Hyper Ball Of Fur!!

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by collie23, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. collie23 Well-Known Member

    We're having a slightly miner issue.
    Trixie is very calm most of the time but every so often without warning she gets very hyper.
    This can be within 30 secs. She's playing with a toy and then suddenly (and I mean suddenly) she's off, running round the room/garden/house using doors/walls to stop and turn. At first we thought this was just where she got a bit excited (as it was only really happening while we were playing with her enthusiastically) but it seems to be getting worse. It’s happening 2/3 times a day and is sometimes when she's calmly playing with a toy.
    Now we don't really mind this but she's starting to get nippy when she does this. Again usually very calm but mouths as any puppy would. But when she's hyper she snaps (so far not bitten anyone) so thinking this could be a warning...? not sure what for though
    Anyway my question is... is there any way we can prevent her from getting this hyper? We don’t want to stop playing with her actively as this is her main energy release until she’s had her second vaccination but thinking that if we can prevent it, we could save her hurting herself or someone else.
    MaryK likes this.

  2. MaryK Honored Member

    Oh I know just what that's like! The 'zoomies':D I had the same problem with Ra Kismet when he was a puppy. He would go on a 'zoomie' and also nipped like mad, which hurt!:eek:

    Sounds like Trixie is a little bit on the 'oral' side, especially when she's very excited. Quite normal but you do need to make sure she doesn't get out of hand (:oops: no pun intended) with the nipping.

    First, the chances of her hurting herself are VERY VERY slight, despite the fact that puppies will tear around like crazy, do not have very good perspective, they DO survive the 'zoomies' without injuring themselves. I personally only know of one dog who did injury herself, that's the exception, not the rule (and she was a lot older than Trixie). Yes it is sudden, very sudden, one moment playing quietly and next thing BAZOOOOOM off they go! Normal puppy behavior:D.

    The nipping. It's NOT a warning, it's normal puppy behavior, some are worse than others, my boy (Ra Kismet) was the absolutely worst I have ever known. If she was still with her litter mates, she'd be nipping at them and vice versa, and it doesn't hurt them because dogs have loose skins and are also of course covered with fur. But it does hurt humans, especially with those little, sharp puppy teeth. What I did when Ra Kismet decided to start nipping was to:-

    (1) offer him a toy (usually a Kong or a ball his fav. toys but anything which was handy).

    (2) Become a 'tree' - fold your arms and remain still. Tuck up your feet too, they adore feet, especially bare feet.

    (3) If she nips when taking a toy then throw the toy - not hard but away from you - so she has to run to get it. She may bring it back to you, then click/treat and rinse and repeat. Use the cue Fetch. Or she'll get interested in the toy and play quietly, no nipping.

    (4) If she's already in 'zoomie' mode, just let her go and do NOT attempt to physically play with her. Just let her run and run off the zoomies.

    (5) Offer a treat if she just comes up and starts nipping you (which my boy loved to do especially when I was having a 'quiet' cuppa). Keep it kinda rolled in your hand, fingers around it, and if she tries to nip just remove your hand and treat, then try again. Do NOT make a sudden or jerky move, this will only excite her more and cause more nipping, which is the last thing you need! Try not to shriek, that's hard sometimes when they give you a decent nip, but do try to remain quiet as shrieks only excite puppies and then - more nipping.

    I would also really work on her trick training, not when she's actually in a zoomie of course, but other times.:)

    As she's so young, keep the sessions short, you'll know when she's had enough, but do say, three sessions a day with her for about five minutes each session. You could do one in the morning, one at lunch time and one in the evening. If this isn't convenient, and you need to do them all in the evening, then do one session take a break, then another take and break and then the third.The mental stimulation and exercise will help to quieten her down when she's playing with her toys.

    Plus you could also 'walk' her around the garden on her leash. Start training her on her loose lead work and if she goes well, then try a bit of close heel work with her. I used a treat concealed in my hand, walked one or two paces then click/treat when I started doing heel work. Again, keep her sessions short, puppies have very, very short attention spans. There is always the exception but as a rule they have limited attention spans.

    Something else you can do, is work on her 'come' (recall). Just call her and click/treat when she comes. Start with a shortish distance and gradually increase it. If you can get another person to help it would be grand, as you can them have them call her give her a treat and then you call her and treat. Three people is about the limit I would go to with a very young puppy though. Keep a distance between you of course and if possible, I have found it best to work outside in the garden, the fresh air seems to tire them a bit more quickly then inside:). But again she's getting exercise and that's what she needs most - lots of exercise and mental stimulation that tires a puppy more than just play time. Don't get 'over excited' when calling her if she's nippy, call her in a happy tone but not in a high voice, keep your voice reasonably low, I've found this makes a difference. You're still happy and welcoming but not exciting her:D

    By starting on her loose lead work, maybe a little heel work and come/recall it will help a lot when she can go out in the world, which I fully appreciate you cannot do until she's finished all her puppy shots.

    Puppies need mental stimulation as well as exercise and play time. As I have already said, mental stimulation is actually more tiring than just plain play. You would know yourself, you can play/party for a long time and not feel overly tired, but do some heavy duty mental work and you'll feel more tired after than dancing all night:D

    Never forget she's a BC and they have TONS of energy and are of course herding dogs, so the nipping is in their genes.

    Please, I know you won't, NEVER alpha roll her, tug on her collar or anything like that to stop her nipping you. And do not do what I heard a dog trainer advise to stop puppies nipping use Vicks Vapor Rub or anything like that, it's darned cruel and you want your little girl to view your hands as ones of love not something to run away from. I KNOW you wouldn't though do that:D But that kind of advice is still, in this supposedly enlightened age, being given by 'old school' dog trainers.

    Trixie is adorable, enjoy her puppy hood, it doesn't last long and then LOL you'll have all the fun of the adolescent stage. This is where they totally forget every single thing they've learned as puppies and start driving you totally mad by 'testing' you to see how far they can stretch the boundaries:D. You've been warned! But we're all here to help you:D
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  3. Amateur Experienced Member

    As a recently experienced Border Collie puppy victim ... *ahem* I'm mean person --- sounds like a perfectly crazy puppy to me.

    If she gets too crazy for you, I found great success with the forced ( and I mean that in a good way) puppy hug. I would say PUPPY HUGS and while sitting cross legged on the floor scoop her up and have her lay in my arm/legs, stroked her head - where she had to settle down completely. She was only released when she visibly relaxed. THen I would open my arms and say ok and she should calmly get up and walk away. This was essential to my sanity.

    I wondered later on if I was being constrictive/ too forceful or whatever but after she was a year and a half I suddenly yelled Puppy Hug ( after not doing it for a long time) and she ran into my arms and layed down. Apparently she didn't mind at all.
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  4. MaryK Honored Member

    LOL Border Collie puppy 'victim' is absolutely right Amateur:LOL: The Puppy Hug would have the same effect as the Thunder (? having a mental blank it's late) Jacket. Great advice(y)
  5. collie23 Well-Known Member

    I LOVE the sound of the puppy hugs I'm sure she'd love them.

    I'm still re reading your post MaryK to get the most information out of it. Glad to know that the 'Zoomies' (love that name) are normal, although the speed that she throws herself at the doors still worries me.
    All the points are brill. we hadn't thought about the 'shrieking' making her more hyper - noticed on one of Kikopup's vids that she recommends it to stop nipping as thats what other puppies do when thy hurt.

    We have tried to start with the leash training and the recall. It's not going very well.
    We were advised to get a flexi leash and put it on her today, she basically just wanted to chew it. we've tried the bitter apple on another leash and it didn't seem to deter her, at all.
    The recall is getting better, but every so often she seems to think 'No i can't be bothered' and just looks at you with those cute puppy eyes :) adorable.
    MaryK likes this.
  6. SD&B Experienced Member

    Ha, ha. Yes, the zoomies. The zoomies are nothing to worry about. Many dogs will continue that as adults. The nipping is another story. Sounds like an excited state. I have always used the loud "Owwwwww!!!" and turned away from the dog to let him know that it hurt (giving him feedback). If the dog is in a nippy state and it's possible, I try to redirect with something appropriate to chew on besides me.

    Trixie sure is a cutie!
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  7. collie23 Well-Known Member

    That's what we've been doing but not sure if she's 'getting it' I expected her to not be sure what to do like 'Why aren't you playing anymore?' but she just finds something else instantly which i suppose is good, just not sure if she's understanding that she can hurt.

    She is lovely, so glad we got her, even if it was a bit earlier than expected. wouldn't change it at all!! :)
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  8. MaryK Honored Member

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  9. MaryK Honored Member

    She won't understand she's hurting you but as she's happy when you re-direct her that's all that you need at this stage.

    Ra Kismet is still 'mouthy' and can put pressure on at times, so now all I do is say 'not so rough young man' or something like that. He's 2.5 years old though, big difference from a wee puppy:) He 'get's it' that mouthing too hard isn't wanted and will usually give me a kiss - I do ask for 'kissy kissy better':D

    She's adorable and you mentioned in another post about her beauty spots, they suit her perfectly:love:
  10. MaryK Honored Member

    This is kikopup's vid on leash biting. It works!
    Dioritt and Dogster like this.
  11. collie23 Well-Known Member

    We're sort of using a variety depending on how hard and where/how sensitive the area is sometimes its hard to hold back a shriek (when she nips on the end of your nose for example - that one hurt :) )
    I like the kissy kissy better! sounds soo cute :) and she is a bit of a licker :)

    Thanks for the video - Nearly everyone has recommended bitter apple but Trixie doesn't seem fussed what it tastes like so leaving that out now.
    MaryK likes this.
  12. MaryK Honored Member

    Best way to go, use a variety of methods, which ever one suits the occasion. Oh yes, had the nose nip and boy does it hurt, makes your eyes water and VERY hard to hold back a yelp that's for sure!:rolleyes::eek:

    Kissy kissy does work Ra Kismet is a real licker/kissy dog of the first order, so he adores kissy kissy and will offer it now if he get's a little rough with his mouthing.

    I can well believe Trixie isn't fussed by bitter apple. Someone suggested I use Wasabi on Ra Kismet's lead. I didn't for two reasons. One I don't like using anything which has the potential to harm/hurt and secondly, he ADORES Wasabi anyway:eek::rolleyes:;) .

    If you follow kikopup's vid you will find Trixie will stop lead biting, but you may have to work on it. Don't expect miracles first time around as she's so young. And if she chews/bites the lead while you're walking, just re-direct her attention to you, then click/treat.
  13. collie23 Well-Known Member

    Yes it really does :)
    I'm going to work on that with her, cos would be nice for her to kiss it better (even if its a slober kiss :) )

    HAHA love the fact that dogs like everything!! can't keep them off of anything! :D

    No i really don't expect miracles - i may of been a bit naive before getting Trixie but she's certainly teaching me :) Will definitely work on this with her and hopefully make some progress before taking her out for her first walk :)
    MaryK likes this.
  14. MaryK Honored Member

    LOL oh you'll get 'waterboarded' all right, slobber does wash off though:rolleyes::LOL:

    Not even when they 'grow up' Ra Kismet still likes to check out everything, even on his walk have to watch what he's attempting to pick up!:rolleyes:

    Trixie will teach you, it's a wonderful learning together curve, and every dog/puppy is different. I am sure before she goes out side walking you'll see a huge improvement. Ra Kismet 'got it' pretty quickly, took about four or five times before he realized that treats tasted better than his lead:LOL:
  15. collie23 Well-Known Member

    Haha, I'm sure. :)

    it's a constant worry (probably get beaten for this but... Trixie is bringing us slugs at the moment :( we keep going on searches to get rid of them but we have quite a few hidy holes that she gets into so can't keep her away from all of them - the Vet's have advised us to give her a drop but still a worry :( going to be worse on walks as well) so i already know what you mean by having to watch them and what they pick up.

    thats really quick!! how old was he when you worked on this? and did you do what Kikopup does in her vid? or a variation?
    MaryK likes this.
  16. MaryK Honored Member

    I know just what you mean with slugs *shudder* and they think they're just the present you want:eek: !!!!!!!!!!! Ra Kismet found a decomposing corpse of a dead bird on a walk, and we had to avoid that spot for ages, gross!!!!!!!!!!! :sick:

    Ra Kismet was a little older than Trixie, around about 9 months old I think from memory. He's VERY food orientated though. LOL now I have to stop him nose diving the trick bag!

    Yes I pretty much followed what Kikopup did with the 'waving' the lead etc. and now he sits like a little angel and LOL expects a treat of course, which he still gets, once his lead is buckled up. He prefers a halti/gentle leader, so two buckles to do up and one is right under his fluffy ears!!!!!!!!!!

    He never tried to bite the lead once it was on, but getting it on was a nightmare at first, he would bite the lead, me and generally 'play up' BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!
  17. Amateur Experienced Member

    careful about the slugs - they are a secondary host to some parasite - I cant remember, but I think the symptom is a kinda cough in the dog --
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  18. Anneke Honored Member

    Good advice above;)
    Would like to add, one thing. Please DON'T use a flexi leash for your puppy!!!
    Don't use it untill she understands leashwalking.
    As a flexi retracts it keeps the leash tight. So your dog gets used to walking on a tight leash(pulling) But when you go for a walk, you DON'T want a tight leash, you want your dog to walk on a loose leash, very calm, no pulling.
    Start out with the normal leash, get a good recall and then, when she gets that, then you go for the flexi.

    A recall game I used when my Jinx was young: Call your dog and run in the opposite direction. Reward when she catches up with you.
    It is much more fun to come to a moving object then to a static one.
    The reward can be a treat, but with playfull puppies, I find a tugtoy works better.
    So you call, you run away, when she is next to you, you take out your tug toy and play!
    You can play the recall game in the house, so she doesn't have to be on leash.;)
    MaryK likes this.
  19. Evie Experienced Member

    That for the recall is perfectly normal. Evie used to do it too :rolleyes: Just make sure (and I'm sure you wouldn't do this anyway) that you NEVER get angry at her even if she takes 10 minutes to actually come when called. I found with Evie, that she would get quite worried and come when I was calling her if I was running in the opposite direction :D Great way to get their attention and for them to come, especially for the puppies with short attention spans. Recall gets better with age and practice. It occurred to me just the other day, that now that Evie is 10-11 months old, there is only one situation in which her recall doesnt work and that is when she's playing with my brothers husky..... she will stop, look at me, and then continue playing lol. I even successfully recalled her away from a kangaroo she was chasing the other day - still very proud about this as she didn't even hesitate :)

    Just remember that's she's a puppy, and things won't be perfect for a long time yet. But with patience and practice, she will get there!

    Something else you could try is using a REALLY high value treat for recall. Make sure you have this treat with you Every Single Time you call her so that she begins to realise that coming to you when she's called is really the BEST THING EVER!

    You really just need to keep on practicing with the recall. It will get there eventually :D
    MaryK likes this.
  20. Evie Experienced Member

    oops sorry anneke. Didn't see your reply. Think I repeated a few things...but at least we're giving consistent advice lol
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