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Jeckel/Hyde?


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Our foster Hesti is a very sweet girl that just loves everybody and everything. She is "essentially" potty trained (I never say a dog IS potty trained until he/she hasn't had an accident in over a month) and is starting to walk very nicely on lead and sit whenever we stop. The one issue is: she has a sort of "Manic" state that will come over her at seemingly random times. It usually manifests as either totally flipping out on lead or going full metal zoot while wrestling with Cerb. The latter turns her from a fun play partner to an intimidating berzerker that will have Cerb cowering at the back door. This is weird because Cerb is a bigger, stronger dog and at all other play times he will be "Top Dog" and she will defer to him. Kind of a Jeckel/Hyde sort of thing. Weird.

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Could she be getting over stimulated by something?

 

I know with Riley that sometimes he goes 'over the edge' and becomes a little bit of an ass towards other dogs. I have to take him away and calm him. He just can't control his excitement sometimes for whatever reason and it's like his brain has a melt down. Too much full body contact play and other dogs alarm barking set him off. I can tell if he's going to have a melt down by the size of his pupils. This is the first time I've ever actually seen this happen, but when he's full into melt down, you can't see his irises anymore. So normally, I try to keep an eye on his eyes and remove him from the situation when he's getting too wound up so that he can come back down.

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Could she be getting over stimulated by something?

 

I know with Riley that sometimes he goes 'over the edge' and becomes a little bit of an ass towards other dogs. I have to take him away and calm him. He just can't control his excitement sometimes for whatever reason and it's like his brain has a melt down. Too much full body contact play and other dogs alarm barking set him off. I can tell if he's going to have a melt down by the size of his pupils. This is the first time I've ever actually seen this happen, but when he's full into melt down, you can't see his irises anymore. So normally, I try to keep an eye on his eyes and remove him from the situation when he's getting too wound up so that he can come back down.

 

I think you may have nailed it. On lead it may be because it's a good day for bunnies and quail (we have a TON...where are the coyotes when you need 'em?) and it is usually during a long play session..and weirdly during the evening. I'll check her pupils but I'll bet you're completely correct there. I'll try to calm her when that happens.

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Stop the rampage when you notice the subtle signs of increased arousal - sharper barks, more vigourous body slams, stiffer posture, more insistence on being 'top dog'. Give them both a time out of a couple minutes, let them get a drink of water if they want, then do something with each of them in turn. Have the dog who is not being actively worked with in a down/stay, tethered or crated if necessary. Switch dogs.

 

This does a couple things. It helps Hesti learn some self control, it reassures Cerbe that you won't let anything awful happen to him, and it re-focuses both dogs on you.

 

And, for what it's worth, what I've experienced and what I've heard from very experienced dog folk is that most males will let most females take a more 'in charge' attitude with very little protest. Hesti may be getting more comfortable and wanting Cerbe to accede to all her wishes. Just a thought.

 

Ruth

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My girl has very similar episodes. It used to happen late at night, between 9-10pm. We called that the witching hour. We started crating her before it started and giving her time to chill out for a bit. She would wrestle with Jackson and suddenly get really intense or if we were playing she would do these zoomies and grab any anything to mouth/nip. We just calmly stopped her and gave her a time out. She just had some major impulse control issues and we had to step in and redirect her while giving her time to cool down. She's about 3ish now and they are calming down and I've seen her try to self calm when she starts getting worked up.

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My girl has very similar episodes. It used to happen late at night, between 9-10pm. We called that the witching hour. We started crating her before it started and giving her time to chill out for a bit. She would wrestle with Jackson and suddenly get really intense or if we were playing she would do these zoomies and grab any anything to mouth/nip. We just calmly stopped her and gave her a time out. She just had some major impulse control issues and we had to step in and redirect her while giving her time to cool down. She's about 3ish now and they are calming down and I've seen her try to self calm when she starts getting worked up.

 

Cerb used to get the zoomies at night, too....until he met Mr. Chuckit. Now we use a spatula to pry his tongue off the bamboo floor before bed.

 

I think it is a self control issue with Hesti. We'll need to step in and redirect when it happens. I think we may need to also find a more energetic exercise outlet. Right now the best we can do is a brisk 2 mile walk at sunset. Not nearly enough. Time to rig up a way to have her run beside the bike.

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What about thinking toys? They can take off some of the 'edge'. I use the Kong Wobbler and the Tricky Treat Ball for feeding times every once in a while and I also have the Tornado. They love it. Plastic pop bottles filled with kibble give them something to think about too. Both of my dogs really enjoy figuring things out.

 

http://www.kongcompany.com/kongwobblervideo.html

 

http://www.omegapaw.com/tricky-treat-ball-products.html

 

http://www.premier.com/View.aspx?page=dogs...avior/busybuddy

 

http://www.nina-ottosson.com/Dog-2.htm

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