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Annika
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10-06-2018, 08:35 AM

Puppy wanting to play after walks - under or over stimulated, or just normal energy?

Apologies for the two questions in 24 hours!

I've noticed that my 15 week old Eurasier puppy struggles to settle after walks. We have three 25 minute walks a day at 8.30, 12.30 and 5 (two normal and one which involves an activity, like going on the bus or to a store), and after each one he has a few minutes of obedience training (as much as he can focus on right now) and then a meal. Based on what I'd read before getting him, I was expecting him to be pooped after each walk and go to sleep for a bit, then wake up after an hour or so and need attention. However, in practice he really struggles to settle after the walk and wants to play. Once he eventually does settle himself, he sleeps for a significant amount of time, and is generally calm until it's time for our next outing.

My question is, is his playfulness after walks due to over or under stimulation, or just normal puppy energy that hasn't been used up because he can't walk so far? And, more importantly, should I:

a) Indulge it and play actively with him
b) Give him a toy and let him play by himself until he settles by himself?
c) Take away all toys/put him in his pen to help him settle

So far I think b) is my preferred solution. If I do a), it just seems to amp him up, and with c) he will whine and start looking for things to do, and often find them in incorrect places. With b), I have a stash of toys he loves which he only gets after a walk. He's pretty good at playing by himself and generally does eventually calm by this method. It's still not great, though, he paces and whines and gets agitated and cheeky when I have to go upstairs (where the two cats are currently sequestered), so I'd like to know what more experienced people think. Is this just a normal part of 'life with this puppy', or is there something more I can do to help him settle?
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Jackie
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10-06-2018, 08:56 AM
1, 3 25 minutes walks a day is to much for such a young pup,

2, yes the zombies after walks is normal, most pups do this .

I would be only walking him at this age for 15 mins at a time and cutting it down to 2. You can tire him out with training or games at home ,
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Annika
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10-06-2018, 08:59 AM
Thanks for your reply, Jackie. The 25 minutes was recommended by his breeder for this age. I will cut it down to two though.

Is there anything I can do to help him settle? It's been an hour since we got back and he had his dinner but he's still agitated.
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brenda1
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10-06-2018, 09:35 AM
Subject: Brain games for dogs.

Brain games for dogs.

If your dog is highly intelligent then the usual training may not be enough to mentally stimulate and consequently tire your dog. This can lead to a dog that gets in to mischief.

In addition to your usual training routine you need to be providing things that really make your dog think. Some of these may require retrieve as an end result, this is taught in our intermediate course. A help sheet is available if you would like to start this sooner, especially if your dog is very bright.

Hide the toy. Get you dog interested in a favourite toy, shut them out the room and hide the toy. Let them in and encourage the dog to find the toy using the phrase "where is it?" Vary the hiding place!

This can lead on to seek back. Whilst walking around a room or your garden, casually drop something like a glove, wallet or small bunch of keys (with a leather or fabric fob attached). Continue walking a little, then say "oh I've lost (whatever the item is)" and encourage your dog to find the item.

Either of these can end with the dog indicating the item's whereabouts or with the dog picking the item up and giving it to you (this will depend on whether you have taught retrieve yet), hence the leather fob on a small bunch of keys, some dogs won't pick up metal.

In turn this can lead to scent work. Identical items are placed in a pattern on the floor, preferably by another person. You have one item on you to pick up your scent. This is placed in the pattern, the dog is encouraged to smell your hand and then find the correct item from the pattern. (We have a work sheet for more detailed instructions on how to teach this, if you are interested in it.)

Name the toy. Every time you play with the dog with a particular toy, use the toy's name. i.e ball, bone, ring. If you have multiple toys of one type be colour specific, blue ball, red ball. This starts to teach your dog item names. You can then put two or three items out on the floor and ask your dog to select the correct toy. i.e three balls, all different colours and they must choose the colour you ask for. The reward for getting it correct is a game. If they bring the wrong one, put it back in the pattern and start again. Challenge yourself...how many item names can you successfully teach your dog and how many items can you lay in a pattern and your dog still pick the right one?

Cones. Have several cones or pots of the same type. Out of view of the dog, hide a treat under one. Encourage your dog to find the treat.

Positions. Stand, sit and down in varying patterns is the basic start point. Then reduce the amount of treats used to get the position, then increase the distance you are away from your dog when you ask them to change position. Try to do this with them remaining on the same spot, not coming forward to meet you.

Human spotting. For use when you have taught your dog to retrieve.
As with toys, name yourself and any family members for the dog. This can start as hide and seek. One person holds the dog, another goes out of sight very fast and hides. Encourage the dog to find them whilst saying "where's (insert name). Lots of praise when they are found.
You can then encourage your dog to take a toy to a specific person. In the first instance,Have your dog hold the toy, say "take it to (insert name)" and at the same time that person calls the dog. This builds up with the other person not needing to call the dog because he knows who they are that your phrase means to take the toy to them.
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brenda1
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10-06-2018, 09:36 AM
The above may help. Also making sure that whatever you are feeding, unless it is a natural diet, then protein has a big baring on how much extra energy a pup has.
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Annika
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10-06-2018, 10:30 AM
Thanks Brenda, that's really helpful! He is wicked smart and eager to please, but has the attention span of a flea. I am going to try the hide and seek thing today, if you would be willing to share that work sheet I would be very grateful!
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brenda1
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10-06-2018, 01:27 PM
Annika you are more than welcome to print it off if you would like it.
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Annika
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10-06-2018, 03:38 PM
Sorry Brenda, didn't realise it was a quote, I thought you were referring to a worksheet you yourself own for your own training.

I'll take a look!
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brenda1
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10-06-2018, 08:42 PM
It is our own composition we had for own dog owners that came to training. I give it out to owners that need help. Hope it does.
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