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How to deal with constant zoomies without overexercising? limit

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Shanti, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Shanti

    Shanti Registered Users

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    Hi guys. Our 11 week old 'sprolliedor' puppy seems to have really frequent and long lasting zoomies. During the zoomies she snatches everything she can reach, ignores us or bites at us. More worryingly, she jumps around and on and off things in a way that could damage her joints. We think she's going stir crazy from being in the house so much - we've taken her out and about in our arms but it's still three more days before we can take her for a walk.
     
  2. Shanti

    Shanti Registered Users

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    Oops I must have hit send before finishing that post. One of the (expensive) thing she does mid-zoomies is tear up the pee pads.

    Several sources suggest that frequent zoomies can be to do with stress caused by inactivity, and long frequent walks are suggested but how can we do this when the advice is to limit a puppy's walks to 5 mins per month of her age, twice a day, to protect her joints?

    We do play games with her in the house, including 'brain stimulation' games, and do training exercises (sit, stay, come, lie down). She had the zoomies for about four hours yesterday evening, then again at night for about two hours, and now this morning for over an hour. She seems really off the wall.

    On the other hand a trainer at our puppy class suggested that her zoomies in the late evening are caused by overtiredness. We just can't seem to get it right!
     
  3. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    Hi there, and welcome to the forum :). Do you have a garden or outdoor yard that your puppy can run about it when she is brimming with energy? It does sound as though she is getting very over-excited - you'll find some information on dealing with that in this thread: Over Excited Puppies
     
  4. Shanti

    Shanti Registered Users

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    Thank you, Pippa. I'll have a look. I think I may have read every single article you've written on this and other sites!

    We do have a roof terrace, but in the recent heatwave the ground was too hot to let her out there during most of the day. Do you think taking her out for 15 minute walks (from next Monday) will help? She's relatively calm when she's just with me, but my husband only has to appear for her to get very excited and when he sits on the sofa she jumps up at him all the time and bites him (in play, but annoyingly). She also gets excited after every elimination! She responds better to training exercises than to games. We adore her but we're at our wits' end.
     
  5. RobbieD1506

    RobbieD1506 Registered Users

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    Hiya, we have a 12 week gorgeous pup. Not really advice but just to reassure you that we’re exactly the same. We have our crazy moments in the evening just as we’re trying to watch tv(!) but a baby gate has helped to give him time out. It’s hard not to scream when he bites but we found this just excited him more so have started calmly withdrawing our attention or placing him over the baby gate which might take a couple of go’s but does eventually kick in! We’ve just started waking him too but he’s still having these crazy moments and we’re akso worried we’re overexercising him (two 15 min walks a day and lots of play in the garden). This forum is fab though because reading other people’s experiences it seems like it’s just normal puppy behaviour - just persevere with it! Everyone says it gets better!!
     
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  6. Shanti

    Shanti Registered Users

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    Thank you! Yes, it definitely helps to know we're not alone!
     
  7. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    I hesitate to say this because it could be misinterpreted :). BUT, in my family at least, male family members in particular, do seem to get dogs (and kids ! ) over excited and this SEEMS to be because of their enthusiasm for rough housing. :). Or at least for a more 'physical' approach to playing with a puppy. If you can persuade your husband to a more 'hands off' way of interacting with your pup, I suspect you might see some improvements.
    I don't generally subscribe to the 'wear them out' school of thought. So no, I wouldn't try to fix this with more exercise, with the proviso that overly confining a puppy (too much crate/leash time) is probably a source of problems in some homes.

    Let us know what you think and how you get on. It's a challenging time for all new puppy parents so hang on in there :)
     
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  8. Shanti

    Shanti Registered Users

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    Yes, I keep telling him this! (He's also somewhat undermined my attempts at barring her from the sofa or telling her not to chew the coffee table.) But it doesn't take much to over-excite her. I played gentle tug for about 1 minute and she started trying to jump up and bite me afterwards.

    This week she went out for her first walks, but I'm still confused about exercise limits. Our puppy class trainer repeats each week the 5 mins per month of their age mantra (although I thought the KC said this was TWICE a day). Advice on the web is inconsistent about whether games like tug count as part of her exercise. I seem to be constantly reading that this type of breed needs lots of exercise in order not to be bored and/or destructive, but how can we do this AND protect her joints?

    The main reasons for her being zoomie or bitey now are if she's thwarted, e.g. if I tell her no when she's chewing an item of furniture and direct her instead to one of her chew toys. She then going into a 'springing' position and tries to bite my feet. I can shock her into stopping by shaking a tin of nails but I don't like doing this as I don't want to control her through fear.

    She's also not reacting well to being left for even 2 mins, e.g. if I go to the loo upstairs and and leave her downstairs (behind the stair gate), she whines piteously. I don't know how we're ever going to build up to actually leaving her on her own.

    We adore her but had no idea she would be such hard work - any and all advice welcome!
     
  9. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

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    At 11 weeks she really doesn't need much at all in the way of formal exercise. And the five minute rule refers to that kind of formal exercise where the puppy is being expected to follow her humans on some kind of walk :) It doesn't refer to the kind of exercise that a puppy can stop and start at will, such as playing in the garden. Obviously it's important to take a puppy out for socialisation purposes, but you don't need to worry about 'taking her for a walk' in the traditional sense at all, for the next few weeks.
     
  10. Shanti

    Shanti Registered Users

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    Thanks, Pippa. That's helpful. Just to clarify, now that she's had her vaccinations and we can let her walk rather than carrying her when we take her out for socialisation, I presume we have to limit the amount of walking she does to 15 minutes? I'm still a little confused about injunctions not to overtire/overexcite her (e.g. by playing tug and rough housing indoors) which seem to conflict with claims that chewing and biting are worsened by lack of exercise. I do try to stimulate her with training sessions and games.
     
  11. Shanti

    Shanti Registered Users

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    Also, when should we start allowing her to chase balls?
     
  12. Aisling Labs

    Aisling Labs Registered Users

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    The "five minute rule" is confusing!

    A three month old puppy can have 15 minutes (total) of forced exercise. Forced exercise is where folks gets confused so what does it mean exactly? Walking on leash, chasing a rolled ball on demand, figure eights etc. - in other words, anything that YOU are telling the puppy to do rather than them doing themselves.

    You can begin rolling the ball now or simply have the ball nearby, give it a push with your toe and encourage the puppy to "get it" or whatever command you choose.

    Our puppy is 12 weeks tomorrow. With all our puppies, we don't ask for them to bring it back at this age but after a few days of this, most of our puppies have begun to "get it" and bring it back all on their own. We are simply asking them to follow a command and "touch" the ball or other object, they all do this and then meander away to do their own thing when outside. Inside is much the same. At this age, we limit this to only 3 times and move on to something else and then do the "get it" again later but only a few times and a short distance.

    I've found that if you begin retrieve too soon, they end up making the grab and turn to bring it back much too forcefully and that by allowing them to return the object to us when they figure out that this is a good thing to do because it brings a lot of praise, they are much calmer in the early retrieves.....

    Why is that important? Because forced exercise is where the puppy is not in total control of its own stops and turns. Unless you are going to be competing with your dog later, speed in returning the item to you is not all that important, it is the returning of the item on command that is.

    The biggest issues with inside zoomies as I see it (other than the damage they do to furniture and people) is the slipping that they do when they hit a corner and when the dog includes jumping on and off furniture in the activity. The puppy is in control of its own stops and turns BUT the repetitive trauma to their joints over time is likely to affect their joint health. Of course, they might be jumping over objects outside as well, so we remove anything that can incite them to jump over it or place a barrier that stops them from being able to jump over things like a short row of low boxwoods lining our back pathway.

    Oh, and everyone of our puppies has done as your does with your husband. I've found that my manly husband slips into a higher pitched voice when he talks to them and that seems to ratchet up their excitement. We're still working on that....... : )
     
  13. mom2labs

    mom2labs Registered Users

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    I can relate to this. Our now 22 week old puppy did this too and any time we would try to stop her he would bite us and hard, we didn't really have an area to put him in to relax so we would put him in his crate for a bit and it always seemed to work. Thankfully he doesn't have these moments as often. My husband and son are also more apt to get the puppy excited with more rough play, the puppy seems to know who likes to play more rough with him because he tends to not do it with me.
     

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