Your Dog Is Hyperactive When You Get Home From Work What Should You Do

Dear Adam,​

I am a​ member of​ the​ Bouvtrain list. That's how I got your name. I'm almost through your book and it​ has certainly given me some new ideas. Gypsy is​ a​ 1 1/2 year old Bouvier. She is​ very high-strung but we're working on​ it. You're absolutely right that it​ does no good to​ send your dog away to​ school. For $900 bucks she now does just what the​ dog trainer tells her to​ do. I'm getting a​ lot better,​ though.

Here's my question. I exercise her in​ the​ morning. We play ball for 30 minutes and then we walk a​ mile practicing sits,​ downs and stays. at​ night we play ball for about 15 minutes. I work from 10am to​ about 7pm. She stays in​ the​ kitchen with a​ dog door leading to​ a​ large 6' fenced back yard. She sleeps almost all day and she doesn't sleep at​ night. She paces and barks. I make her stay in​ the​ kitchen (baby gates) so I can get some sleep. I don't know any other Bouviers so I don't know if​ this is​ normal or​ not. She has hip dysplasia and has had hip surgery. I thought it​ might be pain so tried giving her an​ aspirin at​ night. Didn't help. I tried getting up to​ correct her but she hears me and gets in​ bed before I get there. Right now I'm just trying to​ ignore her. the​ kitchen has a​ large bay window to​ the​ front of​ the​ house but there are curtains. She's been doing this for months and I haven't had a​ full nights sleep in​ months,​ either. Would crating her help?

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Robbye and Gypsy

Dear Robbye:

Thanks for sending me this e-mail. It's a​ perfect example as​ to​ why simply "ignoring" bad behavior will never work on​ dogs that care more about pleasing themselves than anything else.

Here are some tips:

When she starts to​ bark,​ you'll need to​ yell,​ "No!" from your bedroom,​ and then continue saying,​ "No,​ no,​ no!" as​ you​ run to​ her and administer a​ correction. it​ doesn't matter if​ she climbs back in​ her bed at​ this point,​ as​ you've already used the​ word,​ "No!" as​ an​ event-marker. So she'll know what she's being corrected for. as​ long as​ you​ continue saying,​ "No!" you​ have an​ additional 7 to​ 14 seconds in​ which the​ dog will still associate your correction with the​ behavior.

Put a​ crate in​ your bedroom and let her sleep in​ it. Even though it​ doesn't seem like much to​ us humans,​ dogs think that sleeping together is​ quality time when they're not alone. This can help with some of​ her anxiety.

You may also try just putting her on​ a​ leash and attaching the​ leash to​ the​ foot of​ your bed. if​ she knows a​ down-stay,​ you​ can simply correct her if​ she gets up. After a​ couple of​ evenings,​ she'll learn that when you​ bring her into the​ bedroom and make her lay down,​ it's time to​ stay put.

If you​ don't feel that her hip is​ bothering her,​ I would recommend increasing the​ amount of​ exercise time. Feed her as​ soon as​ you​ get home from work and then take her out and play ball for at​ least 30 minutes. an​ hour would be even better.

If you​ can't play ball with her for a​ whole hour,​ then work her through a​ very intense obedience routine (heel,​ sit,​ heel,​ down,​ come,​ heel,​ etc...) for about 15 minutes and then play ball with her for another 10 minutes.

When I lived in​ Berkeley,​ California I had an​ American Pit Bull Terrier that was a​ very high-energy bitch. if​ I took her to​ the​ park on​ a​ Monday afternoon and played fetch for a​ whole hour,​ we'd later return to​ my apartment and within 20 minutes she'd be bouncing off the​ walls again.

However,​ if​ I took her out on​ a​ Wednesday and we simply did an​ intense obedience routine for 20 minutes,​ we'd return to​ the​ apartment and she would collapse under my coffee table and not move for the​ next 2 hours.

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