Advice needed on hyperactive dog


New Member
Hi all, My 8 to 10 month old saluki cross Jock is still displaying some manic behaviour
I have owned him for about 4 weeks and no nothing of his breeding or previous life
His recall is about 90% there responding even mid flight to whistle and treats, the only time he wont recall is when he has something in his mouth and does not want to give it up.
Easy to get on lead as when feeding treats for recall, I fuss him and hold his collar on every recall
Clean in the house now after a few accidents
Still jumping 4 foot walls on comand (but just occasionaly due to his age and development) (not teaching him to jump wire till 100% under control and stockbroken)
Starting to respond to "Leave It" with people and other animals, just wont leave what he has in his mouth
Got him walking on loose lead most of the time
So you can see he is still coming along very well

The only problem left is when he is released off lead he just runs flat out all of the time and is an accident waiting to happen, just cant get him to calm down. (I know all pups need to play but this is constant with no let up) and I am lost to try and teach him how to retrive when he is in this state?

He is now getting two x half hour periods of free running a day (including recalls and leave it) as well as some lead work on top of that, dont want to give him more as his joints are still not developed fully. (large knuckles)
This still takes place in an enclosed 5 acre silage feild that I have the use of, so at least it is a relatively safe enviroment.
Food wise he is now on 1lb of raw beef mince and some mixer a day (as well as mixer used for training treats)
He still stands at 24" to the shoulder and now weighs 20.5Kg (put on 3 Kg mainly muscle)and is now very well muscled and in very good overall condition.
Anybody have any ideas on if I am still missing something, or what to do to reduce if not eliminate the manic behaviour or how to use it as part of the training. if I could get the retrive sorted I would be happy as I could keep him on the lead, slip him when needed and know he would come back, instead of just running about (parading) with his trophy.


Experienced Member
It really sounds like you are doing a great job with everything!!! A good recall, loose leash walking, leave it...

But I'm a little confused. you said he has a great recall as long as he doesn't have something in his mouth, but you don't have complete control over his manic behavior? I take that to mean as he is so intense that he can't listen to you at all and won't come back. To me, if your dog is coming back (as long as he doesn't have something) then he is using his front brain and isn't completely over threshold.

Obviously you know that you are going to have to teach a drop it inside the house first, and then you can shape a recall slowly. It didn't seem like your question was on HOW to teach that, but if I'm wrong I can post about that and there are also some other treads on those subjects.

But for the manic behavior, well as long as you have some control I wouldn't worry. You have a young dog who is in great shape and just LOVES to run. I own a 13mo toller who I would consider a very intense hyper dog. His menace is the tennis ball. I have worked very very hard on trying to get Vito to think at all when the ball comes out. He will bring it back every time (obsessively retrieves), but his brain isn't focused on anything else. At the worst moments (usually those involving the ball+body of water) he trembles constantly and shrieks. So I've done a lot of work on slowly getting him think, all done below threshold. I've done leave its with the ball, premack principle to earn the throw of the ball, asking for very simple tricks (he can now do a handful of "Tricks" with the ball out, but most things his brain can't yet handle the switch from play mode to thinking mode), etc. Basically I'm trying to get Vito to do anything at all for me when the ball is out. I know this isn't quite relevant to you, but if your dog does go into that intense non thinking hindbrain mode, you need to break it down and try to work under threshold, whatever that may be.

And of course as much calming stuff, and going from 10 to 3 stuff as possible inside. I play tug and encourage Vito to be nuts, and now I can quickly stop playing and Vito has to be calm before I start up again. Lots of impulse control stuff such as leave it, voluntarily waiting in an open crate, choosing eye contact to earn toys/foods/squirrel chasing, etc. Rewarding calm behavior at any time.
Vito may be nuts, but most people don't know it when we're out in public or class since he has learned that by being calm or at least the apperance of it, he gets rewards. I only reward with food for calm since any toy will not serve the purpose that I want. I do a lot of my training with toys, but not when I'm working on being calm and in control of himself.

Does that help at all? Or were you asking on how to train a drop it or retrieve?


New Member
Thanks flicka for the reply,
Jocks recall is good (whistle and treats) he comes back at full speed and I will only give him the treat when he is calm and takes it gently, Ignoring him till he complies (so I am dictating his behaviour). The way I try to work is a reward system where the dog has to do something for me before I will do something for it.EG getting him to sit and wait before I put his food down.
Apart from the constant running (doing everything at full speed) the other part of the problem is that when he has something in his mouth, it seems that it has a higher priority to him than following my commands. when he has got bored and dropped whatever he has had in his mouth the control returns imediately. Idealy I would like him to retrive, but until I can work with this problem I cant use my usual sit, stay methods as he would go and pick the object up, but then would run off with it (not far) and ignore commands and I do not want to do this incase ignoring commands becomes learnt behaviour, and with him doing everything at full speed it would be dangerous to use a long line to remind him who is in control.
I hope this has made it clearer what my problems are.
Thanks again


Well-Known Member
It sounds like you are doing great with Jock; Well Done!

Is it only things you give him that he runs with, or does he find things in the field? If it is only things you give him I would not give him control of the object yet. So, I'd use e.g. a longish tug, so he can play, but you dont need to let go.

Also, I'd try his object on a long line (to stop him being able to zoom off with it). When he picks up the object call him to you excitedly, use a toy too if needed, and reel in the long line as he brings the object closer. Try it very close to you at first (to make it less exciting) and gradually increase the distance. Try to swap the object for something of higher value, or play with him with the object when he gets to you.

If it is things he finds in the field you need to find something of higher value to him that he can return to you and swop it for. For my BC it was a squeaky toy. Initially I used the squeak to get her attention, but now I can call her and occassionally she gets her squeaky toy as a reward for returning quickly.


Honored Member
Stripe, You do sound like you are doing well with the dog training!! Kudos! Salukis were born to run...i love the breed, too, but, couldn't get one, as we live where there is traffic not too far away, = not a good place for any Saluki!!

One concern i have i you say he jumps 4 foot tall fences...I think he is too young to be putting that much stress on his hips and joints as they are still developing. I think a pup should be two years old? til they can do really tall jumps, but, i'm not 100% certain....
Do ask your vet how high your pup should be jumping at this young age?


Staff member
I second Tigerlily's concerns with the jumps. Too high, too fast. If you need to teach him jumping teach him to jump safely at small heights(6-10in) first with proper landing and launch(It may seem small but you'll thank yourself later). But right now he is still a puppy as much as he probably doesn't look like it.

As for him not coming back with a forbidden object have you heard of the Bad Dog Retrieve? It is located here:
I taught this to one of my boxers and now she always brings stuff back that she "steals" if I accidentally leave it out.

And for the full speed running. Maybe teach him this as a command? Such as when you release the collar from the leash say "Go crazy!", "Go run!" or something to this nature. After a while I bet you can get him to slow down when he release him with a "calm" command as in Fickla's impulse control.


New Member
Thanks for the replies
Dont worry I just got him to clear the wall a couple of times (soft ground on both sides) so that he would have this under his belt for later, I understand the dangers and stupidity of stressing a growing young dog. and have seen people ruin good dogs by doing this (people who should know better).
Thanks for the link on retriving it will be very useful.
As for the manic behaviour I was advised that the beef mince could be to high in protein for the amount of work he is doing (just training and exercise) so have swapped it to feed only whole raw chicken wings and the occasional raw rabbit carcus and after 3 days the manic behaviour has reduced if not disapeared.
Thanks again for the good advice, I will keep you all informed on his progress