Overexcited dogs most likely lack stimulation or are just plain bored, and there are different ways of correcting this. First off, ask yourself what role you play in your dog’s behaviour? Dogs will sense their owners energy and reflect back. If you are full of energy, stressed, worried, sad, nervous or anxious you will see a changed behaviour in your dog. If you come home and the first thing you do is get your dog excited over the fact that you are home by greeting and cuddling them, they will learn that overexcitement is acceptable because they are being rewarded for it. Ignore them for just a few minutes until they settle down, then give all the love and affection you want. A dog doesn’t understand hello and good bye the same way humans do. They understand attention and no attention. Attention while presenting bad behaviour=reinforcement of that very behaviour. Also make sure that when you intentionally get your dog excited – follow through! Don’t wind them up and then call it quits when you’ve had enough. Follow through with the “play-time” until it is out of your dog’s system. Hyperactivity in dogs can come from psychological needs as easily as it can from physical needs. Take them out for a walk or give them a task to preform. Giving your dog a mission can change their state of mind completely. You will notice a sense of pride when you put a little backpack with your water bottle for your dog to carry. The hyperactive behaviour will redirect from being unfocused or easily disrtacted into getting this job done! Remember that even though you take your dog out for a walk to get rid of built-up energy it’s not an excuse to pull or walk uncontrolled. They will still get tired by walking nicely next to you.
This is from today’s session with Fiona at German Shepherd Rescue Cyprus – GSDRC
She is a highly trainable GSD looking for a home.
Kennel life can be boring and once outside she was all over the place but we quickly turned her excitement into focusing on simple everyday commands. She did such a good job today and we really hope she finds a good home soon.
1) Trains your dog to pull and take charge
Training dogs is easy, and many dog owners don’t realize they train their dogs into bad behavior when using a retractable lead. If a dog never learned how to walk properly using a regular lead, using a retractable is not the best idea. Think about it, your dog pulls away from you, what happens? The lead extends! Would you not drive your car faster if there were no speed limits on the motorway? Dogs look to you to lead them, but if you keep letting them lead you on walks you’re not only training them to pull the lead but you are allowing them to dictate the speed and the entire walk, and we cannot accept that.
2) Bulky handles
It’s easy to lose your grip when holding the bulky and awkward handles on retractable leads. If your dog runs to the end of the cord and you are not prepared then you can count on a runaway dog. Your average leash always has a loop handle which will make it easier for you because you can put your entire hand through it and still have the use of your grip for something else, like a poo bag (always pick up after your dog!)
3) Harder to protect your dog from a distance
Any situation can quickly turn into i nightmare if your dog is far away from you. A retractable lead allows dogs too much distance between you and them, as well as freedom to pull uncontrolled. Imagine they are walking a few meters ahead of you on the side walk. You will have no time to reel them in or stop them from running into the middle of the street if they see something on the other side. With your dog too far away from you, there is next to no chance for you to prevent them from making uninvited contact with other dogs or people, or even control the situation if another uncontrolled dog approaches. Other dogs might see it as an alarming sign and view it as a hostile approach when meeting your dog. Remember that having your dog close to you using a shorter leash will allow you to regain control and helps you protect them better.
4) You can get tangled or pulled off your feet
You can get cuts, burns, broken bones and bruises when you, in a failed attempt, try reeling in your dog grabbing the cord or get tangled and pulled off your feet when your dog runs out of line and keeps running. This is easily avoided if you use a regular lead when taking your dog out for a walk. Don’t worry about them not getting enough exercise because they can’t run “free”. If you make your dog walk nicely next to you they will get equally if not more tired out from the walk because they have to focus on you more.
5) Dogs can get neck injuries
Dogs often run until the lead stops, and what most owners usually don’t realize is the impact this uncontrolled and hard yank has on a dog’s neck. It can cause injuries to the throat, neck and spine if your dog manages to get a lot of speed before running out of line on the lead.
6) Sound may scare your dog
If your dog is anxious or is easily frightened it’s a bad idea to introduce them to a retractable lead. The sound it makes sometimes when trying to stop the line can scare them as well as the thump of it dropping to the ground (thanks to the bulky handles). They might run off trying to escape that scary thing on the other side of the lead only to realize it’s chasing them and coming closer with each step. This might not harm your dog physically but think of the consequences it may bring for your next walk. You’d want to avid training your dog to associate walks with fear.
7) Malfunction over time
Anything with many functions have tendencies to stop working over time, especially retractable devices. There are many ways they can break- the thin cord might snap or break if you have a powerful dog or they run off at full speed. The stopper could malfunktion in a way that the lead unspools easily or it might not even retract properly. Don’t risk walking your dog with a lead that might break at any time. Save yourself the trouble and get a proper lead for your dog.
Only for training recall!
If you like to let your dog off leash from time to time but they seem to get selective hearing while off, it might be a good idea to train some recall with them.The only time we would recommend using a retractable lead is when training your dog to learn recall. You can use it as a training tool and over time your dog will learn to come when called