Puppy Goes Zoom

Dogs, cats, randomness–my adventures in pet ownership and fostering

Channeling Crazy Dog Energy into Agility

on August 26, 2012

Reba is, to put it mildly, easily excitable. And nothing gets her more worked up than having people over. She runs around the house in crazy circles, jumps, up, licks faces, and generally makes herself a giant pain in the posterior.

We’ve worked on this in a few different ways. We give her a time out in the bathroom when she’s getting in guests’ faces. We periodically take her outside to play fetch or tug or chase the flirt pole. Both of these seem to be very short-term solutions. She’s chill for a little bit, then ramps right back up again.

So, the new plan is to get her good and tired before people come over, as recommended by Jolanta Benal here, as well as making sure she has something to occupy herself rather than continuously begging for attention. A food-dispensing toy or a marrow bone would be a good choice.

Meanwhile, Matt discovered Instant Agility, which has plans for building agility elements out of PVC. He set up a quick jump in the backyard (a board on two concrete blocks) and taught her to jump it. Then, he hit the hardware store and built two of the PVC jumps.

He did the first bit of training on a day when we had a friend over for dinner. That little bit of agility work seemed to make Reba much calmer in the evening. Admittedly, it was only one person, not five, and only an evening, not an all-day thing. But it was still very encouraging.

I think that from now on, when we have guests, we need to not just tire Reba out beforehand, but work on teaching her something new, whether it be agility or random tricks. Basically try to get a good mix of both mental and physical exertion.

She definitely has a lot of fun going over jumps. The next build project will probably be either the ladder or the adjustable weave pole, both of which should not only be amusing, but also help develop some coordination.

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