An overexcited dog is not necessarily a happy dog. Your four-legged best friend may be all over jumping, biting and barking and it could be a good thing, but you need to be able to distinguish between excess energy and the joy of being around you.
All the pent-up energy your dog has can only be dispensed of in the best way it knows how by physical activity. If you want to calm an overexcited dog, just keep reading. At the end of this, you will not only be able to tell happiness from excitement in your dog but you will also know how to deal with such behavior in the future.
The reasons for overexcitement vary from dog to dog but the most common ones are:
- Seeking the attention of a guardian through erratic behavior in the hope of getting some kind of reaction from you
- Little to no exercise so there are no avenues of dispensing of the excess energy that is pent up. Dogs that have been accustomed to physical activity for hours in a day who later experience a change to this routine are more prone to hyperactivity.
Symptoms of hyperactivity that every dog owner should look out for:
- Excessive whining and/or barking
- Raiding of garbage bins and bags
- Playing Rough
- Jumping from furniture to furniture and even on people
Tips and Tricks:
We have had a good look at the problem, now to let you in on how to calm an excited dog.
1. Discourage the habit
How you treat the excited look on the face of your dog will determine for how long the destructive behavior will go on. An excited dog should not receive any affection or attention. It will seem like rewarding the excitement and the destruction and unbecoming habits that come with it.
Turning the other way or gently turning down any attempts to get close to you should quell excitement. Place your dog’s favorite toy in its line of sight whenever it seeks attention and resists any temptation to shake the toy or encourage the dog to pick up the toy. You should learn to master and use an indifferent demeanor. Soon the dog will learn that excitement is a no-go if attention is the goal.
2. Reward calmness
Learn to give affection and attention to your dog when it is calm and relaxed. Submissive stances can be rewarded with treats and petting. Ignoring excited behavior and rewarding calm behavior will cause your dog to instinctively adapt calm habits when it needs your attention.
3. Use the nose
Dogs primarily interact with their surroundings using their sense of smell. Have a soothing scent like vanilla or lavender stationed at points where your dog is at its most calm, like near the bed or cage, will automatically make your dog associate these smells with calmness. One whiff of lavender and vanilla and your dog will tone down any excitement and all the destruction it brings with it.
4. Provide a supervised outlet
Channel the energy your dog would otherwise use to jump up and down into activities that will drain this energy. Walks and taking the dog with you when you jog or ride your bike are sure ways of achieving this. Your dog is more than happy to be around you and follow you around as the leader of the pack. You literally kill multiple metaphoric birds using a single trick as you both return home to food, shelter, and comfort. In the mind of your dog, the alpha has led them out to forage and returned them to abundant spoils of that effort. You keep your dog’s instincts sharp while at the same time causing it to relate the feeling of calmness to the reward of a successful yet tiring ‘hunt’.
Playing fetch is another way of draining that excess energy that causes excitement. Running the dog through a challenging obstacle course and leading it to find hidden treats are ingenious ways of stimulating the senses of your beloved pet while expending excess energy.
5. Stay calm
All efforts will be for naught if you as leader of the pack fail to contain your own excitement. Harsh telling off of your dog whenever it goes wrong only contribute to fueling the behavior you are trying to get rid of. Loud noises are a stimulus that your dog will relate to attention, which they crave. The only time it is wise to shout at your dog is when trying to discourage an action that will harm the dog, like running away from you and into traffic.
A gentle nudge or soft word is an indication of stable energy, and for a creature that feeds off the energy of its pack, your dog will respond appropriately by keeping calm to match your vibes.
Your prerogative as the alpha is to establish and enforce authoritative boundaries that your dog will respect.
Any relapses to old habits, come back to this guide and we’ll get your beloved furry best friend acting right as rain.