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1/12/13

A high strung-dog, is it inherited?

 Question: A high strung-dog, is it inherited?

Our 10-month-old Cockapoo is still extremely excitable. She also tries to nibble us at every opportunity, and needs to have company virtually all the time. She whines when she is being ignored. Are these inherited genes, as poodles are very excitable? I heard Cocker Spaniels were also high-strung.


Answer:

Being high-strung is never a breed "trait." It is by no means inherited. What a dog can inherit is a higher energy level, but any dog who does not receive the proper amount of exercise can become anxious and high-strung. When a dog is high-strung and extremely excitable it is a sure sign of a lack of mental and/or physical exercise. The whining is anxiety, from a lack of exercise and/or leadership. 


The more daily exercise you give your dog, where it not only makes her tired, but challenges her mind at the same time, the calmer your dog will be. Please keep in mind, exercise such as tossing a ball or a romp at the dog park is excited exercise and will keep your dog at a higher level of excitement, therefore, less calm. A pack walk is the perfect type of exercise to calm a dog. 

It not only physically tires a dog, but it is a mental challenge as well, because she needs to follow you, which takes concentration. It also reinforces the fact that you are pack leader, leading to respect and a better behaved dog.
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