I was talking to the owner of a Boxer today – Bruno seemed a nice dog just sitting there taking in the world. We discussed various breeds of dogs and how they suit certain lifestyles and so on.

After 15 minutes I bade him farewell and he immediately took Bruno off his lead whereupon he hurtled around in a circle barking and growling at his own tail. He switched directions a couple of times running flat out in a crazy kind of way.

I went back immediately to see if his owner needed help.

“Oh it’s fine,” he said.

“He does this in the evening, sometimes in the house. We call it his mad half-hour.”

In reality it wasn’t fine. That kind of obsessive fixation is not good for any dog. I know owners who use a laser-light to give their dog’s something to chase and it’s a very dangerous habit.

When dogs get into that crazy fixated state not only can they not listen to you… they can’t listen to themselves. Left unchecked it can induce foaming at the mouth and fits.

Whatever else it does it lifts their stress levels enormously. Those dogs attacking the TV or tearing round the room after a shadow are not having fun…far from it. Those dogs are stressed.

This behaviour needs to be diverted into other healthier games that are fun and can be controlled. We recently introduced an agility course at our classes and some of the dogs that don’t retrieve or chase after a ball have finally found an activity they do like.

Two of the most unlikely dogs have turned out to be the most enthusiastic agility lovers. Neither of these would engage in any kind of play until we introduced the agility equipment when they became very animated.

Don’t confuse your dog’s uncontrolled fixated flying around with fun. It isn’t.

Just like us, dog’s need relaxation. Find an activity that promotes this and you have a happy dog.

If you need help with your dog join one of my classes on line at vicbarlow.com or text me direct at 07590560012.