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Aliki2017

Over-excited pup

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It's hard to believe that Cricket is coming up on five months old! He's turning out to be, as my husband likes to say, "a good little pup". I'd say about 95% of the time we can correct his over-exuberant interest in the cats with a sharp "ah-ah" or "eyes on me" command, his mouthiness is decreasing, and he's calming down considerably. He will now have periods where he actually lies on his bed in the kitchen while I cook, or while I work at the kitchen table and we are SO happy to see that. He was a perpetual motion machine for so many weeks (we brought him home when he was 8 weeks old) that I despaired about whether he would ever learn to calmly flop around like our old dog did.

 

One current issue we have: our closest friends have a three-year old male dog who is roughly the same size as Cricket. They love to play with each other, but Cricket just won't quit when it comes to playing. He constantly engages the other dog, pulls on his ears, leaps onto him and, as of our last visit (they were over at our house), will mount the dog! He makes himself a complete pest. The other dog won't separate himself from Cricket, and while he will growl at Cricket, his tail is still wagging while he does it. We put Cricket in his crate for about an hour and a half so we could have a peaceful dinner on the porch, but then when we let him out he was right back at the behaviors. We love to hang out with our friends, and we'd love for Cricket and their dog to also be friends who will play AND chill out together. Is there anything we should be doing, other than crate time? Will Cricket eventually calm down in this dog's presence? He has been socialized with other dogs in terms of being exposed to them, and on walks he behaves pretty well, all things considered, when he encounters another dog.

 

Also, we correct him for mounting, but obviously this is embarrassing behavior and we don't want it to become a habit. It seems connected to his heightened excitement level when this dog is over, or when people he doesn't see often visit. He tried it on my father-in-law last weekend when he was visiting. Very awkward. :) My FIL just sat there and looked amusedly on while he did it, which was frustrating, but understandable, I guess. I told Cricket "ah-ah" and put the leash on Cricket straight away and took him out of the room.

 

Do we just keep correcting and hopefully this behavior will disappear as he matures?

 

Thanks! Oh, and here's a recent photo of our little guy:

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8XMeMYzWMjxbHdpOC0td0pDMzg/view?usp=sharing

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Call him out of play when he gets over excited. If he doesn't respond, remove him - put him on leash or in a portable crate for a time out. He'll quickly figure out that if he goes too far fun stops.

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You could even set a timer for just a little bit less than the time it takes him to go over the top, and remove him juuuust as he's getting fired up. It might take him less time to calm down if he's not as excited.

 

Good luck, and yes, with all you've been doing it will get better.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

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Agree with all the above - more time outs. :) He's a puppy and some just take longer than others to calm down, so teaching him calm and encouraging quiet behavior on his own will help. I also like the idea of watching the time so you can put him up before he gets too totally wound up. Best of luck! I have two 4 month old pups right now, so I get where you're at! ;)

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Thanks for all the great feedback! We will definitely need to build in more "time outs" - or "safe space" times for him to calm down. We've never had such a high energy, excitable pup before, so it's challenging sometimes to figure out what to do!

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