Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Excitable JR  (Read 1110 times)


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Excitable JR
« on: June 30, 2017, 01:45:23 pm »
Back in February we took on a rescue JR, he's a lovely little chap, about 4/5 yr old, very small up to most I've seen. Maybe had a few homes.
Only problem is he goes daft when we leave the room, yap yap yap, bouncing up and down at the door handle, bit close to hands, or grapping a shoe (usually OH croc) and chewing it.
I have tried just trying to talk calmly, saying things like it's "OK, shhhh,  quiet now, calm  down" etc.
I have to admit occasionally I've shouted QUIET as loud as I can, quietened him for a while.
OH only has to say 'RIGHT', as he's going to stand up and do something and little fella starts bouncing about.
Or putting a coat or boots on.
He isn't just as bad with me, mainly when I put a coat on.
When he's been barking he does do a lot of 'lipsmacking'
Anyone any advice PLEASE, driving me crazy.


  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!
Re: Excitable JR
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2017, 03:01:03 pm »
Is he excited because he thinks you're all going somewhere (walkies!!), or anxious because you're leaving him on his own?
Either way, my first approach would be to make leaving the room so incredibly boring. Just wander out, shut him inside, come back in and ignore him. The idea being that a) leaving the room doesn't mean anything interesting is going to happen NOR that you will be gone forever; but also b) yapping and crying doesn't bring you back. To get point b, you somehow need to time your re-entry at a moment where he is relatively calm and quiet.
Can you also re-direct the shoe-chewing to a toy?

Have a look at desensitising e.g.


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Excitable JR
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2017, 10:10:01 pm »
If it's anxiety, we had great success using a 'toy box'. (*)  A big plastic box filled with screwed up bits of newspaper, cardboard, some of his favourite toys, the occasional little treat.  Get him used to being given his Toy Box, using the phrase "Toy Box"with appropriate excitement, so that he loves it and excitedly dives in to find the goodies therein.  Then gradually slip out of the room while he's in there, not for long at all at first and then for increasing amounts of time.  If he doesn't notice you leave, the anxiety is much less and may even be absent.

We used this with a rescue GSD x Collie who had severe separation anxiety. It took some weeks to build it up so we could go out of the house, but it did work.  After not long we didn't need the Toy Box at all, he just accepted that we left and came back.

For the rest of his life, though, if he did get anxious, he'd find some newspaper to chew up.  And if that wasn't enough, find a plastic container full of things to discover - namely the kitchen bin ::) - empty it and spread its contents all over the floor.

I used to leave Radio 4 on for company for him.  Occasionally he'd have got anxious and chewed up some newspaper.  I eventually worked out that it was John Humphries haranguing someone that upset him.  I retuned to Radio 3 and hardly ever had the problem again. :)

(*) For full details on the 'Toy box' technique, see John Cree's book, 'Your Problem Dog'.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Excitable JR
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2017, 02:00:04 am »
OK been having a think.
He does have a couple of rope bones which he's happy to shake to death instead of croc.
He will bark when OH goes out and I'm still here, and vice versa, so not about being alone.
I'm in and out of the kitchen all day.
When I leave the kitchen he doesn't seem to want to go out, and while he doesn't bite, he's so excitable jumping up at the door handle I snatch my hand away, it does seem he will grab it in his excitement. It seems it's when OH goes out he shakes shoe/rope.
He doesn't seem upset when he's on his own, I think he just jumps up and curls up in the chair until we come back in.
Interestingly he stays curled up when I come back in, but jumps up and watches the window looking out to the porch when OH comes in, getting excited.
Is it relevant that OH goes out to work and I'm about, I'm taken for granted ?


  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!
Re: Excitable JR
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2017, 02:51:07 pm »

Is it relevant that OH goes out to work and I'm about, I'm taken for granted ?

I would cautiously say that's possible

(Disclaimer - I'm still on my first ever dog ;) )

Re the biting, it sounds like it's not intentional but just sheer hype. How is his bite inhibition in general? E.g. if you play with toys with him, is he careful to not accidentally grab you? Is this something you could practice (with gloves on initially!)? And the game stops RIGHT NOW if his mouth touches your hand. I'd also be thinking about some sort of reward + training to have him stay on the floor or in a basket when you go to the kithen door?


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