What To Do When Your Dog Gets Overexcited Easily
If so, you may already know that this can lead to further problems such as excessive barking, jumping up at people, tail chasing, and generally making your dog difficult to control.
In fact, it can be a trigger for a variety of different behavior problems when you’re not quite sure how to handle your dog when he comes so excitable.
In this guide, we’re going to cover some of the main ‘symptoms’ of overexcited behavior and show you how to keep your dog calmer, relaxed, and manageable when they’re going crazy. So let’s get started.
Excited Vs ‘Over’ Excited
Most dogs at some time or another can become overexcited.
Whether they’re about to go for a walk, about to be fed, or even if they’re just pleased to see you – many dogs can become worked up and highly energetic, but it’s usually not a major problem.
However, some dogs can take this too far, so their behavior may need to be toned down a few notches. In fact, it’s important to get this behavior under control as soon as you can, before it develops into too much of a permanent habit.
It’s usually quite straightforward to know when your dog is overexcited. But when do you know that it’s ‘excessive’? Some things to look for are when your dog barks hysterically, chase their tail, picks up and chews various items, compulsively groom themselves, or even whines and demands to be picked up, in some cases.
If this becomes a regular problem, you should consult your vet just to make sure it isn’t being caused by a medical condition. As long as there isn’t a medical reason, you can continue with basic obedience retraining to help your dog behave in a calmer way when overexcited.
It’s normal for your dog to bark whenever they hear a noise or see something that’s out of the ordinary. But some dogs (especially terriers and poodles) can become chronic ‘excessive barkers’ unless you teach them to control their barking.
Your dog can also become ‘rhythmic’ with his barking, and when you tell them to stop, they may only stop for a brief moment before continuing.
This can become frustrating to deal with as an owner, and the frustration can easily make the situation worse. For example, if you yell or shout at your dog, they’re likely to think you’re joining in, which will further reinforce the behavior.
One thing you can do is have a friend or member of your family do something that causes your dog to bark. Usually ringing or knocking on the door will be enough to set most dogs off if they’re chronic barkers.
Next, give your dog the ‘quiet’ command (make sure you’re calm and assertive, don’t shout or yell) then reward your dog with a food treat when the command is followed. You’ll have to repeat this several times over several days for the best results, so you’ll need to be consistent.
Another situation that is likely to make your dog overexcited is when they’re seeking attention from you. This could be when you’re leaving the house, or especially when you’re arriving home. Many owners unknowingly make this worse by lavishing their dog with attention during this ‘overexcited’ phase.
However, the solution is to be very calm when you arrive home, and ignore your dog until they’ve calmed down. At this point, you can proceed to give your dog attention – but only while they remain calm. Over time, this will teach your dog that attention only arrives when they are calm and not overexcited.