Dog Tips, Care & Training
by shibashake 197 Comments
January 9, 2013 at 12:07 am
Hi! I have a 5 mo old shiba (Luke) who is soo hyper..all the time. He would do this mad dash across the living room at the couch toward your face! I tried your Kong suggestion: I soaked some of his dry dog food for 5 min, and smashed it into a Kong; problem solved!!! Thank you so much!
January 10, 2013 at 5:03 am
I spoke too soon =\
January 10, 2013 at 11:21 am
Heh yeah, frozen Kongs are helpful with Sephy, but Kongs alone are not enough to contain his great Shiba powers. 😀 Some things that help with Sephy – 1. I follow the Nothing in Life is Free (NILIF) program and make him work for all the things that he wants, including attention, affection, access to the backyard, etc.
2. I set up a very consistent set of rules and a fixed routine. Sephy is a lot more calm when he knows exactly what to expect from me, and what I expect from him. I also established a consistent way of communicating with him.
3. When Sephy was young, I put a drag-lead on him (only with a flat collar, and only under supervision). The drag-lead gives me better control and allows me to more easily catch him when he tries to run away.
Here is a bit more on my early training experiences with Sephy- http://shibashake.com/dog/shiba-inu-training-secrets
Hugs to Luke!
December 26, 2012 at 9:12 am
I have a 7-month old swiss shepherd/husky mix, who takes a three hour nap in the afternoon, and wakes up around 7am after maybe 8hrs of restless sleep. I’m going to try out your Husky methods, because despite the walks, once a week obedience training, and random obedience sessions at home & games meant to drain his energy, he still manages to get into trouble that may lead us to trying to rehome him. He’s beautiful, smart, affectionate & we all absolutely love him, but we feel at the end of our rope. Any advice, or ways we can keep him quiet at night? When he’s alone at night he howls and somehow manages to move the baby gate before making a mess downstairs.
December 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm
It sounds like it could be an anxiety issue. Does he only howl when he is alone? Does he howl during the day when he is alone?
My Shiba Inu, Sephy, used to howl at night when he was young. As soon as we moved his crate into the bedroom, he stopped howling. I think he was anxious, and did not want to be on his own during the night.
Now that he is older, he will sometimes prefer to be on his own, even during the night. We let him out if he wants to, but he does not get to come back into the bedroom once he chooses to leave.
Here is a bit more on dog anxiety problems.
Nancy Alvarado says
October 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm
Hi, im not certain what breed my dog is she’s half chihuahua and the other half unknown, i got her from a friend’s friend and she’s a year old but she’s too hyper. i lose patience to much and I try really hard but no matter what, whenever I come home or step foot in the yard she jumps on me like crazy and runs around me I’m just not in the mood for that at times. sh’es just too much. HELP!!! I don’t want to give her away but if i have to I will.
October 25, 2012 at 11:31 am
Some things that help with my dogs in terms of jumping- 1. When they jump, I no-mark (Ack-ack). 2. Then, I give them an alternate pre-trained command, e.g. Sit. 3. As soon as they Sit, I calmly praise, and give them some calm affection. 4. If they continue to jump, then I turn away, fold-up my arms, and ignore them. This teaches them that jumping and not listening = no affection, but Sitting and listening = Attention and affection. 5. If they escalate their behavior and start biting on hands or clothing, then they go for a brief timeout. This teaches them that if they bite on people then they do not get to be with people.
Here is a bit more on why dogs jump.
July 29, 2012 at 2:13 am
i have a very hyper lab..he gets plenty of exercise, he jogs with me and my dad every morning two hours macimum which is kind of hard since we also can’t get him to stop pulling on the leash..
he takes naps in the middle of the day..we also go to dog parks om weekends..we give him plenty of bones to chew..
at night when i gey home from work, i play fetch or other games like hide and seek with him for an hour or two.. we can’t teach him anything ecen if i get a bag of treats..
he’s one year old already and still we can’t work him and he doesn’t even know basic obedience even though we practice it with him everyday
what i don’t get is that he gets plwnty if exercise and he’s still so disobedieny and hyper.. i’ve just about resorted to trying everything. i’d love for him to get trained by a professional but i can’t afford that
July 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm
My Shiba Inu, Sephy, is also challenging to train. It was difficult to hold his attention for any length of time, when he was young. He is also aloof and not very motivated by attention or food. He likes new things though, so he will work for something new, e.g. new toy or new food. He also likes his freedom, so he will work for access to the backyard. He loves chasing games, so that also works well as a reward. Training success depended a lot on identifying what motivated Sephy most.
With Sephy, I started with very simple commands. The first one that I did was “Look”. I would just bring my hand up to my eye level and say “Look”. If he looks at me, even just briefly, I would mark the behavior (Yes), and play his favorite game with him as a reward. Then, I just keep repeating.
I also follow the NILIF program with Sephy. Through NILIF, he learns that in order to get what he wants, he first has to do something simple for me.
Here is a bit more on our early training experiences- http://shibashake.com/dog/how-i-trained-my-husky-puppy http://shibashake.com/dog/how-dogs-learn-how-dogs-think
July 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm
We have a 10-week-old Beagador (Beagle/Lab mix), and we saw the game you call flirt pole on Dog Whisperer and he called it furball. Whatever you call it, you can make a great pole from a lunge whip that’s used for horses. Any horse supply has them and I think places like TSC do too. We just tie a stuffed dog toy to the end of the whip and it has a long reach so we can make our little guy run like crazy without wearing us out. It’s also flexible so we can make the toy bounce really easily. Make sure you get a whip that’s rigid enough to hold the toy on the end without bending too much, some of the cheap ones wouldn’t hold up very well. We’ve found this game to be a great opportunity to practice making our puppy give up his toy. We started out using his favorite treats to distract him as we said, “Drop it”, and he’s picking it up quickly! He also sits if he sees your hand go in the treat bag. 🙂
July 26, 2012 at 11:06 am
We’ve found this game to be a great opportunity to practice making our puppy give up his toy. We started out using his favorite treats to distract him as we said, “Drop it”, and he’s picking it up quickly!
Play time is fun and can be a great teaching opportunity as well.
Big hugs to your new puppy!
July 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm
I have a question how much should a husky at 5months weigh??
July 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm
Shania was around 27 pounds. Lara was probably a couple of pounds lighter.
May 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm
I recently rescued a one and a half year old pug. She’s my first small dog and she’s a fluffy ball of energy. We go on two walks a day that are an hour or longer. She has plenty of toys and I give her a lot of attention. She’s still SUPER hyper. She’s constantly tormenting my other animals and I don’t know what to do. I would love to let her run around in the yard but she’s an escape artist! When its time for bed all
ssslshe wants to do is play.
May 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm
Heh – yeah I hear that Pugs calm down after around 3 years old.
Does she get along with other dogs? Play sessions with other dogs helped my Sibe puppy drain a lot of energy. Pugs have short noses though, so make sure they do not over-exercise especially in hot or humid weather.
I also make my dogs work for all of their food. Frozen Kongs were helpful in keeping my Sibe puppy busy and helping her calm down before bed. Couple of hours before bed, we have quiet time so that she gets to calm down. If she is active right before bedtime, she gets too excited to go to bed.
May 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm
i have 10 week old male puppy he was given to us at 7 weeks old. He is very super hyperactive. He bites whenever i put a leash on him and bites the bottom leg which is getting to hard. when taken for a walk he pulls so hard, likes to jump on people i had to restrain him. I need help up to my wits now. i have try putting a dog toy on his mouth, no luck on that either.
May 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm
In terms of biting at home, here are some things that helped with my dogs- 1. Bite inhibition training. 2. Consistent no-mark and alternative command. http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-how-to-stop-puppy-biting#timeout
In terms of pulling, here are some of my experiences with leash training- http://shibashake.com/dog/leash-training-your-dog
Here is what I did for dog jumping- http://shibashake.com/dog/stop-your-dog-from-jumping-on-people
Some other things that helped with my dogs during puppyhood- http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-obedience-training http://shibashake.com/dog/how-i-trained-my-husky-puppy
Sarah and Maggie says
May 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm
Shibashake- Hi I have my dog going to the science fair. I want her to be calm. What should i do???
May 7, 2012 at 4:15 pm
Heh, my Sibe puppy Lara also gets really excited when going to people or dog events. The more of them I take her to though, the better she is. I usually start with places that have lower people density, e.g. the park during off hours. That way, she gets used to a smaller number of people, then I slowly make my way up.
If she misbehaves, I just take her away a certain distance until she can calm down. Then I try bringing her back slowly. If she starts getting over-excited again, we move away again and just repeat. I did this at a Husky event that we went to, and after a bit of this, she was able to calm down.
What kind of dog do you have? How is she when on neighborhood and park walks?
Good luck at the fair! Let us know how it goes. 😀
May 7, 2012 at 7:02 am
Hi, I have a 10 week old siberian husky his name is Gage. He bites constantly, he follows behind everyone and bites their pants. He’s even broken a tooth by doing so. He also goes for fingers and toes alot. We have also tried to potty train him, he wouldn’t use it outside, so we started using puppy pads. He would potty around it, but not on it. This is the first time ever owning a siberian, so I’m not sure what to do. Help? 🙂
May 8, 2012 at 11:04 am
In terms of play-biting, two things were helpful with my dogs- 1. Bite inhibition training. 2. Redirecting the dog onto something else or giving an alternative command.
Here is more on my experiences with puppy biting.
Here is what I did while potty training my Sibes- http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-potty-training-facts-and-myths
The first few weeks are always the most difficult. I was reminded of that last year when I got another Sibe. It takes a while to potty train a Sibe puppy, but if we reward good behaviors well, and are very consistent, then they will learn in no time. 😀 http://shibashake.com/dog/a-new-puppy-first-10-days-of-hell
Hugs to Gage and congratulations on your new Husky puppy!
April 2, 2012 at 8:34 pm
Hello! I have a 10 month old German Shepherd and he is SUPER hyper. My husband and I leave him in his crate and whenever we let him out he will run in circles for an hour nonstop and grab his toys and beg us to play. We will lay on the couch watching TV and he’ll try to jump on the couch and shove his toys in our face. We have tried to calm him down but all he does is get even more excited. It’s been like this for months and we don’t know what to do. We have tried everything! The calm energy vibe, the food toys, taking him for walks(he is very out of control when we walk him), etc.
April 5, 2012 at 7:31 am
Heh – yeah sounds like my Sibe puppy Lara. She is always on the go and always ready to play. 😀
Some things that I do with Lara- 1. When she was younger, I fed most of her food to her using frozen Kongs. That keeps her busy for a while doing something calm, and she is usually ready to rest for a bit after that.
2. I walk her over 1.5 hours every day and we have several play sessions. Here are some things that helped me with leash training – http://shibashake.com/dog/leash-training-your-dog
3. We do commands every day – throughout the day.
4. She plays a bunch with my other dogs – supervised.
5. We reserve a place at the back of our backyard where she gets to dig.
March 24, 2012 at 10:38 am
Hi my dog does very well when we are “alone” I used to have a roomate that did the oppposite of what I tried to practice, Calm behavior being a main one (this person was more hyper than my dog) now my roomie is gone and Im doing the obedience training over again, but when he sees the former roomie again he goes bonkers wild bananas!!! He literally runs in circles and slams into the walls repeatedly. How can I stop this? Xroomie has been warned that i will come down like a samurai if he continues to hype up my dog but even if he’s just standing there quietly my dog engages in this crazy desperate behavior. =( I want control here and I want my dog to be calm no matter who is present.
March 26, 2012 at 7:38 am
People desensitization exercises may help.
The key is to use distance to weaken the strength of the excitement stimulus and only expose a dog to little amounts of it at a time. This allows us to set our dog up for success and slowly teach him to stay calm.
March 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm
Hi I have a 2 year old rottweiler cross husky he is generally well behaved and calm in the house but when we walk him he is a bad puller we have recently started doing lead training (stopping when he pulls and not moving until the lead is slack) which is going well however when ever he see’s another dog he gets so excitable and pulls so badly he doesnt hear anything we say! He isnt aggressive just over excited! We walk him for at least an hour a day so dont think its not enough excercise we dont know what to do to calm him down with other dogs?? Thank you xxx
March 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm
Hello Alex, My Shiba Inu also used to be really reactive to other dogs. Some things that helped with him-
1. Being calm. If I get anxious or nervous, he picks up on my energy and gets even more excited. 2. Neutral experiences. I create space, ignore the other dogs, and make seeing dogs as calm and boring as possible. 3. Desensitization exercises with other dogs. http://shibashake.com/dog/dog-to-dog-aggression#desensitize
March 10, 2012 at 9:42 pm
hi!, our dog is 10 months old, she’s so very hyper and she always eat and chew everything, when we had a dog walking she’s so very innocence and when she see other people she’s afraid. what will i do?
March 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm
Hello Camille, Yeah puppies think that everything is interesting so they try to put everything into their mouth. When my pup chews on something bad or dangerous, I give her a no-mark (e.g. Ack-ack). This lets her know that the behavior is undesirable. Then I redirect her to chew on a toy. If she redirects, then I praise her and reward her with a game. Very quickly she learned that certain objects are more fun than others because she gets rewarded for chewing on them.
In terms of people, here are some things that can help dog meetings be less stressful- http://shibashake.com/dog/how-to-meet-a-dog
Desensitization exercises can also be helpful- http://shibashake.com/dog/how-to-calm-a-fearful-reactive-dog#people
February 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm
Hi i have a problem with my puppy shes only a few months old about 6 or 5 we have taken her for walks and everytime we take her shes getting out of her lead and ot coming back we’ve tried a sorts of leads but its not working someone help please 🙁 im worried that maybe one time shes going to get run over please reply!!!!!!
February 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm
Do you mean she is escaping from her collar? I use the Premier martingale no-slip collar. It is great at preventing collar escapes. I size it so that at its tightest, it is the size of a regular flat collar. For sizing a flat collar, I just use the 2 finger rule. Make sure to resize as puppy grows.
Many flat collars slip with use, and therefore may have to be continuously readjusted to make sure that it does not slip over and out of the dog’s head.
What kind of dog do you have? For smaller dogs, a harness may be more appropriate.
I also use a 6 foot leather leash during walks. It gives me good control and is great for leash training. Here is more on Dog Leash Training Equipment.
February 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm
I need help with my 13 week yr old puppy.she doesn’t. Play with toys she chewed my socks and she eats everything she had time to grab without me seeing and she is so hiper I dnt know what to do please reply back
February 20, 2012 at 9:38 am
Hello Summer, Congratulations on your new puppy!
I got a new Sibe puppy early last year, and she was also a big cyclone of energy. 😀 Puppies are excited about everything because everything is new and interesting. Puppies also do not know what things are considered ‘toys’ and what things are socks, clothing, and our designer shoes.
Here is how I trained my puppy- http://shibashake.com/dog/how-i-trained-my-husky-puppy
Here are some other things that helped me calm puppy down and gain better control in the house- http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-obedience-training
Mari's Family says
February 12, 2012 at 6:59 am
hello! Our family has a 10 month old shiba puppy named Mari. She’s a very good girl most of the time, but sometimes she does some destructive things while we aren’t looking (chewing walls, getting things that aren’t hers, etc). We are almost always there to watch her, but sometimes its inevitable (such as needing to do something in another room). We have a kong toy (which uses dry food) but she’s never interested in it. We have tried some of these “puzzle toys”….but she only enjoys them when we’re around-of course :). Do you have any ideas for some puzzles or quiet activities she would enjoy on her own? Thanks so much-and we’re really enjoying this site…it has so many wonderful ideas that we’re working on adding into our everyday routine with Mari. Thanks so much. -Mari’s Family
February 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm
Do you have any ideas for some puzzles or quiet activities she would enjoy on her own?
Yeah, it is not easy finding quiet activities for a Shiba. Mostly, Shiba Sephy likes chasing games and wrestling with other dogs.
One thing that Sephy likes doing on his own is chewing. The problem is that it is not always easy to get interesting and safe chew toys. Several years ago, Sephy found a deer antler while out walking and he totally loved it. Seeing this, we bought him some processed deer antler, which turned out to be a bad idea because he cracked one of his teeth on it.
Now I am a lot more careful about chew toys.
My two Sibes love bully sticks. Sephy likes them as well, but he only works on smaller pieces. When he gets a large piece, he cannot finish it in one sitting, and gets stressed about finding a good hiding spot for it. 😀
Have you tried frozen Kongs? Sephy is not really into those, but my Sibes love them.
Shiba Sephy also likes shredding things. The issue here is making sure he does not eat the bits and pieces of stuff that he shreds. Sometimes, I let him shred the cardboard stick that you find in wrapping paper. Other times, I put things in cardboard boxes or wrap some pieces of chicken in cardboard and let him work at getting it out. In the beginning I supervised him carefully to make sure he doesn’t eat any cardboard. He seems to be only interested in shredding and not in eating.
NOTE – Cardboard is not good for a dog’s digestive system so these shredding games would not be appropriate for a dog that likes eating paper or cardboard.
Another thing I have noticed about Sephy is that he will work on interactive toys by himself if he is hungry. I make him work for all of his food. He gets some for doing grooming and obedience exercises. They rest he only gets through his interactive food toys. A half hungry Shiba is an industrious Shiba. 😀
Hope this helps. Let me know if you find other alternative quiet activities. I am always looking for new things for Sephy to do.
Big hugs to Mari!
February 16, 2012 at 6:08 am
Thank you! I think we’ll start making her work for some of her food as well. And she also loves bully bars, but she doesn’t always chew on them. She also enjoys shredding too, and doesn’t seem interested in eating it! 🙂 Thanks so much!
February 6, 2012 at 8:58 pm
Hi i have a 8month old male lab and i am finding it hard to want to let him off lead when we go to parks or dog beaches because as soon as i let him off leash he will bolt in the direction to the closest dog, and wont stop or come back, i have to chase after him. i dont mind him socializing but i just hate that he runs off. i feel bad not letting him off leash because i know he just wants to play… any suggestions? Thanks 🙂 also he goes to obedience training twice a week, but wont listent to any comands when he sees another dog he wants to play with..
February 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm
Hello Rachael, Well, I have a Shiba and two Sibes so I may not be the best person to talk about recall training. Both these breeds are extremely independent, and not really well-known for their recall abilities. 😀
I usually start recall training (Come) at home, where there are few distractions. There are a variety of methods that can be used to get a dog to come when called. This article from the ASPCA gives a good overview of all the methods- http://aspcabehavior.org/articles/84/Teaching-Your-Dog-to-Come-When-Called-.aspx
Once recall is very reliable at home, then I tried it in an unfamiliar but quiet enclosed space, e.g. enclosed exercise space at a nearby SPCA, enclosed soccer field. The key to recall training is to start small, and set our dog up for success. Then we can very slowly increase the level of distraction.
After recall is reliable there, I tried it with a long line in the quiet hiking trails close to my house. There are more distractions there, but I go at off times so that we are alone. After a few times, I decided that it was too dangerous for my Sibe. She has high prey drive, and she bolted after prey. She came back to me after a short time and I also have the long line, but it was enough to convince me that off-leash time for her should only be in an enclosed space.
February 3, 2012 at 3:14 pm
I am a proud owner of a Boston Terrier/Pug mix named Frankenstein. He just turned 1 and he has always had the problem of not being able to hold in his excitement/energy. If hes home with me and my girlfriend hes relaxed. On the other hand he goes nuts when I arrive home from work until about 30 minutes then settles down. When guests come by, he never eventually calms down. I also get texts from my girlfriend about him acting aggressive when it is just her and Frankenstein. I am very close to taking him to training classes, but money is tight and if we can get him to be calm then we can avoid the expense. Should I invest in the classes? Is it something that a vet can control. I love my pup and just want to have him contain his energy. What do you think about bringing in another puppy into the house? Thank you.
February 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm
When I arrive home, I usually try to keep things calm. I walk in calmly and go about my own business for a short time. Then, if my Sibe puppy Lara is behaving well and not jumping, I ask her for a Sit. If she does this, I praise her well and give her attention, affection, and treats.
If she jumps, I no-mark her, fold up my arms, turn away and ignore her. If she tries to bite me or my clothes, she goes into a brief timeout.
In this way, she learns – Being calm & Sitting = Attention, Affection, Treats Jumping = Get ignored Biting = Lose freedom
I put a drag-lead on Lara when people come over to visit. I only use it with a normal flat collar and *not* an aversive collar. If she is too crazy in her greeting, I lead her away and she does not get to be with the guests for a short duration. Then, I walk her slowly back on-leash. If she pulls, we move back. If she is calm, we move forward.
I also instruct guests to ignore her (this also means no eye contact) and only give her attention when she is calm. http://shibashake.com/dog/how-to-meet-a-dog
Should I invest in the classes?
In terms of classes, I found individual sessions to be more useful than group sessions. Group classes were useful for socialization, but I learned a lot more about controlling my dog from individual training sessions.
Is it something that a vet can control
What do you think about bringing in another puppy into the house?
In my experience, getting a second dog only adds a lot more work, and further increases the excitement level. 😀 I only got my second dog after I had solved most of the issues with my first dog. http://shibashake.com/dog/getting-a-second-dog
January 20, 2012 at 8:25 pm
I just got my 7 week old Siberian Husky puppy, Anya. I keep her inside, because one dog is enough for me, and I know she needs constant company — I work from home, so I’m always here, I take her for 20-30 minute ‘walks’ every two or three hours to drain off some of her energy. My only problem? She’s very, very hyper. And it’s not quiet hyper — She barks like crazy, almost nonstop, unless she’s in my lap. I can deal with this when I’m on my off time, but when I’m working? Not so much. I don’t mind petting her when I’m busy, or playing with her a little, but I just can’t make her be quiet for any small period of time unless she’s physically in contact with me.
Is this just separation anxiety, or hyperness? I’d love to take her for real walks, but she hates being on a leash more than anything; She only goes where she wants to go, and I won’t drag her around. That’s mean. But then again, she might be too young to understand ‘walktime’.
January 22, 2012 at 8:40 am
Hello Scott, Congratulations on your new Sibe puppy. I love the name Anya.
In terms of the barking, do you go to her when she starts to vocalize? That is a natural reaction, but doing so rewards puppy for vocalizing, which reinforces the barking behavior.
With my Sibe puppy Lara, I make sure not do go to her when she is noisy, or to give her any attention. I wait until she stops making noise for a short duration, before rewarding her with my attention. In this way, she learns that being quiet = attention, being noisy = gets ignored. Then as she starts to learn, I slowly lengthen the time that she has to stay quiet.
Another thing that really helped with puppy Lara is to make her work for all of her food. Frozen Kongs were really awesome when she was a puppy. It kept her occupied, and she would usually drop off to sleep after working on it.
She also liked playing chasing games like the flirt pole. Sibes really love to run. 😀
Here is a bit more on dog barking- http://shibashake.com/dog/woof-woof-stop-dog-barking
In terms of leash-training, what seemed to work well with Lara is the red-light-green-light technique. I just stop when she pulls, and only walk when the leash is loose. Sometimes, I turn around and walk in the opposite direction, but most of the time the start-stop works well with her. http://shibashake.com/dog/leash-training-your-dog
Hugs to Anya.
January 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm
I have a two year old husky (we were told by the breeder that her sire was halfwolf). She is very very hyper. I think I’ve seen her exhausted only once in the two years we’ve had her with us. She’s also extremely skittish. Now, we’re in the process of finding another dog to be her companion, but do you have any suggestions for what we could do? (we have tried food rewards, she won’t have anything to do with treats or even dog food)
January 12, 2012 at 9:26 am
Hello McKenna, Some of the things that my Sibes, Shania and Lara enjoy doing- 1. Digging for earth critters. They really love to dig and are good hunters. I leave a large section of my backyard un-landscaped and they have fun digging there. 2. Going for walks, meeting people, looking at people, and exploring along the hiking trails. Shania likes going where there are more people, and Lara prefers going on more quiet hiking trails. I take them out for about 1.5 hours each day. When it is hot, they are less energetic. 3. Playing with each other and other dogs. They also expend a lot of energy playing, wrestling, and chasing each other. 4. Working for all their food. They get all their food through obedience, grooming, or interactive toys. Sometimes, I also spread some of their kibble in the backyard, and they have fun looking for food under bushes, in the grass, etc.
Sometimes, I also play games with them. They all seem to enjoy playing chase games such as the flirt pole. I play tug-of-war with Lara, but only with very strict tug rules. Games together with strict game rules, can be a good way to teach them obedience, as well as exercise them physically and mentally. http://shibashake.com/dog/dog-play-fun-games-to-play-with-your-dog-or-puppy
Each dog is a bit different in terms of what they enjoy doing most, so I try to identify what they enjoy and then construct fun activities around it.
January 7, 2012 at 10:23 am
I have a 4 1/2 month old Pomapoo. We have had her for 2 months and have gotten her pretty well trained at home. We do obedience daily with ‘sit’ ‘shake’ and ‘lay down’- which she does very well at. Its when we go out in public that she acts like a maniac. Every time she sees another person or another dog she runs after them on her leash and is pulling so hard that she gets herself standing up. She usually doesn’t bark, but rather whines a lot. We have tried since day 1 to have her sit, tell her ‘leave it’ and hold one hand on her back to try to keep her calm. We have also tried picking her up, but have stopped because she wiggles so much and always gets loose. We have also socialized her A LOT since the very first day we brought her home. We have a doggie park that she goes to regularly as well as taking her with us on trips where she has interacted with many other people and dogs. We also just had her spayed 4 days ago and she is already back to her crazy self. We are just running out of ideas and methods for keeping her calm in public. Thank you!
January 9, 2012 at 11:15 am
Hello Katherine, My Shiba Inu Sephy also used to be very reactive, especially wrt. other dogs. Here are some of the things I did to help him with his dog-to-dog reactivity- http://shibashake.com/dog/dog-to-dog-aggression
With people, I did some desensitization work with Sephy in the beginning, and he is usually pretty good when meeting and greeting people. http://shibashake.com/dog/how-to-calm-a-fearful-reactive-dog#people
December 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm
I have a Golden Retriever/Beagle mix. She is 3 1/2 years old and her name is Tempest. She is very hyper still and jumps up on people. Over her 3 years she has gotten better but still jumps up when someone (friends, family or strangers) shows her affection or enters our home. I have a friend whom is pregnant that is coming to live with me and I am afraid that Tempest will hurt my friend or her unborn baby. What are some good techniques to use to get her to not jump? We have tried the ignore her until she calms but that just makes her angry so she does it more. Also, along with Tempest we have an almost 6 year old Terrier mix named Eli. We have recently (4 months ago) moved to Japan due to my husband being in the military. Eli has not adjusted well to our move with his failing eye sight. I was wondering what I can do to help him adjust? He used to be very outgoing and friendly to strangers and a big little lover of children and now he wants nothing to do with anyone outside of our home. He gets so scared when other people are around that he shakes and will either freeze or will tug and pull to get back to our apartment.
December 7, 2011 at 11:29 am
What are some good techniques to use to get her to not jump? We have tried the ignore her until she calms but that just makes her angry so she does it more.
I usually put my dogs in a short time-out if they continue to jump after I have turned away from them. Here is more on my experiences with dog jumping.
He gets so scared when other people are around that he shakes and will either freeze or will tug and pull to get back to our apartment.
Yeah, my 3 legged Sibe Shania is also more wary of new dogs and new environments because she feels more vulnerable. What has worked best for her is to quickly establish a fixed routine. In this way she knows exactly what to expect every day, which will help to reduce stress.
I also did desensitization exercises with her, to help her with things that she is most fearful of.
Here are a couple of articles on dog anxiety and desensitization.
Big hugs to your dogs. Love the name Tempest! 😀
November 16, 2011 at 12:34 pm
I think your site is wonderful, nice work, great advice.
Thanks for sharing!
November 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm
Thanks Stephanie! 😀
October 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm
Hi, I have an eigthh month old pug who seems to not be socialzed, whenever people come around our home, or she hears nosies or voices…when we’re out walking…or in the car nad she sees people or other dogs she starts bbarking. How can I get her to stop barking so I can addressed her fear or the problem, resulting in getting her better aquainted with people and other dogs in a more calm enviroment to get her socialized?
October 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm
What has worked well for my dogs is desensitization training. My Sibe Shania was very afraid of the garbage truck, so I slowly desensitized her to the sound and ultimately to the truck. She is a lot better now.
My Shiba Inu was very reactive to people and other dogs. Here are some of my experiences with people desensitization – http://shibashake.com/dog/how-to-calm-a-fearful-reactive-dog#people
Here is some of my experiences on dog socialization
September 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm
I have a lab/golden retriever mix. He is extremely hyper and will not stop barking, day or night. He will sit still long enough for you to pet him, but the second you go to walk away he is trying to jump on you and snapping at your hand. He is starting to get very large and frankly, scares me at times. He is so strong and so hyper that it is hard for me to take him on a walk and I’m scared to out of fear that if we see another animal he will go crazy and I won’t be able to control him. My neighbor has already started mentioning him barking so much and I’m worried that they will start complaining before long. My husband wants to get rid of him, but I don’t. I would like to keep him and figure out a solution to make it better. Any tips?
September 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm
Yeah both Labs and Goldens are working dogs so they are very energetic. The good news is that they are also highly trainable because they are bred to work together with people.
In terms of the biting, having rules and structure is very important. My first dog, a Shiba Inu was very mouthy and I instituted a lot of house rules and also a very fixed routine for him. Here are some of puppy biting tips I use with my own dogs. http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-how-to-stop-puppy-biting
In terms of leash training, here are some possibilities – http://shibashake.com/dog/leash-training-your-dog
In terms of barking, here are some possibilities – http://shibashake.com/dog/woof-woof-stop-dog-barking
August 24, 2011 at 8:58 pm
Okay, it is now 11:47 PM at night & my wild mixed=breed dog is up & about & not ready to calm down. She’s been going strong since 8:30 AM this morning. She’s chewed just about everything in the house, destroyed expensive cell phones, a large air-cleaning machine, carpet, kitchen tiles, even the flagstone patio which she loves to eat. She’s eaten a chunck out of the leather seat in my old 1985 Jag, chewed up the drain pipes in my back yard, working on my window blinds as I speak, & chases every small animal that comes to my backyard from the woods. She chews off her leash & takes off to parts unknown, thru the woods, running like a gazelle over every neighbor’s yard & can’t catch her. Thought about having her vet get her on medication to calm her down, but hate to have a druggie dog. Yes, I’ve spent a fortune on personal dog training that didn’t work & yes, we take her to the dog park everyday & still, she doesn’t calm down. It’s never ending & driving me crazy. Any suggestions from any of you out there who may have experienced a dog (from the shelter) who acts like this. I’d welcome anything you could offer. Don’t want to take her back to a shelter as I know that was why she was in the shelter to start with, but…………
August 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm
Engaging her in a dog sport may help because that would exercise her both physically and mentally, as well as get her focused on doing a common task with you. What dog sport works best would depend on her temperament and natural instincts.
Agility is always fun because there are a variety of different obstacles which makes things more interesting. The only issue I had with agility was that some of the better quality equipment can be pretty expensive to buy.
Bryan Nowlin says
October 28, 2011 at 10:14 pm
You may want to try taking her out with other dogs and go on long walks that will get her tired. Huskies don’t do well alone and need another dog to work out the energy. We have 2 huskies and they go non stop but don’t damage anything other than their toys. If you can do it I would go on a hike for the day and let her pull you up the hills, by the way you will need a harnes if you don’t have one. One more thing, try not to yell at her. Huskies pick up on voice tone and will go into overdrive so remain calm and you will see a better response. If you have to give her up then try to send her to a Huskie shelter. Good luck.
James Richardson says
July 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm
Hi we have a 6 year old Labrador retriever bitch Who is very hyper she is well exercised plays ball gets long walks but in the house is in your face all the time and is terrible round food,we got her a special food bowl because she would make her self sick with eating too quick,she is well trained. Ut can hardly stay at peace for long we have 3 other dogs who are all well enough behaved 2 Border Collies and a collie Cross
July 28, 2011 at 9:57 am
Some things that helped with my hyper Sibe pup – 1. Making her work for her food. She also just inhales her kibble. To control eating speed, she gets her food as frozen Kongs, in Kibble balls and other interactive toys, as part of a Find-It game in the backyard, or as rewards for doing obedience commands.
2. Follow the NILIF program – I only give her something (food, access to backyard, affection, scratches, etc.) after she does something for me first (Sit, Down, etc.).
3. She has rules in the house, when she is walking, when she is in the backyard, etc. If she gets in my face, I usually turn away and get her to do a Down. If she is good and does a Down, then I reward her with some kibble and affection. If she continues, then she gets tethered in the kitchen. If she starts to whine, then she goes to timeout.
In this way, she learns that to get affection, she should do a Down. If she does not do that, and continues to harass people, then she loses her access to people.
June 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm
i have a rhodesian ridgeback/labrador retriever/beagle mix and even though he is a puppy almost an adult he jumps bites barkes chews scratches sprints and snaps at everything
June 27, 2011 at 10:03 pm
What helped with my dogs is to communicate clearly and consistently to them as to what are desirable behaviors and what are undesirable behaviors.
I use a mark (Good Boy) for good behaviors and a no-mark (Ack-ack) for bad behaviors. A mark is usually followed up by giving them a reward, and a no-mark is usually followed up by taking something away from them.
Usually when dogs jump, bite, and bark, they get more attention from us. This is a reward for them, which causes them to jump, bite, and bark even more.
Here is an article on why dogs jump and some of the things I tried to discourage jumping.
Here are a couple of articles on mouthing – http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-tips-solutions http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-how-to-stop-puppy-biting
June 24, 2011 at 12:39 pm
I have an 11 month old fiest/terrier mix who is hyper 24/7. Even if we are running around all day he is still bouncing around at bed time. Any advice on how to calm this ball of energy?
June 27, 2011 at 9:48 pm
Hello Miranda, Some things that really helped with my current Sibe puppy – 1. Frozen Kongs – I just put some wet food in a Bubble Kong and freeze them in the refrigerator. In the beginning, it took about 1 hour for puppy to finish which was pretty awesome. Now she finishes it in 15 minutes, but I tether her while she is working on it and after that she is happy to take a nap for a couple of hours.
Another Food game that is great is “Find-It”. I throw kibble all over the backyard and puppy loves going around looking for buried kibble. 😀
2. Puppy Play Groups – After a play-group session puppy Lara is pretty conked out for the rest of the day. We go to supervised playgroups in a dog daycare place nearby which organizes them for free. Another possibility is to invite friendly neighborhood dogs over for one-on-one play sessions.
3. Hiking at the Park – Hiking at the park also drains a lot of energy from puppy. I think it is because there are so many scents, so many people, dogs, a new environment, squirrels, and much more.
4. Keep things calm before sleep – Puppy Lara has a few high energy play sessions with my other dogs in the evening. However, at least an hour before sleep-time I make sure she is in a quiet place and resting.This ensures that she is calm and ready for bed when the time comes. In the beginning I played with her before bed thinking that this would get her more tired, but it usually got her so excited that she couldn’t settle down. Now I give her some time to settle down before bed.
kathrine hedrick says
February 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm
hi, i have a 3 year old bosten terrer named kc. he loves people ,but sometims he hurts them on accedent. He is really hyper. i’m not sure what to do about it. I just want to make him calm around peolpe and animals.
February 16, 2011 at 9:23 am
Hello Kathrine, What has worked well with my Siberian is to keep greetings as low key as possible. Get your guests to follow the no talk, no touch, no eye-contact rule. No eye-contact is especially important because dogs often take that as an invitation to interact.
When my Sibe was a puppy I also kept a leash on her when people were visiting (only with a flat collar). If she got too hyper, I would use the leash and remove her from the room where the people are. This teaches her that – Hyper behavior = Don’t get to be with people. Calm behavior = Get rewarded with people affection and interaction.
Here is an article on how to stop a dog from jumping on people. It has a lot of relevant information on how to make greetings more low-key.
January 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm
Hi, I have a 2 yr old Aussie, we adopted her about 5 months ago. I knew what I was getting when I adopted her, I just never expected her to be this hyper! I walk her daily, and then let her out on a lead 5 or 6 times a day. She has been to a trainer and does very well with obediance training, and we practice it with her everyday. She has a Kong ball, and another one of those balls you can put food in, we have given her bones, and she will be interested in them for maybe and hour or so, and then she is no longer interested. She is constantly on the go! 24/7 she never stops! Her trainer mentioned agility training, but she is over an hour away from where we live and we wouldn’t have the time to take her as much as she would need to go for that exercise. We are really at our wits ends, we don’t know what to do with her anymore! Our trainer has no more ideas. We do have 2 other dogs, including a Pug, which stays in the house with us also, and a Husky, but he stays outside (he prefers it that way, not my choice). She does very well with both of them, her and my Pug play constantly. But it still isn’t enough. Help!
January 8, 2010 at 1:26 pm
Hi Chelsey, One of my trainers at the SPCA has an Aussie and a B.Collie- she says that she spends all her time at home throwing tennis balls for them 😀
I don’t know what more I can add – you already know a lot about dogs and are already doing all the right things.
If you have a large backyard you could get some agility equipment and train her at home. I am sure she will love it. I was thinking of getting some agility stuff for my Shiba at one time, but they can get to be very expensive.
Another possibility is dog sports. Disc dog comes to mind. It can be a lot of fun and an Aussie would be great at it.
Flyball could also be fun, and it is something that can be combined with an agility course.
Biking is another possibility.
“a Husky, but he stays outside (he prefers it that way, not my choice).”
My Husky is the same way! She comes in occasionally for food and attention but loves being outside the rest of the time – even in the rain. We have voles in the backyard so she has a lot of fun digging and hunting for them.
Please keep us updated – would definitely like to hear which activities work best.
January 8, 2010 at 1:27 pm
Yes, she plays with tennis balls, we don’t even have to throw them she does it herself. ha ha She’s a nut. 🙂 I did look at some of the agility equpiment, and you are right it’s pretty expensive. I will try some of your suggestions, it’s just like she still needs some other kind of stimulation, but we’re just not sure what that is. It’s funny you mentioned that about your Husky, ours is 4 and we tried to keep him in for about the first 7 months and he hated it! I guess it’s just that Husky attitude he has, ‘it’s my way or the highway’! I’m sure you know what I mean. We live in KY, and during the winter is the only time he even cares about being in the house, during the day he loves playing in the snow, but as soon as it gets dark he’s at the steps begging to get in, but as soon as it becomes light out he’s begging to get back out in it! They are hilarious dogs, and such a joy! Thanks for your input, I will let you know how it works out.
January 4, 2010 at 1:23 pm
Awesome suggestions! I have a hyperactive dog, Levi. Levi is almost 10 months and he is a mix between a German Shorthaired pointer and a rat terrier! He loves every person, dog, cat, you name it that we come in contact with, which makes it hard to walk but with practice he has gotten a lot better.
Question, Levi loves to fetch inside but I can’t get him to fetch inside. Any suggestions on teaching him how to fetch outside as well.
Something that has worked for Levi is that I have a friend come over and she stands at the top of the stairs and I stand at the bottom and we have him run back and forth between us. Not only does he enjoy it and release a ton of energy but he is learning to come when someone calls his name. Sometimes I even run them with him and he really likes that!
I live in a really small town so I had to get creative! 🙂
January 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm
That is a great suggestion with the back-and-forth recall. I will often do the same thing with my Siberian! My Shiba is a lazy bum and often will just look at me as if to say – no thanks – lol.
“Any suggestions on teaching him how to fetch outside as well. “
Hmmm, what does Levi do when you do fetch outside? Does he just ignore the toy? Run to it but not come back? Get the toy and run around with it?
Dogs don’t usually generalize commands over different locations, so I try starting from the beginning as if I were teaching him fetch for the first time. Start by throwing just a short distance away and encouraging him to get the toy. Sometimes, I put a bit of peanut butter on it – to get my dogs interested. 🙂
Another possibility is to run with the toy a certain distance. When my dog comes to me, I give him the toy, walk a couple of steps away, and call him to me.
“I live in a really small town so I had to get creative!”
Levi is a lucky boy! Creative dog owners are totally awesome because their dogs are always learning new things and exploring new things.
Hugs to Levi!
December 31, 2009 at 1:21 pm
my puppy is 6 months and extra hyper. we take him on walk 15 30 min and play but he still seems to have so much energy. i like the energy but its when he bites and tugs because he wants to play more. he rips tons of clothes and furniture and my parents are thinking of finding a different home for him. BTW hes a lab collie mix
December 31, 2009 at 1:22 pm
Hello gsidhu, Labs and collies are both work dogs so a mix of the two will be pretty high energy. These breeds are usually happiest when they have a job and are mentally engaged.
After my puppy had all his shots, I started going on longer walks (about 45 mins). I try walking him twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening.
Obedience exercises are also a great way to exercise a puppy’s mind. I keep each session short (10 mins) but I do many sessions during the day.
Interactive food toys are also a great way to keep a puppy busy.
Here are some things that helped me with my puppy – http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-obedience-training
December 24, 2009 at 1:18 pm
I Have a Jack Russel NOT Terrier.
He is called Stanley and he`s 5 months old.
I try and train him but he just runs off, barks
or sometimes bites and scratches.My famiily and I train him propley but he is just to hyper. What should I do to calm him down?
December 24, 2009 at 1:19 pm
What really helped with my Shiba puppy is to establish some rules and routine for him right away. Consistency is very important when trying to stop undesirable behaviors.
Every time my Shiba did something inappropriate, e.g. mouths on me – I no-marked him (ack-ack), and redirected him to bite on a toy. If he redirects onto the toy, I praise him and reward him. In this way he learns that biting on the toy is ok but biting on people is not.
Here are more things that really helped me when my Shiba was a puppy – http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-obedience-training
Also young puppies need a lot of exercise- both mental and physical exercise. It would be great to get everyone in the family to participate. Doing joint activities together will help to get rid of all that crazy energy as well as start building a strong bond.
The methods above helped me with my hyperactive Shiba.
December 10, 2009 at 1:16 pm
hi ive read your site and im sure that would work but i have a few problems i have to work with you see i have a fawn red nose pitbull that is so sweet and just wants to be with you but i am only with my mom half the time amd my mom works a lot while we are gone so i want to be able to take her to my dads house but she is very hyper in new places and for a while right after we get home.we also have no fence at our moms and our condo is not big enough to play a good game of fetch in also she has to be on a leash outside othrwise she doesnt listen and runs away from u . and at our dads we have a cat and sophie has a huge obsession overcats and i dont know how to control it do you think you can hel me?
December 17, 2009 at 1:17 pm
Hello Ashley, My Shiba was crazy hyper like that as well – except he was not very sweet 🙂 At the time I did not have a backyard and Shiba really did not have a good recall, so I had a similar situation. It is tough because as you say off-leash time helps a lot. Some things that helped – 1. I walked him a lot – 3-5 times a day. 2. My neighbors had cats so I also practiced cat desensitization exercises with him every time we went out for a walk. 3. What really helped was some off-leash time especially with other social dogs. My nearby SPCA had a really nice fenced in area and I would take him there and play lots of games with him. Sometimes, he would get to play with the social SPCA dogs. 4. My neighbor had a really social dog, so I cleared out one of the rooms in my house and made that into his play room. I would go pick up my neighbor’s dog very often and let them play in the empty room. 5. I also explored doing dog daycare and dog walking. These are great if you have a social dog. My Shiba was very stubborn and did not like being away from his people so it did not work out very well for him. However my Siberian really enjoys going to daycare and getting to meet lots of new dogs and people. Hope this helps – let me know how it goes.
December 10, 2009 at 1:14 pm
Hi, i have a 3 month year old Siberian Huskey and he is bitin everythin that he can get his teeth in to. He likes to Chew ure hand if u have been petting him. I’m scared incase some child goes to pet him and he bites there hand. He is also very hyper runnin around the house n jumpin on the couches. You got any ideas how i can control this?
December 10, 2009 at 1:15 pm
Puppies and young dogs especially energetic breeds like the Siberian will use their mouth a lot to explore the environment. What we do with our hands, dogs do with their mouths. It is a way of learning their environment.
It is up to us to teach our dogs what behaviors are desirable and which are undesirable so that as you say, we can keep them safe.
What helped most with my dogs is to be clear and consistent when communicating with them. I first establish a mark (e.g. Yes, Good) for when my Husky does something desirable and a no-mark (e.g. Ack-ack, No) for when my Husky does something undesirable. Every time she does something I do not want, I no-mark and get her to do something else.
A fun exercise that I used to do with my Shiba was I would play with him. When he started biting on my hand, I would Yelp and stop play. The Yelp usually startles him which makes him stop. Then I would just stand, fold my arms, and turn away from him. If he kept biting, I would either leave him alone in his enclosure (if he is in an enclosure), or I would put him on time-out.
I do something similar for when he gets on the couch. I no-mark him, and give him an alternate command, e.g. off. If he does not comply then I remove him from the couch by body blocking or with a drag lead. If he escalates his behavior and starts biting me, then put I him in time-out. Here are some puppy techniques that helped a lot with my Shiba puppy when I first got him – http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-obedience-training
Here is more on puppy biting techniques – http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-how-to-stop-puppy-biting
Also Sibes are extremely energetic dogs. My Sibe is now 2 years old and she is still a go,go,go girl. I take her out hiking for about 2 hrs every day, and she still has lots of energy to burn when she gets home. Apart from walking and dog games, interactive food toys are a great way to keep your dog busy and exercise him mentally.
November 14, 2009 at 1:12 pm
Hey there, so I have this problem with my 9 month old blue heeler/corder collie mix. He is a good dog but my only problem with him is when I take him outside on walks or to play or whatever and when he see’s another dog he will start whining and raise his hackles and pretty much ignore me completely. It almost looks like he is being aggressive but if I were to let him go he would just run over there tail wagging and and try to play with the dog ( I have yet to see him be aggressive towards any other dogs). He just wants to play so bad and see the other dog he goes crazy and will even start combining his whines with barks. Now I have trained him and he will sit,lay down, stay and come on command that is of course as long as there isn’t another dog around. Also I don’t think this is an exercise issue because in the summer I would take him hiking with me and it would be 90+ degree’s and he is slowly trotting along from shade to shade barely going faster than a brisk walk and after a hour of that he seems tired, but if a dog was to show up he would instantly have all of his energy show up and take off after it. Don’t know if this helps but when we got him from the animal shelter he was 4 month’s old and the people brought him out and a few other dogs to get some exercise and all he did was follow around this older dog and tried licking his mouth (being submissive the whole time) while the other dog just tried to play fetch and snap at our soon to be pup every minute or so because of how annoying he was being, yet our dog still kept on following him like he was the only thing in the world. Also a side note we just got a puppy last week and they get along great and I can give him commands and he will listen without a problem. And usually after 20 minutes of playing with a new dog he will listen, it is just when I walk him and he wants to see every dog behind the fence and play with them and if he can’t get to them he goes crazy. So anyways my question is how can I get my dog to not spaz out and completely ignore me every time he sees a new dog?
November 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm
Hi Moose, My Shiba Inu is very dog focused as well. It may be partly genetic, but I speculate that it was also partly because he did not have too much human attention when he was a really young puppy.
My Husky came from a really good breeder who spent a lot of time socializing her when she was young and she is very people focused. In terms of meeting other dogs while walking you want to create as many neutral experiences as possible. It is also important to stay very calm throughout the whole thing. With my Shiba I would always get a bit stressed when I saw another dog and that only made him go even more crazy. Once I controlled my own energy, things improved significantly with his behavior as well.
Then I would just move him along. In this way he learns that when he sees other dogs, it is boring and nothing happens. Holding the leash close to the collar will give you much better control to just move him along. The more meetings you have where nothing happens and he just moves along, the less excited he will get in the next meeting.
I also take note of houses with really reactive dogs and make sure I cross the road to create more space between them and my Shiba. I will also cross the road when we meet excited dogs on the street. At the same time, you can do desensitization exercises with him with other dogs in a controlled situation. This will slowly teach him to focus on you even when there are other dogs around. Here are some of the techniques I used on my Shiba for meeting dogs on the street –
November 14, 2009 at 1:10 pm
I have a one and a half year old German Shepard dog. I have found that just walking and obediance is not enough, often I would get more tired than him. One thing I have tried that really tired him out and not me was to use a bicycle to tire him out. Basically I had to make sure I could easily get him on a heel and spent a little time acclimating him to the bike. After that I would go at a light pace, enough to get him to a light trot. So far he is so tired he has very little energy and I am not worn out. One thing to always keep in mind is start slow and always make sure to keep an eye on your dog to avoid injuring him/her. This is a good idea for those who do not have alot of time and energy to invest in walking.
November 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm
That is a great suggestion jdavismp. You should write an article about how you trained your dog to run with your bike. I think many people would find something like that to be very useful – including me! 🙂
November 14, 2009 at 1:08 pm
i have a 91/2 week old male bichon frise
he has about a 3 hour hyper phase which usually starts at 5.30am!
in addition to chewing wires/cables, and getting friendly with my brothers leg!! and barking!
he isnt lead trained yet, so walks are out of the question as he doesnt move! he starts training classes nect sunday but this only hafl an hour evry sunday.
November 14, 2009 at 1:09 pm
Hi Charlotte, I would definitely stop the leg-humping. When my dog does that, I no-mark him (Ack-ack), and move him off. It may be easier to do using a drag lead with a flat collar. Then, engage him in doing something else -obedience commands is usually a good exercise. If he goes back to humping, then put him in a brief time-out. With consistency and repetition, he quickly learned that humping will get him into a boring room with nothing to do.
For chewing, I get my dog some safe chew toys. When he chews on something he should not, I no-mark him (ack ack) and redirect him onto a sanctioned chew toy. If he starts playing with the chew toy, then I praise him and play with him. I sometimes put a bit of food on the chew toy to attract his interest.
In general, we want to give our dog some structure, and teach him what are acceptable behaviors and what are not acceptable behaviors. Here are some things that helped me when my Shiba was a puppy –
I also make him work for all of his food. This will help him expend some physical and mental energy –
Hope this helps. Let me know how it goes.
troubled canine at play time says
September 14, 2009 at 1:05 pm
I have a lab mix that is just full of energy. due to my husband recent allergies to hime, the dog has to stay outside. I have a very large yard but no fence, so Sam has to stay on a chain, because he likes to run away. When people come to my house, they avoid getting near him because, he jumps, scratches, and mouths a lot. And it’s dangerous, for small children, because he will nock them down, and get scratched by him tryinng to play with the kids. I try everyday ( though I have not had him long) to go outside and give him some attention, and try to pet and play with him, and come back with bleeding scratches, and ripped shirts from him tugging on the bottom of my shirt or pant leg. I also try to relieve him of some of his energy by walking him. But he pulls so hard it’s nearly impossible for a woman my size to walk him. I just don’t have the strenth. He is not aggressive, but people are scared of him. I have been told to put him in obedience classes, but I live in a house that is about 30 mins. away, from the city. What should I do?
September 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm
I definitely second the obedience class suggestion. That will help to teach Sam what are good behaviors and what are undesirable behaviors. It will also give you the tools to control him inside and outside the house.
The chaining is also not ideal as he doesn’t get any exercise and has a very small space to explore. It would be great to fence up the backyard so that he can have free rein. That will allow him to run, and help him get rid of some of his energy. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/pets/2009-08-12-stilwell-dog-chains_n.htm
It is boring to stay in a single place all day with nothing to do. I make my dog work for his food, and I get him some high quality interactive toys and good chew toys. Make sure the chew toys are safe and durable – i.e. he can’t hurt his teeth chewing them and he can’t swallow large pieces of them.
I also do training exercises with my dog every day. First I establish a consistent mark (e.g. Good) and a no-mark (No or Ack-ack). When he jumps, no-mark him (ack-ack) fold up my arms, and turn away from him. If he continues, I walk away from him (this assumes that he is on-leash and can’t follow me – I get a friend’s help if necessary). As soon as he is calm and not jumping, I say Good, and start walking towards him. As soon as he starts jumping, I no-mark again and and turn away. This teaches him that not-jumping gets him my attention, and jumping gets no-attention. With consistency and repetition, he will quickly learned not to jump.
Walking him every day will also helped. A head-halti can help keep large dogs from pulling with very little force.
I also teach my dog the “sit” command. Sit is useful because when he jumps, I can just give him an alternate command, i.e. Sit. Once he does it, I can praise him and treat him. This refocuses the undesirable behavior into something positive. I usually combine teaching obedience commands with treats and bite-inhibition exercises.
For a mouthy dog, bite inhibition really helps. To teach bite inhibition, I hand feed my dog his food. I hold the food in a fist and feed him little bits slowly, if he grabs too hard, I yelp ‘Ouch’ and stop feeding him temporarily. After waiting a bit, I try again. If he uses a soft mouth, I praise him and keep feeding him. We can also start by using a metal spoon to feed a dog if he bites too hard on our hand. It is uncomfortable to bite hard on a metal spoon so that can help to teach a dog to reduce the force of his bite. Once he starts to learn, we can switch to hand-feeding.
Sam sounds like a really sweet dog who just needs to learn what are our human rules, e.g. when meeting people, etc. There are many more things that they will teach in obedience class, and it will help with control and bonding. Plus it will be fun for both you and Sam.
Labs are work dogs so they are highly trainable. 😀
September 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm
Well I Have a Male australian shepeard and he really has a biting problem and also he is overly hyper and we dont know what top do with him at nights
September 14, 2009 at 1:04 pm
Hello Gloria, Australian Shepherds are wicked smart and they can do really well with obedience. They do have a tendency to nip though, being a herding dog. Some of my experiences with nipping – http://shibashake.com/dog/puppy-biting-how-to-stop-puppy-biting
Being a work dog, he also needs a lot of exercise during the day. I make my dog work for all of his food, walk him at least once every day, and do multiple short obedience sessions with him. I also follow the NILIF program so that obedience becomes a way of life.
September 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm
Thank you for this article! It’s very helpful!
I have a 7 month old extremely hyper border collie/golden retriever mix. I’ve had him for about 3 weeks now. He lives in the backyard because my mother is allergic to animals, but I’m out there working/playing with him several times for several minutes a day.
When I try to transfer him off the chain to the leash to walk him, he starts to take off running extremely fast. When he’s on the leash, he’ll start jumping up and nipping at my arms and hands. He does this at the beginning of every walk, and it makes it hard for me to walk him. If he sees another dog or person during the walk, he’ll get excited and start jumping on them or on me again.
He weighs about 45 pounds now and is too big and too strong to be nipping and jumping. It seems like his previous owners didn’t train him at all.
He learns very quickly, and after ten minutes he already understands “sit”, but when he’s hyper and jumping up, it’s like he doesn’t hear the command and completely ignores it. I’m planning on taking him to a friend’s house soon to let him run around freely and play with their dog (they have a huge yard that’s not fenced in), but I’m afraid he’s going to run off so fast that I’ll never find him.
I’m getting him fixed next month in hopes it will calm him down some and not make him run too far away from me. Do you have any suggestions for letting him loose at my friends’ house? Anything else to make him calm down?
September 14, 2009 at 1:02 pm
My Shiba used to do leash biting as well. This usually happens when he gets overly excited, and then redirects his excitement or frustration onto the leash. More exercise, both mental and physical, helped a lot. I started doing short but frequent obedience sessions with my Shiba every day. Make sure to do an obedience session right before the walk so that you get him used to listening and focusing on you, then take him out.
The article above has more on the things I tried with my Shiba for leash-biting.
As for playing with your friend’s dog, that sounds like a good idea. Introduce them slowly and make sure to always keep things safe. Some dogs may get protective over their home territory, so that is something to look out for. Also, you may want to keep your dog on a really long lead at first to make sure he doesn’t run off. They have 30 foot or even longer leads that people use to train their dogs on recall and such. Make sure to only use a flat collar and *NOT* an aversive collar.
September 14, 2009 at 12:57 pm
I have a staffy who is nearly one years old now he is very hyper when people visit the home and alsovery hyper outside on walks i cannot let him off the lead and he pulls almost all the time. ive tryed almost everything i can think of to stop this behaviour as i have owned dogs before but he is the most differecult one i have owned so far he also crys alot in the home and seeks constant attention he is the same when outside with people always jumping up and generally doesnt listen to anything i say. Please help!!!
September 14, 2009 at 12:59 pm
Hello Lass, Some things that help with my dog –
1. Train him to give polite greetings.
When he jumps on people, I instruct them to turn away from him (don’t move away- just turn) and totally ignore him (no talk, no touch, no eye-contact). I also no-mark him (No, ack-ack), and move him away from the people as soon as he jumps. When he calms down and gives me a Sit – I move him back to the person and let him try meeting again. By repeating this exercise, he learns that jumping means don’t get to greet people, but paws on the ground means affection and attention.
2. In terms of pulling check out – http://shibashake.com/dog/leash-training-your-dog
Draining some of his energy before the walk will also help.
September 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm
I have raised quite a few dogs in my life, including a wolf-hybrid (wolf-dog, depending what your view is), but I have never had as much trouble that I do now with my one year old male lab mix. From the time he was seven weeks old, he ran and pulled, jumped from high heights, and ran and ran. I would give him two walks per day, two hours long each as often as I could. During the winter months as he grew older this was quite dangerous as there was much ice and he would pull and pull. Nothing I did worked. Not the heel command. Not wearing him out by playing with him prior to the walk. I would let my wolf hybrid play with him, and eventually she would even get exhausted from him. I would spend time playing with him, and I would provide him with activities, such as the Kong ball, fetch, jump for it. I’ve trained him to sit, lay down, stay, and come. But it takes me three times of repeating the command to get him to listen. Yes, I’ve used treats and rewards for praising. This was how I trained my wolf hybrid, and all of my other dogs. So, I know how to train a dog. In fact, my previous retriever mix was so well trained even the city police were impressed with him. But the one I have now is more than a handful. I had him neutered at three months based on the Vet’s recommendation. We believed it would calm him down, but even after a year old, he is still as hyper. I had to get a head halter to walk him on an easier method, but he still manages to pull and jerk. I’ve tried tips and advice from people just like you. I’ve tried the alpha command recommended to me (That was how I actually trained my wolf hybrid, but she was much different of course). I’ve tried the sit and stay, which works a little bit, but not for long. It got to the point where the vet prescribed him medicine to calm him down. It worked for a while, but it soon became apparent one pill wasn’t enough, not even combined with long walks, wrestling, training, playing, etc. But I cannot keep giving my dog medicine. He is on a high protein diet, as he eats the same food as my wolf-hybrid, and he has been on this diet since he was given to me as a gift after my retriever mixed passed away last year. This really baffles me as to his behavior. The vet asked me what his breed was. He is part black Lab, part Poodle, and part Golden Retriever. I was then told these breeds were the worst to breed together at the same time, because it caused deep behavioral problems. Now my question is this. What advice can you give to me that will tire my dog out and keep him behaving on his walks and in the home? Because I’ve tried every advice I’ve been given. Although tonight I did try something new. I filled his Kong with some dog food, and stuck peanut butter on the top with some more dog food stuck to the kibble. He was busy for about ten minutes with it, then busily bouncing and chewing the Kong around the large room, and now he’s just rolling it around while he licks at it. But there must be more I can do. I may have to try out that fishing lure game with him and see if that works.
September 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm
Hello Firestorm, You seem to have done a lot of research in this area already. Some other things that may help – 1. Finding him a good daycare and putting him there once or twice a week. This will give you a break and if you find a good daycare, they will tire him out by providing him with many play sessions with other dogs. 2. Picking up the pace during walks. You could try jogging with him, doing roller-blading, or cycling with him. Only do this under the direction of a professional trainer so that you keep things safe for you and your dog. 3. Let him carry his own water during walks. Give him a dog backpack during walks and let him work by carrying his own water, and your water. Only do this if he is totally healthy and does not have any joint issues. Make sure not to overload him. 4. Make him work for *all* of his food. Use more challenging interactive food toys. The Buster Cube is good as well as the Omega Ball. http://www.shibashake.com/dog/best-dog-toys
5. Maybe enroll him in an agility class. An agility course is great because it gives both mental and physical stimulation. Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes.
August 14, 2009 at 12:53 pm
What do you suggest for a super hyper dog (when it comes to inside the house or the backyard), totally anti-social dog (when it comes to just about anywhere that’s not inside the house or the backyard), and completly agressive dog (when it comes to strangers in the house or the backyard). Thanks.
August 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm
My Shiba is also somewhat dog reactive so I understand some of the difficulties that you are going through. Some things that helped me with my Shiba include –
1. Desensitization exercises
I slowly desensitize my dog to people first and then to other dogs. In general I try to help my dog to re-associate people and other dogs with positive experiences. This article has more on desensitizing a dog to other dogs.
The process is similar wrt. a human. I make sure to keep things safe. I always have my dog on a lead and and not within bite range of the human. With desensitization to people, we can also have the person toss our dog some good food from a distance. This will help him associate new people with yummy food.
2. Obedience exercises I do several short sessions of obedience exercises with my dog every day. This helps to drain some of his energy and help me with control inside and outside the house.
3. Make him work for all of his food.
4. Shorter but more frequent walks
I take him out for shorter but more frequent walks around the house. This allows me to bring him home quickly and do a time-out if he acts out (e.g. leash bites etc) during the walk. However, he can still get his much needed exercise.
The more I can drain his energy, the more receptive he will be to the desensitization and obedience exercises.
I also highly recommend getting some help from a positive reinforcement professional trainer. A trainer will be able to observe your dog’s behavior in real time, and come up with a training plan that is safe and suited to your dog’s needs.
August 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm
my friend has a very hyper rottwieler she takes it for walks every day but its hard o socialize because everybody things the dog is mean because its a rottwieler its annoying when you walk ur dog and if a kid comes up to pet her the parents rush over and say dont touch that dog its mean
August 14, 2009 at 12:50 pm
Hello Clair, I know what you mean. I have a Siberian Husky, and some people think she is a wolf hybrid and are afraid of her. It is best to just move on with a smile 🙂 Some people are also just afraid of dogs in general because they may have had bad experiences before.
The good way to socialize my dog is to first introduce him to all my friends, and acquaintances. People I know will more likely to listen to my instructions on the right way to meet a dog. Sometimes strangers will do crazy, unexpected things. One time I met a lady who tried to pick up my dog without asking and without any warning.
Doing obedience commands when people are around can also be very helpful. When people see my Husky sitting and being calm, they are more likely to approach. Hope this helps.
August 14, 2009 at 12:55 pm
Thank you for all your wonderful advice. I will have to try some of these ideas with Russell.
August 14, 2009 at 12:56 pm
Thanks catwoman. Drop by and let us know which techniques work best for you and Russell.
August 14, 2009 at 12:51 pm
Once again a well laid out article on dogs.
August 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm
Thanks healthgoji 🙂
July 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm
I have a 9 week old Springer spaniel and she is always hyper for about 3 hours non stop, is there anyway to calm her down? also, do you have any tips on how to get her to respect the older dog in the house? im also getting an 8 week old springer tomorrow, do you think she will react? Thank you 😀
July 14, 2009 at 12:45 pm
I have a black lab, and i take her on walks, but I’m getting a tad bit bored of daily walks, and “play with the stick” or my dog getting very muddy in our stream/cattails. I wish i had a simple way to exercise my dog, that doesnt bore me or my dog.
July 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm
How about a dog sport? You can also compete in most of them. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dog_sports
There are a great variety so I am sure you will be able to find something that you and your dog will enjoy.
July 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm
Hello Roisin, Hope things are going well with your two puppies. My Shiba was really hyper too when I first got him. Some things that really helped – 1. Making him work of all of this food. 2. Plenty of exercise – off-leash play-time with other puppies really tired him out. Walks are also important after they get fully immunized. 3. Puppy class – training was fun for me and really good mental exercise for my dog. As for the older dog, make sure you give him as much alone time as he wants. He should have a safe area, e.g. kitchen or crate where he gets to rest away from the young’uns 🙂 Share some pictures of your puppies with us. Would love to see them.
Sunny Robinson says
July 14, 2009 at 12:42 pm
We have a spastic and energetic red merle Australian Shepherd who is always happy to see everyone. I’m pretty sure the tongue she whips everyone with (even in a passing hello lick) is linked to her hyperactive compulsion. If you snap your finger to tell her to stop doing something, she licks herself on the side or leg once or twice for comfort before darting off. She can’t stop wiggling or licking or running. It never ends! Lol. I think all of these tips you give will be very useful for her! Thank you for the hub.
July 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm
I love the look of Australian Shepherds. And red merle is such a unique coat. I have seen blue merle Shepherds, but never a red merle one.
And yeah Autralian Shepherds are very high energy – although someone told me that the Border Collie is even higher than that. I just can’t imagine – lol.
Do you have any pictures of your girl in your hubs? Would love to see her.
Let me know how it goes 🙂
July 14, 2009 at 12:44 pm
That’s a great idea. I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll put together a hub all about my Aussie girls. Thank you! 🙂
June 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm
I have a golden retriever and he never stops being hyper, i tried kong but he still is hyper and he gives up after. It is almost impossible to take him for a walk, what should i do?
June 14, 2009 at 12:39 pm
Hyper is most often due to too much energy and not enough activity to release that energy. How old is your dog? What activity does he do every day?
Does he pull on the walk? When does he pull – all the time or just when he sees something interesting? Does he bite the leash?
For pulling – a possible short-term solution is the Gentle Leader head-halti. It allows us to control large dogs with very little force. This allows us to take our dog on longer walks for energy release. However, I still keep up with some regular leash training with a flat collar. http://shibashake.com/dog/leash-training-your-dog
Some of the things I do with my dogs every day – 1. Walks. 2. Obedience training. 3. They work for all of their food. 4. Play games (For a retriever – Fetch would be a great game to play with your dog)
June 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm
Thanks for such a useful hub. I’m trying to train our puppy how to play fetch.
June 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm
Oh she will so love to play Fetch 🙂 What is her name btw?
I wish my dogs liked playing Fetch more. Usually they will Fetch once – and then they just look at me as if to say – “I got it the first time, you get it the second time” – lol
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