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Thread: High strung house dogs - How do you manage?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2011

    Default High strung house dogs - How do you manage?

    I've got a 2 year old little female lab who is as high strung as dogs come when in the house or out in public. She's always been this way and it's just her personality. Typical behavior is pacing, messing with the other dog(s), whining. She is very obedient and oddly enough calm and focused when working.

    The best management of her house behavior I have found is to exercise her and lower her energy levels. Unfortunately for her, this requires at least two hours every day of training or hard running/playing. With my schedule I just don't have the time to train more than 3 days a week and the other days get her out for 30mins - 1hr of play or drills. Also, I use "place" and kennel a lot just to have a little peace.

    How have others with crazy house dogs managed? Any tips other than what I am already doing?


  2. #2
    Senior Member JDogger's Avatar
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    Feb 2003
    MRGV New Mexico
    One cannot reason someone out of something they were not reasoned into. - Jonathan Swift

  3. #3
    Senior Member dogshom's Avatar
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    Mar 2010


    My dog is VERY high energy-I live on a farm and train him a fair amount, so he is manageable. But these things helped me a lot and now he's a really calm dog in the house. Try just rewarding her with food for going to her place. Make it easy for you to walk over and feed her a piece of kibble. You can put her there or not, but the other dogs shouldn't bother her when she's in her place. You are rewarding calm, quiet behavior. Don't engage or talk other than quiet praise. Eventually she will go to her place waiting for her kibble and you will actually be rewarding calm, quiet behavior.
    Field training jacks my dog up a lot, so I need to balance that energy with rewarding calm behavior in the house. I had to teach him to be calm in the house. The above method worked really well.
    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mary Lynn Metras's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Watford, ONT


    I place mine in his kennel when we all need space. He can see everything that goes on but it is much better for him and everyone else including the other two dogs. I don't allow him to whine or bark either. Just chill out and be quiet. Exercise is the best way, I know to keep him toned down. Good luck.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member mostlygold's Avatar
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    Aug 2006


    I get up at 5 am and take my crew for an hour hike every morning before work, even on days that we train. If it is very hot we hike down to the river and I throw bumpers for 20-30 min then hike back home. After they dry off, stop panting and eat, they at usually ready for a nap. If you have any water close by 20-30 min of steady swimming will usually tire a dog out.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member twall's Avatar
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    Jun 2006


    The only downside to extra physical activity is it gets them in better shape which then requires mor physical activity to tire them out.

    Have fun!

    Tom Wall

  7. #7


    I have two (male and female) 18 month olds from the same litter. They were at the trainer for about 13 months. When we got them home fulltime the male when brought in by himself could turn the switch off in the house. The female (dominant bitch) was like a 2 yr old kid on steroids. When they were in the house together it was like two 2 yr olds on steroids. We had to use gates to keep them apart until we could get them calmed down. This is what we did to get it to where they could be in the same room without knocking the furniture over. Keep a lead on them while they're in the house. They'll eventually submit to it. When they lay down and go to sleep just lay your end of the lead on the floor under your foot with just enough slack to let them pick up their head when they hear something. If they try to get up they'll feel the lead tighten up and stay down. It'll take a little while before you can take the lead off but it has worked for us. Also, if they were trained using a healing stick it doesn't hurt to let them see you lay it on the coffee table. You'll never have to use it. Now they can lay next to each other on the floor without going crazy. It won't happen overnite but it'll eventually work. At least that's been our experience. No more gates and they sleep on the floor on opposite sides of the bed every night never getting up unless they're called. Enjoyable to say the least.

  8. #8
    Senior Member RJW's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    Central IL.


    The one in my avatar was high energy and a handful till he was 11yrs. old. What worked for him was daily roading and sometimes twice a day. Even during hunting season I would get up earlier than normal and road him for at least an hour before heading to the blind to hunt. Worked like a charm for me AND him.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 2tall's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Taos, New Mexico


    Quote Originally Posted by twall View Post
    The only downside to extra physical activity is it gets them in better shape which then requires mor physical activity to tire them out.

    Have fun!

    Amen to this! Sometimes you just have to wait them out. My wildest dog in training is a couch potato in the house. My young "steady Eddy" in the field is a miserable brat inside. We have to put him in his kennel or neither of the other dogs or us will get any peace. And the more exercise he gets the longer he can last raising cane if we don't lock him up!
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