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How to Calm an Excited Dog

Petmate Academy

August 23, 2022

When you have a dog, there's nothing you want more than for it to be healthy, happy, and well-behaved. But sometimes, dogs can get a little too excited. Dogs can get overexcited for all sorts of reasons – a trip to the park, meeting a new person, or getting a treat. When a dog gets too excited, it can be hard to control them, and your dog may jump or bark uncontrollably. In this post, we'll give you some tips on how to calm down an overexcited dog and steps you can take to help prevent uncontrollable outbursts of excitement.

Identify Your Dog's Triggers

Dogs can become overexcited for a variety of reasons. In order to calm an overexcited dog, it is important to first understand what is causing the excitement. Common triggers for overexcitement in dogs include the sound of the doorbell, the sound of food being poured into a bowl, or the sight of another dog. Once you have identified the trigger, you can begin to take steps to calm your dog.

For example, if your dog becomes overexcited at the sound of the doorbell, you might try putting a bell on the door that makes a different sound. If your dog becomes overexcited at the sound of food being poured into a bowl, try pouring the food out of your dog's earshot (like in the garage). If you know the sight of another dog excites your dog, you might try walking your dog in an area where you know there will be no other dogs.

Don't Encourage Overexcitement

While it might be amusing to watch your dog zoom in circles or jump up and down on someone when they get excited, if left unchecked, these nuisance behaviors can develop into real problems. If you notice your dog is starting to get worked up, don't egg them on. Giving your dog increased attention in this frenzied state can encourage them to start acting up for attention. Instead, ignore them until they settle down.

On the other hand, be sure to use positive reinforcement for good behavior. Find a way to reward your dog for remaining calm and maintaining approproate energy levels. Rewards can be as simple as dog treats or extra snuggles.

Make Sure Your Dog Gets Plenty Of Exercise

One of the most effective ways to calm an overexcited dog, and prevent chaotic bursts of energy in the future, is to make sure they get plenty of regular exercise. Just like humans, dogs need to burn off excess energy in order to relax. Without regular exercise, that excess energy can grow into anxiety and behavior issues. Going for daily walks and playing games such as tug-o-war and fetch can help tucker out your dog and keep their energy levels in check.

a man and a dog playing fetch outside with a frisbee. They are in a outdoor area under a tree, playing in the shade.


Check Your Own Energy Levels

That being said, be sure to check your own energy levels and mental state. Dogs are highly sensitive creatures, and they can pick up on the slightest changes in their owner's behavior and mental state. If you're feeling stressed or anxious about something, your dog is likely sensing it and/or mirroring it. This can manifest in a number of ways, including barking, pacing, whining, or all-around hyperactivity. If you're constantly yelling at or around your dog, or getting frustrated with them, they will pick up on this and become overexcited. If you find that your dog is increasingly agitated, take a moment to check in with yourself. Are you feeling overwhelmed or stressed out? If so, it's important to take some time to relax and de-stress. Once you've calmed down, you may find that your dog's behavior has improved as well.

Spend Quality Time With Your Dog

In some cases, an overexcited dog may be craving human interaction. While you don't want to reward bad behavior, you may need to evaluate if you are giving your dog enough attention. Dogs are social animals that thrive on interaction with their human companions. They need to be taken on walks, played with, and given attention on a regular basis. Spending just a few minutes with your dog or taking them on a walk can help keep them happy and calm, as it gives them a chance to burn off energy and releases endorphins that have a calming effect.

Seek Professional Help, If Needed

If you're still having trouble with getting your dog to calm down, it may be time to seek professional help. Dogs can become overexcited for a number of reasons, including fear, anxiety, frustration, and even boredom. As a result, it's important to work with a trainer or behaviorist who can help you identify the root cause of your dog's problem and develop a plan to address it.

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