OH MY GOSH! The doorbell rings and pandemonium follows. Max is at the front door, barking, jumping and going nuts. I can’t stand it! I can’t talk to anyone on the other side of the door and Max is even worse if I actually try to let the person in.
We hear this, or variations of this regularly. To us it’s just a door, no big deal, but Max sees it differently. To him it’s the whole big and sometimes scary world. The door is the entry to the den where your family, which is his pack, lives. Someone needs to guard the den and keep everyone safe. There are only two choices for this job, you or Max.
Max doesn’t necessarily want the job, it’s stressful, at least for him, but maybe
you aren’t showing him that you can handle the job on your own. Or maybe you’ve done some things that have taught him to get excited when someone comes and rings the bell or knocks on the door.
Dogs do view the world through dog colored glasses. They have a different tint than our human ones. Dogs do things for dog reasons, not people reasons.
Understanding his point of view is helpful when working or teaching Max. He’s
never going to understand our point of view and, to be honest; we have to work
at understanding his.
We often meet dogs that are hyperactive. They go into a frenzy of jumping,
barking, and running around with just the slightest stimulus. This is common
with dogs who think they need to be in charge. Dogs with leadership are calm;
dogs without leadership are over excited.
I met a very nice couple the other day with two dogs. They barked at dogs and
people walking by the house, even if they were across the street. I were
greeted by the dogs barking jumping on me. I was told the dogs never settle
down. They could be walked for over an hour and not show any signs of tiring.
Physical exercise, while necessary, is not going to tire a dog for long if the dog feels that he needs to be on guard. I worked with a family whose dog was awake all night pacing and patrolling the house. The only time he rested was if all the
family was in together in one room. He was exhausted but kept up the vigil
because he thought he had to. He was only sleeping about one or two hours a
day. Calm, relaxed dogs will sleep up to sixteen hours a day.
Hyperactivity in a dog is usually a sign that the dog is stressed. Stress can take many forms but just as in people, stress is not healthy for dogs. I’ve worked with dogs who have had stomach disorders, including ulcers, skin problems, problems
sleeping and who have shown aggression due to stress. Dogs typically are calm
and relaxed, even high energy dogs. If your dog is not calm and relaxed most of
the time, find out why.
When you relieve Max’s stress a transformation takes place. We often see dogs
visibly relax as if a great weight has been lifted from their backs. When Max
relaxes, so can you. It’s so worth the effort and you know the results.
Happy Dogs = Happy Families