly leaves. You may have to do it a bunch of times, but it really worked for us. When she gets better, the turning your back may be enough to remind her of what you want (calm greeting). Really try to impress on your friends that saying anything to her is just reinforcing her jumping, just turn away. Make sure that your greeting of her when you come home is calm and not a big party. If she is crazed when you come home, just ignore her for the first few minutes or so (hard, I know, but helpful) Once she learns to greet you calmly, then the happy loving can happen.

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