My Dog is Over Excited – Why?
All too often I hear the same thing from dog owners, my dog gets too excited, my dog is hyper, he/she always wants to play fetch, and won’t calm down. If you are a new dog owner, you will quickly find out how much energy your dog has. Smaller toy breeds usually exude the most energy, but any dog can become too hyper or over excited. People always want the why though. Why is my dog over excited? Common culprits of over excitement come from how you interact with your dog, boredom, a lack of exercise, or a mixture. If you find your dog running in circles, constantly barking, or simply refusing to lay down and relax, they are telling you something. More often than not, they need a good walk or mindful activity to utilize their stored energy. Remember, over excitement is not only physical but mental as well. Physical activity is good. Physical activity with mental stimulation is even better. As we all know, dogs crave attention and want you to focus on them. Ignoring this type of behavior is the first step to success. Do not reward their hyper behavior by focusing on them.
How to Calm Your Dog Down
Trying to calm your dog down is similar to losing weight. No matter what anyone says, there is no quick fix. If someone tells you there is a quick fix, it usually isn’t the proper way to achieve the result you are looking for ultimately creating a temporary fix. The same goes for dogs. Avoid medication or vitamin blends that claim to relax your dog. Stick to natural remedies.
How to Calm Your Dog Down in 5 Steps
- Don’t reward their hyper mind set by giving them attention, ignore it.
- Create calm energy that will translate to your dog.
- Regularly partake in physical activities with your dog.
- Regularly partake in mental stimulation with your dog.
- Commit to a consistent routine.
#1.) First and foremost, you want to show the dog you are in charge and that their hyper and over excited mindset will not be rewarded. When outbursts of excitement arise, ignore their behavior. Once they calm down, give them attention and reward them for it.
#2.) The energy you emit translates to your dog. If you emit anger or annoyance, your dog will emit the same energy. Be calm and assertive with them and maintain a calm nature throughout the entire process. Your dog will learn from your energy and mirror your emotions.
#3.) Physical activity is important for a dog. Not only is it healthy, but it physically tires them. By participating in physical activities, their energy levels decrease making a hyper or excited mind less likely.
#4.) The body works on a physical and mental level. If your dog has no energy, but their mind is racing, it will unfold in other ways. Destruction and excessive barking are good examples. They require little energy, but on a mental level require high levels of energy. Partake in activities such as training or learning new commands like roll over and paw. All dogs utilize their sense of smell more than any other sense. When it is time to eat, hide their food. Provide small hints throughout the trail to their food. You can also hide their food inside of treats, leaving their mind to find it.
#5.) Regular and consistent routine is a must. Just like people, dogs forget things. Keeping a regular schedule solidifies the proper behavior you are trying to achieve.
There are rare cases where something other than lack of exercise and stimulation is the issue. If you find physical and mental activity is not reducing your dog’s excitement level, it is always good to talk with your vet or trainer about their hyper activity.
Written by John Mattar
April 28th, 2015