How do I teach my 18 month old foster dog to calm down & let me relax?
I am hoping someone can give me some advice. Almost two weeks ago, I fostered a pit mix from the city shelter. She is my first foster (not my first dog) and is estimated to be around 18 months old. Let me start by saying that overall she is a GOOD dog - she is doing excellent with housebreaking (no accidents in the past 7 days), great on a leash, doesn't beg for food, non-destructive, affectionate, and quiet in her crate.
The problem is that when I come home to her after work, simply put, she won't leave me alone. I do not have a yard, but I try to exercise her as much as I possibly can. We are in the routine of running three miles in the morning before work, and running another two miles immediately after work. It is bitter cold where I live right now, but I get her outside every chance I can.
When we come back from our evening run, she is usually quite wound up so I will play "fetch" with her in the house for a little bit. I understand that she wants and needs my attention,
on Feb 21st 2013
in Methods of Training
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How about something she can do on her own to occupy her time? Such as a food-dispensing puzzle toy, or a nylabone, or some other kind of chew like a bully stick? 5 miles of running seems like it would be adequate, but some dogs need either some extra mental stimulation (like a 15min. training session or the puzzle toy) or jaw work from a good chew -- some dogs also need to be taught how to wind down, you can look up Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol. Thank you for fostering!
Kolbe answered on 2/21/13. Helpful? / 0
Give her the attention you feel like giving her and then try ignoring her.
I bet she just doesn't know what to do with herself and she could be a bit anxious so she's looking to you to occupy her. She may not have ever been in an environment that she had "down time" in. Plus, the breed can be a bit high energy so I also recommend something that will occupy her time. Let her chew on a rope bone or what's worked for me with dogs that need something to do is a Kong filled with peanut butter and then frozen so the dog has to work to get it out or if you want a refillable treat ball, the StarMark Everlasting Treat Ball is awesome! I have high energy dogs and there are days they are pacing and just constantly begging for attention and they LOVE that treat ball! It gives them something to lick for a little while and I can make dinner or do laundry or just relax for a little. I don't leave it out all the time so it's special and they don't get tired of it.
Cooper answered on 2/22/13. Helpful? / 0
Ignore her until she calms down, do not speak to her or look at her. Once she calms down then speak to her and give her calm attention. She will figure it out quickly.
Echo answered on 2/25/13. Helpful? / 0