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Working with Excitability

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Searching for some specific techniques and advice if others have this issue. I have a 10.5 m/o female whos been fantastic. She has a high level of obedience in her, works well around distractions, and a decent arsenal of tricks. High arousal etc to me seems in line with what I see in high energy breeds and her age, and she's exceptionally calm, cool, collected around the house. 

Specifically, she gets far too excited when running into human 'friends'. She too handsy with new people, but we're working on it, its reasonable. If its someone we know, and we run into them on the street, she's zooming around on the leash near instantly. I'm open to if I caused this, but other than not practicing this much, I'm a calm handler, we have guests over, etc.

The past 2 months its been on an escalation trajectory vs subsiding, hence me inquiring. She went into her first heat about 10 days ago, and the excited response has increased 2 fold. A neighbor was on a smoke break on her second day of heat and we ran into her, she went berserk running in circles and jumping/ spinning for about 45 seconds. I just tend to ignore and not reward with attention or my repeated commands, but shes becoming harder to handle in that state. Also, best of my knowledge, she's not over threshold (which happened to her early on, and she outgrew). I think for heat, I'm not dwelling too much on these bursts cause everything is so hormonally weird right now.

We do impulse control work a lot, as well as doing obedience training mixed with high arousal stuff, so looking for what I could be doing more of or better? As I type this, it kinda does feel like a general adolescent timeline thing. Did others see this leading up to and during first heat? Willing to just be patient, but unsure if it needs intervention. 

And to totally brag :lol:, she can recall from dogs now, she'll heel past other dogs, fine with bikes and busses, and city life, which is why this one specific thing I really want to figure out.

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If it were my dog I would just figure that more work is needed. She's basically still a child. And, her first heat is a new thing for her and may very well be exacerbating her behavior. but in general, I find that it takes somewhere around two years to get a dog to where I really want him or her to be and be reliable in that.

 The first year is just learning everything, the second is fine tuning.  Continuing impulse control work is key.

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Check out Clean Run's courses - Tracy Sklenar (who is GREAT!) is doing a live zoom course on Sept. 11th.  I believe the "premium" (i.e., working) spots are taken, but there's another level (no video, no critique) for $99.  I am unable to view it that day, but it will be there later.  It's agility-oriented, but all about focus and self-control.



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My dog is definitely even more excited around people when she is in heat, not the entire time: it mostly coincides with when she is ready to mate. 

It‘s still a work in progress with my dog :P for my dog ignoring hasn’t really helped, she needs to know what to do. So I would ask her to sit next to me and maybe repeat it once “no, sit” and after that just put her in a sit. Any eye contact with me I reward.
But this can be really difficult if the other person doesn’t ignore the dog.

Another idea is to look at how you trained recall away from dogs and heeling past other dogs and see if there are elements you can use on people too. And perhaps ask some friends to be somewhere to run into. 
I found it a lot easier to train my dogs to ignore other dogs because I could always find a dog to ignore on walks, but bumping into familiar people doesn’t happen that often :)

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Is it heat? Or being a teenager? Or???  Or a combination thereof?

If it were my dog, I would try to get her attention back to me - to sit or some other trick then reward. If that didn't work, I would remove the dog from the situation so she doesn't continue to practice her bad behavior. Go away to a distance where she has calmed and is focusing on you, and ask for some behaviors which you can reward.

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