Doggy Dan, why is my dog overexcited? Also, how to calm overexcited dogs?
I often get this question from dog owners dealing with dogs that are always all over the place, jumping on the couch, on them, and on other dogs.
They bark, run, and lunge all because they are excited… something that causes a lot of stress not only to their owners but to other dogs as well.
These overexcited dogs often get shouted at or barked at because they’re constantly invading space, always not listening.
In other words, these dogs always get into trouble.
And who wants that for their dogs, right?
You’re in the right place if you have an overexcited dog and want to get to the bottom of the issue.
If you’re looking for ways to calm an overexcited dog, I have important tips.
- Overexcitement in dogs can manifest in various behavioral signs, including incessant barking, hyperactive jumping, pacing, and the inability to remain still. This behavior often arises from underlying issues related to the dog’s perception of its role as the pack leader, a lack of physical and mental stimulation, and overstimulating environments.
- Establishing yourself as the pack leader is crucial to calming an overexcited dog. By taking charge of mealtime, attention, walks, and all aspects of the dog’s life, you communicate that you are the one in control, which can help reduce the dog’s overexcitement and restlessness.
- Additional strategies to calm an overexcited dog include providing regular physical exercise and mental stimulation, consistent obedience training to establish a stronger bond and outlet for the dog’s energy, and creating a tranquil home environment that includes a safe space for the dog.
Table of Contents:
- How to Calm Overexcited Dogs: What Are the Signs to Look Out For
- What Causes a Dog to be Overexcited?
- When You Show Leadership, You Calm an Overexcited Dog
- Apart From Being the Pack Leader, How Do You Calm an Overexcited Dog?
- How the Dog Calming Code Can Change Your Overexcited Dog
How to Calm Overexcited Dogs: What Are the Signs to Look Out For
Is your dog really just happy or are they starting to show signs of being an overexcited dog?
The easiest way to tell is to look at the signs. From non-stop barking to hyperactive jumping, here are some critical signs that you have an overexcited dog who needs help.
Sign #1: Incessant Barking (AKA A Dog Who Just Can’t Stop Barking Because of Excitement)
This dog is relatively easy to spot. An overexcited dog barks at other people or dogs to get their attention.
It’s like saying, “Hey, I want to play. Notice me! I’m here!” And when attention is not given, the barking gets more and more persistent.
An overexcited dog may bark persistently and excessively, often without reason. This non-stop barking behavior is always a manifestation of heightened arousal, and these dogs often continue barking despite attempts to calm them down.
In short, simply telling your dog to “Stop barking!” does not really work.
Sign #2: Hyperactive Jumping
When faced with excitement, a dog might jump uncontrollably, especially when greeting their owners or encountering new visitors.
This jumping can become particularly overwhelming, making it challenging for the dog to focus or listen to commands.
Sign #3: Hyperactive Pacing
When your dog gets their excitement meter through the roof, they often engage in rapid and erratic pacing, making them unable to settle down or relax.
Once your dog gets piqued up, they will find it hard to really calm down or tune in.
Sign #4: Inability to Remain Still
Overexcitement may render a dog unable to remain still, even for short periods.
You can see it in how they fidget, shift positions, or show restlessness.
Sign #5: Overzealous Playfulness That May Escalate Into Rough or Aggressive Behavior
Overexcited dogs might demonstrate excessive enthusiasm during playtime, which can sometimes turn into overly rough behavior or even aggression. Especially when the other dog don’t share their excitement!
This behavior can result from the dog’s inability to regulate their excitement levels, leading to potential behavioral challenges during interactions with other animals or people.
What Causes a Dog to be Overexcited?
Understanding the underlying triggers contributing to a dog’s overexcitement is CRUCIAL in devising the best training plan for managing their exuberant behavior.
When you understand the cause of dog overexcitement, it helps you address the issue clearly. You’ll also know how to correct this issue in its roots.
Reason #1: Your Dog Thinks They’re the Leader, Thus the Heightened Energy
If you don’t establish yourself as the pack leader, dogs will take on that role. And when they do, they will find it difficult to regulate their excitement levels.
Without clear guidance and reinforcement of desirable conduct, these dogs may become easily overwhelmed and struggle to remain composed in various situations.
Reason #2: Pent-Up Energy
A surplus of unused energy due to insufficient exercise or mental stimulation can contribute significantly to a dog’s overexcitement.
A lack of movement and exercise cause dogs to exhibit restlessness and hyperactivity, making it challenging for them to maintain a state of calmness and relaxation.
Reason #3: Overstimulating Environment
Environmental factors such as loud noises, crowded spaces, or frequent disruptions can overstimulate a dog’s senses, leading to an increase in their overall arousal levels.
In such environments, dogs may find it difficult to focus or remain composed, resulting in heightened excitement that manifests through various behavioral cues.
And if you, their dog owner, come home with a frenetic, overexcited energy, your dog will absorb that.
Reason #4: Lack of Mental Engagement
Dogs, especially those with high intelligence or specific breed traits, require regular mental stimulation to prevent boredom and subsequent overexcitement.
Without engaging activities or interactive play that challenge their cognitive abilities, dogs may resort to hyperactive behaviors as a means of seeking stimulation and attention.
When You Show Leadership, You Calm an Overexcited Dog
The very root of overexcitement is this: your dog feels that they are in charge.
It’s not only the aggressive, fierce dogs who think they run the show… even the hyperactive, overly playful one feels the same.
Because they think they’re in charge of playtime. They are the leader in their minds, so when they lunge, jump, or bark excitedly to signal to everyone it’s playtime, they think everyone should listen.
And if the other dogs don’t respond as your dog wants them to, they won’t stop lunging or jumping at them.
You may have already seen this scenario play out in a park.
The excited dogs are working up every other pet in the vicinity because they can’t stop asserting their authority through overexcitement.
What you expect as a quiet, calm, chill day with your dog at the park turns into a bark-fest, with your dog as the instigator.
The Solution to Helping an Overexcited Dog Calm Down is Simple: Be the Pack Leader
Let’s go back to the park scene.
In the park, some dogs are ABSOLUTELY calm and tranquil and just so in tune with the commands of their owners.
So different from your dog with a ranging level 8 energy level!
Let me tell you this: the only difference between your dog and the calm dog at the park is this: the latter knows who is in charge.
Your overexcited dog gets wired up every single time because they think they are the decision-maker.
They decide when playtime is.
They decide when to pull the strings of other dogs.
And if you’re the decision maker, you can get overwhelmed. And this overwhelm often translates to overexcitement.
If you want to remove the factors that cause your dog to display frenetic behavior, become the pack leader who knows how to handle things.
Being a Pack Leader: How it Helps Calm Overexcited Dogs
When you take the leadership hat off your dog, it will show them that they’re not in charge.
They’re not in control of playtime.
They’re not in charge of rounding up the animals for playtime.
They’re not in charge of initiating play.
“But Doggy Dan, how can I show my dog I’m in charge?”
I have an entire series dedicated to this which you can check here. But let me give you a snippet:
- When your dog takes control of mealtime, they don’t see you as a leader.
- When your dog thinks they can get attention from you any time they want, you’re not a leader in their eyes.
- When they take over a walk while you’re outdoors, they think they’re the leader.
So when you take charge of EVERY SINGLE THING (food, attention, danger, walks) related to your dog, you’re sending a message that you’re the pack leader, the one in charge of everything.
They don’t have to worry about playtimes at the park.
Or the dogs that don’t play with them.
It’s a matter that should be dealt with BY YOU.
It calms them down!
(You can learn more about how to become the pack leader with my online dog training program, The Dog Calming Code™️.)
Apart From Being the Pack Leader, How Do You Calm an Overexcited Dog?
Tip #1: Physical Exercise and Mental Stimulation
Help your dog diffuse their overexcitement by engaging them in regular physical exercise, such as brisk walks and interactive play sessions.
Incorporate mental stimulation activities, like puzzle toys or training exercises, to help channel their focus and promote a sense of calmness.
Tip #2: Consistent Obedience Training
Establish a stronger bond with your dog through consistent obedience training, introducing commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it.”
These aren’t just commands for teaching discipline. But they also provide a constructive outlet for your dog’s energy.
Tip #3: Creating a Tranquil Environment
Reduce your dog’s overexcitement by creating a tranquil home environment. I would recommend that you build a safe space for your dog.
Minimize stress triggers, such as loud noises or sudden disruptions, and implement a regular daily routine that will provide a sense of security and balance in your dog’s life.
Also very important: check your energy. Your dog can absorb your overexcited energy!
Tip #4: Seeking Professional Guidance
If persistent overexcitement poses challenges, seek guidance from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.
Their insights and tailored strategies can assist in managing your dog’s hyperactive tendencies.
Approach the training process with patience, compassion, and a commitment to gentle leadership to help your dog find inner peace and develop a harmonious relationship with their surroundings.
Tip #5: Practice Proper Discipline
Maintaining a consistent and gentle disciplinary approach is essential in preventing dog overexcitement.
Precise and positive reinforcement techniques, along with establishing boundaries, help dogs understand acceptable behavior, fostering a sense of security and predictability.
Tip #5: Safe Spaces and Time Outs
Safe spaces serve as retreats where dogs can relax and unwind. Time-outs offer powerful opportunities to help you establish rules, boundaries, and expectations.
How the Dog Calming Code Can Change Your Overexcited Dog
In the dog training world, a lot of trainers know how to excite a dog. However, not a lot know how to calm an excited dog down.
And when dogs are wired up, worked up, and constantly on the go, they’re always tired, always anxious, always excited and aggressive.
This was one of my goals when I created my online dog training program, The Dog Calming Code.
I know that a calm dog is the HAPPIEST dog. And I know each dog deserves to just calm down and chill!
So if you’re on a mission to help your overexcited dog FINALLY calm down, The Dog Calming Code is for you.
Learn about the Dog Calming Code here.
~ Doggy Dan 😄
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