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Dog being a pain on the beach

(15 Posts)
Pigeonpost Thu 02-Jun-16 15:02:31

Our spaniel is 13 months old. Pretty well trained to sit/stay etc but she is a spaniel and therefore a bit daft and over-excitable. She is also much more responsive to DH than she is to me. I took her to a local dog-friendly beach with the kids this morning (no DH). HUGE beach. Loads of dogs, all running around like crazy, jumping in the sea, chasing birds, chasing balls etc. She was fine for the first hour but then a family arrived with an 18 month old lab (I spoke to the daughter) and Ddog just wouldn't leave her alone. Wanted the other dog's ball and just wanted to play. Front paws down, bum up, tail wagging etc. Other dog just wanted to chase it's ball. Ddog is crap with balls, just likes chasing things.

I called DDog away to another part of the beach and she was fine playing in the sea with the kids for a bit. Then had to move back to our previous bit of the beach to get ready to pack up and go and DDog started chasing this dog again and wouldn't come back to me. I got her back, put her on the lead and apologised that she was way too over-excited.

Is there anything I can do to stop her getting so over-excited that she doesn't come when called? Is it just a case of making sure I have a pocket full of her favourite treats (I didn't have any with me this morning) so I'm always more interesting than the dog she wants to play with or is there something else I could/should be doing? We have recently started training her to stop barking at guests/the doorbell/the neighbour's dogs by saying "shhhhh" and giving her a treat and although she's not 100% there yet she is soooo much better and much calmer so she does respond to training quite well.

Or is is just a case of accept that she's going to get to a point when she's just so over-excited by her surroundings that she has to go on a lead to calm down. Will this change as she gets older? She is my first dog (as you can probably tell!).

MrsJayy Thu 02-Jun-16 15:05:43

Id put her on the lead she sounds lovely but you dont want her to get annoying i suppse sometimes they get over stimulated and its time to go home

0hCrepe Thu 02-Jun-16 15:09:22

Yes get training her to come back with treats is really helpful and a good place to start. If the other dog had minded it would have seen her off so don't worry too much. Some young dogs desperately want to play with my old girl and she can't be bothered with it but she'll tolerate it for a while and then chase them away if she gets annoyed. On dog beaches with lots of owners most people do understand. What is annoying is when owners have badly behaved or aggressive dogs and make no effort to control them but you didn't do that.
My dog's embarrassing beach behaviour is doing little wees all over the place and sometimes trying to sniff around food. If she gets annoying I have no hesitation putting her on the lead.

rumblingDMexploitingbstds Thu 02-Jun-16 15:12:43

I'm beyond jealous that your spaniel is only a bit daft and overexcited. Mine goes bananas with joy if we go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea.

However she is a lot better now than she was as a teenager, all the training I did with her seemed to go in one ear and out the other, seriously, until she was around 18 months old and by about 2 she calmed down a lot and the early training has stuck. She's going on 4 now and wasn't fully mature until 3, age made the biggest difference, thirteen months is still so young. The main sanity saver for her and me on her happier flappier days is to start her on a lead until the edge is off her, and when she's seen something so exciting she's lost the plot to keep her on a long lead.

Pigeonpost Thu 02-Jun-16 15:20:04

That's the thing, the lab didn't see her off, it just wanted to chase its ball and it was faster than Ddog anyway. It would have been easier if it had just given her a nip to say "go away and stop following me". The owner was doing some passive aggressive muttering to her daughter about their dog being scared after I put the lead on but their dog wasn't showing any signs of being scared, my dog was just being annoying, not aggressive. It's a bloody minefield this dog business. I think for now I'll just keep her out of beach trips unless DH is there and we can divide and conquer if it gets too much for her.

Pigeonpost Thu 02-Jun-16 15:21:23

Ha, Rumbling! She is about 3/4 working cocker and only 1/4 crazy springer so I think that helps minimise the daftness/madness grin

MrsJayy Thu 02-Jun-16 15:28:49

You are going to come across muttering owners sometimes

0hCrepe Thu 02-Jun-16 15:33:04

I think part of having a young dog is apologising for their behaviour and showing you are trying to control them. Not just indulgent smiles etc (not that you did that). The only worry is aggressive behaviour or her getting herself into trouble annoying other dogs. Sounds like the lab owner was more annoyed than their dog. You did fine.
They all calm down with age as others said. My dog is a boxer and so chilled out now (nearly 12 though) but she was crazy when she was young. It can be embarrassing.
I think your kind are really good to train too; soon she'll be walking to heel!

Princesspeach1980 Thu 02-Jun-16 15:36:17

I found teaching "touch" as a command really helps for recall when my dog is over excited. You have a treat in one hand, hold the other hand palm out and when they touch your palm with their nose, they get the treat from the other hand. If I'm shouting my dog to come back and he's gone selectively deaf, I get down low, hold my palm out and shout touch, and he pretty much always comes back for that.

0hCrepe Thu 02-Jun-16 15:39:26

Thinking about the muttering owner saying their dog was scared, they might have been pre-empting a snap from their dog. My dog can suddenly get cross and it can make me a bit anxious when a pup jumps around her but I usually get talking to the owner and they'll say she needs to learn. My dog does seem to understand that little ones are a bit crackers. My sister has a tiny young dog who barks at mine and tries to jump at her in an overexcited way. Sis does try to control her but in a way she has to learn the consequences.
Mine just ignores her completely or occasionally growls or gives me a long suffering look!
Some dogs might get really cross though, that's the only worry.

Fuzzywuzzywasabear Thu 02-Jun-16 16:00:32

Some owners are just over sensitive of their precious little darlings, dogs have their own way of communicating if the lab was bothered he would have told your pup in his own doggy way so don't worry about the passive aggressive mutterings.
I was once in the park and pup 1 calmly walked up to another dog to have a sniff not even bouncy or anything just a hello sniff and the owner of the other dog owner started screaming to get it away! The dog was in no way bothered?! hmm

We have two crazy spaniels 3 and 2 and I agree they get better with age with regards listen to commands our male 2 year old is currently coming out of his teenage phase during which he's been a complete bugger at times!

I tend to keep a ball/ stick on me so if they get really over excited and bothersome and won't recall I run the other way with the ball and make a hopefully more fun game in the opposite direction squeaky Kong balls are particularly good for the distraction technique.

I also keep a look out well ahead to try and preempt any issues, so I probably would have put them back on the lead before we moved back into labs bit of beach but kept them on a long extendable so they could still play but I have control.

Greydog Thu 02-Jun-16 16:03:39

To be honest if my dog was on a beach she'd be on a lead as she's scared of other dogs, and I wouldn't be happy if another came up. Mind you, the fact that she is on a lead would, I'm sure make you call yours back

waddleandtoddle Thu 02-Jun-16 16:10:47

Once my spaniel has a scent, she's off!! Nose down, tail wagging furiously in the air! I could have a bloody chicken in my hand (which also sends her crazed), but no! A fresh scent drops her IQ to negative points - literally a nose with legs! She is 13 months too. She is also ever so friendly and jumps up at everyone, but was eventually reassured by the vet when I took her to be spayed - he said a friendly, playful dog is a joy and you shouldn't change it. She'll calm down with age and you'll be safe in the knowledge you have a dog that is very unlikely to bite and take badly to another dog.

Prempting is all I do now - create a distraction or run past a situation to get her to move. But as she is getting older, she is staying closer and returning to check we are OK during walks.

Veterinari Thu 02-Jun-16 16:17:23

Always reward a recall. Otherwise you're punishing (leashing) her for a return. Why would she come back if you're just going to spoil her fun?
You have to make the recall rewarding.

Don't leave her at home - take her EVERYWHERE! Yes it will be hard to manage for a while but she'll soon learn that the world is only moderately interesting and calm down. If she's restricted the world will remain mysterious and massively exciting!

And don't worry about huffy dog owners
General rule is if leashed= don't approach. If free, then social interaction is fine, the dogs will do the talking.

Greyhorses Thu 02-Jun-16 16:57:19

It's really hard to get right sometimes but generally if you can't recall your dog keep it on a lead or longline until you can call it back every time reliably.

Speaking from the other side it's a nightmare to have a dog who is fearful or who does not like other dogs running up to yours as it often sets training back to square one. Plus it's dangerous for your dog too.

Dogs do communicate in their own ways but mine communicates her fear by biting the one she is scared of so I wouldn't allow dogs to just sort it out as you never know the temprement of the other dog. I wouldn't like to think someone thought I was precious of her by me asking people to get control of their dog and get it away from mine... It's the opposite really blush

I would do loads of recall work plus get her out as often as possible so things aren't as will get there in the end and don't worry too much everyone makes mistakes grin

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