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JamieLD

SO EXCITED

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Our rescue border collie is 8 months old and still gets so excited when she sees me (or her dog sitter) to the point where she jumps and barks and can’t be settled down. I was reading to ignore her (turn around and don’t interact ) until she calms down. But it’s so hard to do, and I’m always excited to see her also! Any advice on how to calm am excited pup??? 

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Jumping on people and barking are training issues. It is up to you to train her to behave when you come home. Getting all excited yourself is only making this worse, as you probably know. You need to stay calm, and train your dog not to jump or bark. You can easily do a search on these forums to find good advice on how to train that.

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We once had a Bouvier who behaved this way, even when one of us simply went into the garage to take the trash out.  You come in the door, she got excited and jumped!  This is not fun when the dog weighs 85 pounds.  She had been clicker trained, so we started clicking and treating for "four on the floor."  We practiced in the house at first, then we would click as we opened the door when her feet were still on the floor.  She stayed there for the treat, and then we were in already so there was no need to jump.  It didn't take long for her to figure it out and the behavior stopped.  Good luck.

 

Kathy Robbins

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A long time ago I read some excellent advice for helping your dog to react more calmly when you or someone else comes in.

Both when you leave and when you enter, simply ignore the dog. Don't say goodbye and don't acknowledge the dog when you come in. Make both exits and entrances as ho hum and nonchalant as just any time you move to go into another room or pick something up that has nothing to do with the dog.

Chances are that you've inadvertently both created and reinforced the excitement. Too often people make a fuss over their dogs when they're getting ready to leave, getting the dogs worked up when they really should be settling down to wait. Then when they get home they feel so sorry for the dog who's been waiting for them -- or just so excited to see the dog when they get home -- that they come in all squeaky and excited and working the dog into a frenzy. Before they know it they've created this excited parting and greeting rituals that the dog take to an extreme far beyond what the person ever intended.

The source where I first encountered this advice suggested watching dogs (and wolves) themselves to see how they act when one or more leave a pack. The lead wolves who go off to hunt or walk their boundaries don't say goodbye to the others or announce their intention to leave, they simply get up and walk away. Same with groups of feral dogs. There might be some display of greeting from subordinate (i.e. younger) wolves when the parents return with some mouth licking and such, but the parents usually just ignore them (unless it's young pups who need to be fed and the licking triggers them to regurgitate food for them), but it's short lived and if it's just a matter of the parents returning from a scouting trip it's over before you know it.

So years (and many dogs) ago I started just walking out the front door the same way I would if I were just walking into the kitchen or bathroom. I don't say a word. The dogs may lift their heads to see if I'm going to pick up a leash to take them along, but if I don't they just lie back down. Same thing when I come home. I walk in and I walk right past them to do whatever it is I'll be doing in the house. Sometimes they barely even acknowledge I've come home and unless I've been gone for a couple days (with someone coming to take care of them) rarely do they even get up to greet me. There's nothing in it for them. No expectations of a greeting from me until I've taken off my coat and shoes and am ready to interact with them on my terms.

They do get excited and swarm around someone else who comes into the house, because almost invariably they're expecting to get some attention from that person. If I can convince the person to just walk past and ignore them, things settle down much more quickly than if they don't give them any reinforcement (i.e. attention) for the crazy greetings. I admit I still struggle with their greeting other people at the door, but I blame it on their not listening to me and stirring things up. So I'll often crate the dogs before I answer the door and let them settle down before they're permitted to interact with guests.

So, yes. It's very much a training issue. But training is very much about expectations and understanding what subtle expectations we set up with our dogs when we're not even thinking about it. It's important to remember the little things too. ;)

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