Overstimulated/crazy part way through walks -- help!

by Heather
(Burlington, Canada)

Hi. My Jack Russell-border collie cross sometimes goes crazy when we go on walks. Crazy looks like jumping up and mouthing my forearms very aggressively or snapping at my legs, clothing, back. It's quite random. Please help. I have been wearing long sleeves all week because Milo went crazy on me on Sunday. I took him for a walk in the fields near our house. There was no one around so I let him off of his leash. He had a great time. When I started to head back towards the path, he went crazy. I didn't touch him or try to put his leash back on.


I bring treats to try to lure him to a place where I can tie him up for a time out, if needed. Is this behaviour normal? Is there a way to figure out when or why these crazy attacks happen? They are scary as I can't seem to calm him down without a timeout. Thanks for your help. Heather

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Apr 24, 2019
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Unpleasant Walk for you!
by: Anonymous

The outdoors as you suggested overstimulates sometimes. This hunter nature seems to overcome, and uncontrolled biting follows. They CAN learn from it. The challenge is getting attention and refocusing the dog to a learning mode. I am concluding the bites don't break skin, and that you are wearing long sleeves, long pants to protect on the walk. If they are, I would suggest never to allow the dog off leash, because any repetition is developing a habit, and habits are much harder to manage than an incident. It is going to be up to you whether or not it is worth it to you. If you desire to try the off leash experience again, you might consider lavender essential oil. I have a separate collar reserved for treating with a few drops of esssential oil, for storms, for example. It might calm down the overstimulation of the olfactory senses. If it is important for your dog to master field discipline other options include, a shock collar that can give an unpleasant shock to your dog when a remote is activated. It does hurt the dog, and I cannot say it is something I would ever do, I am telling you so you know they exist, and you can research and decide for yourself. A soak in the face with ice water? Shaking a can of pennies? In this case, I am not sure those methods would be enough. Just putting some options out there.. This is not an easy issue. My JRT has bit me a few times, usually with predictable reason why. I learned what to avoid. It's been a matter of learning to discern what triggers his animal biting self. Being able to gain immediate control of the animal and subduing seems important, and means to that end should be explored. When grooming I sometimes use a towel, wrapped around his neck like a noose, and holding that..in a non aggressive, soothing way.. it allows me to get done what I must. Shaming has worked best.. YOU BIT MAMA!!!! BAD DOG!! YOU BIT MAMA! you hurt me!! NEVER BITE MAMA. Not yelling just speaking in a calm voice. .I follow this with a time out. This has worked best. . On leash you can incorporate a time out. If you could learn when he is about to become overstimulated, and return to lead at that point, it might avert the crisis. Start with shorter times off leash and first sign of overstimulation , return to lead. I think you've got this... either way.. Being in control of your animal is important for both of you. Good luck!

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