View Full Version : New excitable behavior

10th February 2011, 03:25 AM
I have a wonderful male, Blenheim Cavalier named Carter. We got him at 10 weeks and are thrilled with this breed (we had labs and golden retrievers before). Carter has always been a great pup and still is, however, I have noticed that within the last few weeks he has gotten very "excitable". He wants to play tug-a-war (his favorite game) ALL the time and has gotten rather rough in his effort to "grab" the sock. He has also started to sit and whine/bark at me when I am busy and can't play right now. I know as a puppy he needs a lot of attention and wants to interact with me often, but how do I teach him that he needs to play by himself for a little while?

10th February 2011, 05:26 PM
Well as someone who trains in agility and "trained" the tug drive right out of Max I wouldn't try to extinguish his tug drive. It is a good age to start to teach him that he does need to let go when you ask - but as i said I trained control so well it's taken me a year to build Max's tug drive back up:bang:

As far as the barking to play - Rylie does that (he didn't as a pup but does now) and we are very consistent in taking his ball away when he barks at us to throw it. I'm hoping that will eventually extinguish the barking (I call it yelling at me behaviour).

10th February 2011, 06:28 PM
Check the thread on 'may have to rehome Gracie' as I and several others gave advice on pretty much the same issue. :)

Tug of war is a great and fun game to play with a dog. My tuggers like to snap at the tug item too -- if by rough you mean he might be getting your hand, this is really a training issue to teach him to take it gently for the game. A good positive/rewards based obedience class is probably in line for him if he hasn't done a class and a rewards-based trainer will teach you how to calm the snapping so he politely takes the sock, then the game can begin. :)

I also highly recommend www.dogstardail.com for training advice, videos, and ideas, and do be sure to download the FREE book After You Get Your Puppy there:


This will give lots of guidance on shaping a dog in a positive and kind way, so that your adult is the adult you want! :thmbsup:

10th February 2011, 09:20 PM
Sounds just like my Cooper. If he is not sleeping, he is harassing me to play with him. He is 11 months. He also plays rough and barks at me. He steals things to get us to chase him. When he is like this, he seems to prefer getting yelled at over being ignored. So, scolding him doesn't help. The only thing that I have found that helps is to catch him (easier said than done) and put him in his crate for a few minutes with something to chew on or play with. This sort of "resets" him and encourages him to entertain himself. You might need to put a blanket over the crate so he can't see you.

Although I appreciate that he wants/needs to play. He just can't expect to play all the time. I am thinking that Cooper will settle down when he gets a bit older.

13th February 2011, 07:09 PM
I've moved this thread to the training section as it was actually in the section for questions about how the board works rather than questions about dogs and training. :thmbsup:

13th February 2011, 10:24 PM
A good tip for training puppies I remember reading from one of Ian Dunbar's books is during play to practice getting the pup to calm, starting out at 10 seconds, then 20, and building up to minutes, then hours. So play tug for 30 seconds, then stop for 10 seconds, hold your pup still or speak calm and slow...don't begin to play until he is calm for at least 10 full seconds. Rinse and repeat, and over time you will have those hours of time when he is fine entertaining himself, awaiting the time that you decide its time to play again :)

I started this from the get go and Coco is wonderful at accepting when I am done playing with her, and she settles and plays by herself or takes a nap. I really think that practicing this technique supported this trait in her.