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Dog is driving me mad chewing and being hyper after dinner every night(18 Posts)
My dog is 5 and has always done this to an extent but it is getting worse. Whether he has his dinner at 6 or 8, he spends the whole time from about 8.15 to 9.15 every night driving us mad chewing, stealing cushions, being hyper, manically licking dc's legs/ feet if they are around!
He is generally quite bonkers despite having had a lot of training - he has poor focus.
Is it something about digestion? Someone said it was a bloody sugar rush? The trainer suggested we lock him in his crate during this time but I don't like that idea and he will just bark really loudly.
If I take him for an extra walk it makes no difference and I can't take him out during that witching hour every night anyway.
When mine had the witching hour when a young dog I used timeouts when his behaviour deteriorated. Baby gates are good for this so every time he did something he got moved behind the gate or in his crate for a few minutes to calm down. This was repeated many times until he got the message that the 'punishment' was boredom away from us.
Your dog isn't a puppy so if he barks I would ignore him.
The problem is it is SO loud though.
Does he just get his tea in a bowl? If so I’d try making it more of a challenge, get him using his brain and putting some effort in. He may be much more inclined to settle down afterwards if his brain has had a good workout.
I’d highly recommend these two Facebook groups: Canine Enrichment and Beyond the Bowl - Canine Enrichment. Both are packed with ideas you could use to make his mealtimes more rewarding and interesting.
It might also be worth considering a change to his diet to see if that helps. All About Dog Food is a good site for researching and comparing different foods.
What are you feeding him and what happens before dinner? Mine used to do this though he's calmed down recently (he's one next month). What breed is yours?
What works for us is a walk before dinner, then a meal, then a frozen kong or long-lasting chew to settle him - the walk + food combo tires him out and then the chew keeps him occupied and relaxes him.
Have you done any settle/wait/leave type training to improve his concentration?
I would consider changing his food and see what happens.
Is that his only meal of the day or does he get exactly the same food at different times and not react in that way?
I wouldn’t advise crating him if he is just going to bark, there needs to be some training to stop the barking and mad behaviour. Ask around for recommendations for a different behaviouralist. 5 years old is quite late for this to be happening still, most breeds calm down before that age. What is he?
Agree with a op that a frozen Kong or similar can keep their attention for quite a while.
Could be a food intolerance. My dog climbs the walls after eating rice.
Have you honestly never thought of changing his food? Surely that’s the first thing that should’ve crossed your mind ?
Have you tried:
Changing his food
Making him sniff his food out by hiding it amongst boxes/towels/outdoors
Changing his dinner time
Taking him out to the garden for play or training at the time he goes mental
Giving him a lickimat or stuffed frozen kong with something delicious in to concentrate some energy into licking, which is soothing
Those are things I would start with.
Huge thank you for these suggestions...going to read through and work out what to do!
He has breakfast too and is absolutely fine after that - very good point. I could still try changing his food but even if he has a piece of fish or chicken and rice it is the same.
It is the same whether he has an hour of walking or two! It could be a habit though now.
He is a cockapoo and I have the impression his dad was a bit mad (lesson learned there). He has calmed down the rest of the time since he was a puppy but retained this evening problem and it has got worse. He is very affectionate and sweet but so needy sometimes! So it could be about attention seeking.
Could you include a more structured play just after his dinner? Take it in turns to play with the dog but a game of your choosing. (I would be careful with too much exercise after food though because of ‘bloat’. Not sure how susceptible cockapoos are). Or a kong is a very good suggestion. Perhaps even take that time to try and teach him new tricks (beg, high five, crawl, roll over etc).
I would shut him out for a few minutes to calm down if it all gets too much. But if it isn’t his food it may just be an attention thing.
Changing food would be a good start but remember to do it gradually.
As lovely as cockapoos are I’ve only ever met wappy ones! Very cute though!
Great suggestions - we will try them. The food he has is Barking Heads fish and is grain free etc.
Play and avoid the madness. Mine always brings a toy and we have to play tug, although what he really wants is to be on someone's knee. It took me a while to make him understand that after dinner=quiet time, but persistence worked.
Make it harder for him to gulp down food, put it in a Kong toy, freeze it, he'll be knackered once he's finished.
If he's fine after breakfast could you feed him differently? So use a slow feeder or a frozen kong or similar? It'll take him longer and help to tire him out.
Is he over stimulated/over tired? I suppose the idea of putting him in a crate is to enforce a chill out. But if he barks he might just work himself up and get distressed.
Yes it could be tiredness...like a toddler who can't settle.
By the way he can focus for ages e.g. On a piece of cheese and will wait to be told 'off you go' but not when he is in this hyper, chewy mood.
first up, I think I will try an earlier, slightly smaller dinner and then a chew stick at the witching hour and see.