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Over friendly, excitable dogs - advice please!

(15 Posts)
notjustapuppymum Tue 25-Aug-09 19:14:16

We have two 18 month old golden retrievers. They are lovely and calm when at home with us all day but any visitors to the house completely over excite them.
They are only being friendly but they are a nuisance. They jump up, snuffle around whoever is visiting, tear around the house in excitement etc.
So far we've tried pet corrector spray which works with one but excites the other dog even more.
Secondly we tried shutting them away and getting the guests in to sit down and then allowing the dogs in a bit later on, but still too excited and jump on the guests on the sofa.
They pester people for strokes all the time and slobber all over them.
They are lovely dogs but we just don't know what to do with this particular problem - any advice?

ZippysMum Tue 25-Aug-09 19:27:11

It really works with our two dogs to ask guests to totally ignore them when they come in - we came to this after I read 'The Dog Listener', which makes a lot of sense. Takes a little while to get the message, but the dogs are trying to impose their 'leadership' on the guests - if the guests can act as 'Alpha dogs' and refuse to pander to your dogs' demands, your dogs will calm right down and leave them alone.
Hope that helps,

notjustapuppymum Tue 25-Aug-09 19:29:25

Yes we have asked the same but the dogs still pester.
We saw on the Dog Whisperer that guests should ignore them and we should basically tell the dogs "no" when they go near them but it just doesn't work that well.
They are very persistent and if they don't get attention they then race around the house in excitement.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 25-Aug-09 19:30:10

The Dog Listener.

It works.

ZippysMum Tue 25-Aug-09 19:32:52

Maybe that's golden retrievers for you?? Our greyhounds are so laid back it doesn't take that much to persuade them back into their beds. But I do recommend the book here. I learned a lot about dog behaviour.

ZippysMum Tue 25-Aug-09 19:33:55

BTW, I love retrievers! Just that I think they are maybe a bit more excitable than our 2!

notjustapuppymum Tue 25-Aug-09 19:39:23

ZippysMum - I think it is partly their age and the fact that there is two of them. They wind each other up! But I think they will calm down as they get older, they are already so much calmer now than 6 months ago but it's just what to do in the meantime...

Alambil Wed 26-Aug-09 00:56:18

bring them in on lead - that way YOU have the control and the Dog Whisperer No will be aided with a tug on the lead when they ignore you

notjustapuppymum Wed 26-Aug-09 11:27:33

I might try that but whenever they see their leads they think "W-A-L-K" and that's a whole new level of excitement...worth a go though..

beautifulgirls Wed 26-Aug-09 12:50:16

Ignoring them will work - they need to be totally ignored though - get guests not to look at them, not to talk to them, not to pat them etc. Turn their backs on the dogs if necessary - seems quite strange for us but ignore really means ignore! You too need to do the same however - each time you pull them away and say "no" to them they are still getting attention (though we do not see that as positive attention your dogs will). The only time to intervene is if the dogs are in danger of pushing your guest over perhaps or hurting themself etc.
They bounce because they want the reward of attention. You do however need to start to reward them when the appropriate behaviour is being shown - so ask your guests to then slowly and calmly look at the dogs, move towards them and quietly pat them. To start with this is just going to excite them a lot and your guests will have to back off immediately and go back to the no attention game again - dogs will calm down, try again. You need to invite some patient friends over and work at this. It does work, it just needs persistance and is not going to be an immediate "cure" for the dogs. They will come to realise if they behave they will get more out of this deal!

doggiesayswoof Wed 26-Aug-09 12:54:45

beautiful girls is right

saying no, getting them on the lead and pullng them off etc - that will just make it more exciting imo

They need to be totally ignored, no eye contact

If they calm down praise them, then withdraw again as soon as they get excited

will need a bit of work and consistency but it does work

<total hypocrite as have not managed to crack this with puppy yet>

notjustapuppymum Wed 26-Aug-09 13:37:19

beautiful girls - thanks for the advice. The thing is we have to make contact with them as they are so manic and scratch people. We always tell people just to ignore them and turn their backs but it's hard for us to do the same as we need to protect our guests!
It's also really difficult with two of them, we literally can't greet our guests as we're both running around like mad things trying to keep the dogs away and calm them down.
Any other advice for dealing with the difficulty of there being two of them?

minimu Wed 26-Aug-09 16:41:33

Do your dogs have a command to go to their beds or a mat? If not I would train them with one. Basically let them see you put a treat in their bed and send them to "Bed". if you repeat this enough times they will soon pick this up. Every time they go to the bed they should be given a treat.

Then when visitors come ask them to go their beds.- this will be hard at first - when they are in their beds -the visitors can then go and greet the dogs in their bed and give them a treat. The dogs must be sitting and still to get the treat. When the jump about as they will to start with just say oh dear and turn your backs on them and ask them to go their bed. When all four feet are on the ground they can have the treat. So basically they only get attention if they are in their bed.

Eventually when people arrive they will charge to their beds and sit waiting to be greeted and then when they have been greeted they will calm down and go to sleep!!

It will work I promise but you do need to get a good bed command to start with.

But goldies are soooooo friendly and lovely the biggest problem you will have is the visitors petting them when they are not in their beds and spoiling all your hard work!

beautifulgirls Wed 26-Aug-09 16:44:54

You need to invite selected dog confident people who are ready for a bit of being scratched - make sure they wear jeans or other thicker type clothes though to make life a bit easier. They can still push the dogs away without making eye contact if things are just getting a bit out of hand. The dogs really will start to get bored with the jumping about if nothing actually happens to "reward" the behaviour.
You might like to try one dog in at a time to see if that helps keep them calmer - not sure how much difference that will make though as I suspect by the time the first dog calms down and you let the second one in it will excite the first dog all over.
It is going to take a lot of patience - but as with kids ensure you are consistant with doing this each and every time. It will start to improve!

midlandsmumof4 Wed 26-Aug-09 23:34:29

Think the fact that there are two dogs is the main thing-they compete for equal attention from the visitors. We have the same problem as the OP except we have two very excitable Rottweilers. There seems to be a shortage of dog confident people where this breeed is concerned sad. For some reason visitors seem to have a problem with a couple of 8 stone Rotty's trying to sit on their lap wink. Not much help,sorry.

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