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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone
It's been a while since I posted but I'm in desperate need of help! Gladstone is at the 8 month mark and I'm struggling with him on our walks the last two-three weeks. He goes through these bursts of energy on our walks and he turns into a psycho, zooming on his leash from one end to the other, basically clothes lining himself or jumping on me and trying to rough play. He's getting bigger and stronger and I'm having a hard time getting it under control. When he's acting up, I just stop moving. If he's jumping on me, I try and turn my back to him and he just jumps and claws at my back, eventually he figures out he's not getting a reaction and stops and sits, but I won't lie, it kind of hurts a bit when he's jumping at my back. I've also tried to take different routes because I thought maybe a change of scenery would help, it didn't change anything.

I currently use a Kong 6 ft leash with a ruff wear harness (clipping it on the back). We don't clip his leash to his collar because he pulls too much and chokes himself and we get too nervous, especially if it's hot out. We go on four (0.87 mile) walks a day and almost every morning we go and visit his Visla friend "Dude" and they play and run for at least an hour. So I don't know if it's that he just needs to burn more energy or if I need to do something different? Or is that he's not neutered yet and he's going to continue to be a crazy man till the snip snip happens?

He's a really good boy at home and I would say he's a fairly good walker besides these weird bursts.
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I'm sure Chip will chime in here, he has lots of links and ideas. I'd probably add some training in while you walk to make the walk more interesting and to make him think. This way your not trying to make him just stop a behavior but you are replacing it with something else. So if he starts pulling stop call him to you and go thru some sits, downs stays, look at me, etc. and have some high value treats. Then walk some more at a heel, do some crisis cross, figure eights, repeat and when he settles try again a nice slow sniffing walk. Mix it up. I'd also walk him on a pinch collar. Our dogs learned very quickly not to pull on the pinch collar, yes he yelped 1 or 2 times but without any correction from me he self taught that it was uncomfortable to pull. I honestly do not care all that much for harnesses, I'd like too but to me the back clips usually never help in pulling, think sled dogs and the front clips I feel impede their gait and rub more. That could just be my experience. But I'm old now and I can't afford to fall.
 

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It sounds like your boy needs more exercise to me. One hour of playing is not enough I think its great you have a dog friend for him to run and play with though it does drain some of the energy off. Walking is great as well but it is not the energy drain that actual running and activity like that is. I don't like harnesses for training either you really have no control with them and there is no correction value to them either. You could try a martingale collar so at least you could correct him when he starts acting crazy. I would see about increasing his play date some if you can but be careful with too much crazy because their knees are prone to injury so be careful. These dogs thrive on activity particularly when they are young they do settle down some when they turn 3 so there is that. They do love interaction with their owners training and just being social with their owners. Boxers are never going to be that dog that just lays around on a bed all day doing nothing. Make sure when you are working with him to praise him for the things he is doing right and don't always be negative people often get caught up in the correction or NO thing or Your Bad! instead of "good boy" when he does the right thing so you have some work to do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Lindar and Luvmiboxers! I did go out today and got a Martingale collar and did our first walk with it about an hour ago and that definitely did help, I felt a little bad because he did pull and realized it didn't feel good. He did zoom like once but not nearly like it has been. I think part of me needs to realize he's not quite the sensitive baby I think he is, because he does have narrow nostrils and needs nasal fold resection (vet doesn't want to do it till we neuter him). I constantly am worried he's going to over heat, that I'm exercising him too hard because soo many people have scared me that I'm going to ruin his joint by running him young or kill him because he can't breathe. My husband orignally wanted to start running him, but I thought it was bad idea because of his joints and nose.

We were doing more playdates up till about two weeks ago because it has been crazy hot in Minnesota like mid-80's to 90's. So Dude's mom and I decided to decrease our play dates during the heat wave because Dude is a puppy too and we were worried about the dogs because they will legit play non-stop for hours! Since the heat wave, I have felt bad for him because I know that he's not getting to express a lot of that energy so we do play in the house and I invested in some yummy bones for him to keep him entertained and I sit in the living room and work so he can be near me.

I think you're probably right though, he just needs to burn more energy. Guess we'll be picking up the pace more on our walks and turning it into a jog.
 

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We have been dealing with the heat here too my dogs and I hate it! Its hard on short muzzled dogs to process the heat so we get out at sunrise to do most of out exercise and outside activities. Over heating is a real concern for Boxers it can happen so you are doing the right thing by limiting his play in the high heat. I am sure he will settle down as he gets older he is just a puppy in his mind so things are pretty exciting for him right now and he is a healthy boy too. I hope you continue to make progress with his training it just takes some time!
 

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OK, first you do have a real mess on your hands. You've dug yourself into a pretty deep hole and the first step is to stop digging. :)

He pretty much., seems mostly able to do whatever he wants without the least need to get a grip, as it were. And no getting him "fixed," for this won't change a thing. That's usually the first resort of the desperate. You can fix him now if you like, but it will change none of this behaviour. And for the most part a lot of experienced/responsible owner's, don't get there dog's fixed for a year or more. Working Dogs are not fixed at all. Not being fixed is not your problem a lack of "Consequences for poor behaviour," and the use of the wrong tool's to teach him, how to "Walk Properly on a Structured Walk," are.

The jumping need's to stop. As I see it, that is job one for you. Right now, your dog does pretty much whatever he wants, cuz you know, what are you gonna do? There are lots of ways' to address jumping. Most of which involve using a "Real Tool." And those "tool's," would be a "Regular Collar," and a 6 foot leash. When/if the dog goes to jump on you, you step on the leash and tell him no or down! That is it, it sends a "Consequence," for bad bad behaviour." It's not what do I, but it is effective.

I prefer (for jumping) direct consequence for bad behaviour. I am not a "Pro," but I help people if they want and I work with "Rescues" and some of the dog's are Jumper's. I use the "Knee Technique." If the jump up? I lift my knee and hold it there, when they come down, they bang of my knee and it knocks' them off balance, kinda like WTH? It delivery's a "Direct Consequence," for bad behaviour and I never need to say a word. But it's not an easily "transferable skill?" So they don't jump on me but other people can still be fair game.

So plan B, which can deliver a consequence for bad behaviour (which is something, your dog does not understand,) just saying, Use a "Pet Convincer," :

Personally I thought it was a joke? But some of the "Pro's," I follow online, Jeff Gellman of Solid K9 Training and Sean O'shea of The Good Dog.

Started to use it and recommend it to there, client's that were struggling with "Prong Collar corrections." The PC delivers' a direct consequence for bad behaviour and right now your dog, does not know that is a thing? So just to start, use a PC and the Jumping Crap, will come to quick halt!

Oh and while I don't wanna go on and on with the "more," and "exercise cures all bit? That "never work's!" Now maybe with a "Pug," or an "English Bulldog," it could ? But short of those that approach is a fail?

Your dog right now gets more than enough "exercise." I mean add more sure if you chose ... but you will, Fail! The whole point of "exercise," is to increase the body's ability to do work. What that mean's, is no matter how much you choose to run him? After a short nap him be able to be a "Tool," for indoors even longer!

More exercise by the owner does not work for GSD's owner, that run there dog's 13 miles a day for weeks. I doubt anything less would have much impact on a Boxer? Teaching a Dog to chill, is a skill and one that can be learned.

But frankly as long as you insist (if you do) on a harness and a leash? No one can help you. That has to change first and then you have a chance. Let me know.:)
 
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