Everyone loves the idea of getting a puppy because they are cute and cuddly, but sometimes the reality of dealing with an over-excited dog can be overwhelming. If you have gotten a puppy and have realized that their excited behavior is tough to control, you aren’t alone! When your puppy becomes overly excited, it can be challenging to modify their behavior to calm them down.
If you are frustrated by the excited dog behavior that you are dealing with, you will want to learn how to work through this over-excitement with your puppy. There are some key ways that you can modify your dog’s behavior to make sure that they can display calm behavior when you want them to.
If you are ready to learn more about how to calm an over-excited puppy, you need to keep reading!
Recognize When Your Puppy Is Becoming Over-Excited
One of the key things that you need to keep in mind is that an over-excited dog is likely not a happy dog. Some people mistake the signs of excess energy as part of happy dog behavior, but this is actually not the case. An excited dog is often an anxious dog. Knowing the signs that your puppy is escalating to the point where it will show overly excited behavior is important to break the cycle of this behavior pattern.
Some common signs of an over-excited dog are:
- “zoomies” or racing around
- barking loudly and persistently
- jumping on people or furniture over and over
- shaking or quivering
Knowing your dog’s body language can make it much easier to recognize when they start to display excitement. You will need to be able to nip this overly excited behavior in the bud right away to help your puppy to calm down and behave in a calm way. This can be hard around other dogs or new people, but it is worth the time and effort to deal with the problem.
An over-excited dog is often not able to participate in fun activities, and dog owners with puppies who display this behavior often have to leave parties or dog parks due to their over-excited dog. If you are not sure how to identify your dog’s body language, you can work with a dog trainer to get some guidance about the early stages of anxiety. Knowing what to look for can be very helpful if you are struggling with a dog that seems to get wound up very easily.
Allowing Over-Excited Behavior In Puppies Can Lead To Problems Down The Road
One of the primary reasons that you need to handle this kind of behavioral issue is that excited dogs can become aggressive dogs. When your excitable dog is really wound up, it might jump, claw, nip, or even bite people or other dogs around them. While puppy bites are not that serious overall, if your dog does not get the puppy training that they need, it can grow into an adult dog that could hurt people.
Another reason that just ignoring excited behavior will not take care of this problem is that excess energy can also lead to barking, pacing, and other kinds of behavior that are not pleasant for you or your neighbors to listen to. Excitement is often linked with a lack of mental stimulation or a lack of boundaries and a calm dog will always be much happier and a much better fit for those living in a neighborhood or an apartment.
What Causes Over-Excitement In Dogs And Puppies?
There are some common triggers for over-excitement in dogs. Some of them are routine things that you might do every day with your dog, such as suggesting a walk, going for a ride in the car, or heading to the dog park to see other dogs. If your dog has excess energy, these things might become so exciting that they cannot calm down. High-energy dog breeds that are intended to have a “job” in life can be more prone to being overly excited when they are not getting enough mental stimulation or exercise.
The other common reason for a dog’s excitement that is hard to control is if your dog is surprised or scared. When a dog is surprised, epinephrine (adrenaline) is released, preparing the body for action — fight or flight. This fear reaction is based on instinct, and you can probably relate to how your dog feels if you think about a time when someone startled you, and you might have felt angry or anxious afterward.
While it is reasonable for your dog to be scared if something happens to startle them, they will need to calm down when they are told to. You will need to have the right training strategies in place to work with a dog that has been scared and is struggling to calm down.
Ways To Calm Your Overly Excited Dog
1.Maintain Neutral Energy – Remain Calm
This is the first thing that you must do every time your puppy is acting in a way that you do not approve of. Make sure that you maintain a calm demeanor – don’t feed into the excitement. Dogs are pack animals, and they will automatically be inclined to mirror your attitude. If you seem anxious or angry, or stressed, over-excited dogs will rise to the occasion and join you in your level of stress and anger.
You need to be a good pack leader if you want your dog to be a good pack follower. Set the right example, and your dog will be likely to follow your lead without much trouble.
2. Do Not Use physical Punishment.
You need to remember that aggression teaches aggression. Being quiet and moving slowly and peacefully will always be much more effective than shouting or being aggressive with your dog. Physical punishment can also cause your dog’s excitement to escalate and can even lead to biting or other physically aggressive behaviors.
You will want to make sure that you keep your voice calm and your body language neutral. This is one of the most important things for dog parents to do, particularly with puppies. You do not want to change your dog’s anxiety about its environment into anxiety about your leadership. Dogs that fear their owners can be very hard to train to behave properly.
3. Give Your Puppy an Outlet for Their Excess Energy
Make sure that you provide a productive activity such as fetch, toys, or puzzles for your puppy to engage in as well. Puppies require lots of mental stimulation, and you will have trouble getting your dog calm if they are not able to have some outlet for their excess energy. A well-behaved puppy is a well-exercised puppy.
Rewarding calm behavior is a great tip for making your dog calm, but they will have a hard time getting to a positive state of mind without some way to entertain themselves. There are so many kinds of dog toys on the market these days and fun things that you and your dog can do together. You and your puppy will be able to bond over playtime as well, which can greatly assist in your training efforts.
4. Provide a Safe Space if Your Pup is Scared or Alarmed
Some dogs get scared more easily than others or feel more anxious than others when left alone. This is where a crate or a quiet space is important for creating a calm dog. Many owners think that a crate seems to mean, but dogs love feeling safe and protected. This is linked with the denning behavior that dogs use in the wild to stay safe from threats.
Make sure that you make crate training a positive experience so your dog will not associate it with excitable behavior or being in trouble. Sometimes all your dog needs is a break in a quiet place where they can stay calm and rest. Most dogs will take this opportunity to take a little nap.
5. Use CBD Oil or Treats to Calm Your Dog
CBD can be part of a routine in calming your dog down. Some dogs respond very well to this management strategy, particularly high-drive dogs who can sometimes tend to be constantly over excited.
CBD’s ability to boost a dog’s endocannabinoid system makes it an intriguing idea to use for dogs. When your dog is calm, it will be much less likely to display unwanted behavior. Puppy owners with very high-drive dogs can use CBD treats to safely create a harmonious state of mind that is conducive to training and breaking the cycle of unwanted behavior for a dog who gets overly excited.
6. Reward Calm Behavior
Once your pup has settled, reward with gentle petting, toys that encourage calm behavior, or a treat. Positive reinforcement is essential in helping your dog understand what you want from them. Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to encourage behaviors that are desirable while creating space for behaviors that are not. If your dog gets overly excited, positive reinforcement for good actions can help break the cycle of anxiety about getting in trouble, which leads some dogs to be too excitable.
Calm behavior can appear even when your dog is feeling anxious, and calling attention to moments when your dog acts the way you desire will help them to figure out what kind of actions you are looking for. Adult dogs that have been trained with positive reinforcement techniques are much less likely to display unwanted anxiety, worry, or aggression.
Frequently Asked Questions
At What Age Do Puppies Settle Down?
The answer to this question can be complex. Some breeds take much longer to settle down than others. If you have a high-drive breed like a German Shephard or a Golden Retriever, you might have to wait until your dog is about two years old to see major changes in its level of energy. That being said, training your dog properly and providing a good and consistent structure for behavior can help make even a high-drive dog much less likely to be an overexcited dog. Most puppies start to act more mature at about one year of age, and this is the common rule of thumb if you are trying to figure out when your dog will calm down.
Why Is My Puppy So Hyper And Biting?
Puppies that display hyper behavior and biting are often frustrated or are not being given enough exercise. Some breeds are more prone to teething behaviors than others, but all puppies need to have access to toys they are allowed to chew on. Teething is part of the normal process of growth for a young dog, and when they are not given access to toys for teething, they might chew on other things like furniture or shoes, or even hands.
If your puppy seems really hyper even when you have just exercised them, you will need to consider being a good puppy trainer and putting your puppy into their crate. Just like kids, some puppies can get wound up or overstimulated and just struggle to calm down. Removing some stimuli can help them to take a moment to chill out before being allowed to integrate with their family again.
Do High Energy Puppies Calm Down?
High energy dogs will calm down over time, especially if you are providing them with the right behavioral training and if you keep your dog busy every day. High-drive dogs are specifically bred to have a lot of energy so that they can do their jobs. That does not mean that they cannot be encouraged to be calm when they are not supposed to be working.
Keeping your puppy’s crate handy will help high-energy puppies if they are overwhelmed and too excited. You can also consider getting the help of a dog trainer if you have a high-drive puppy you are struggling to calm down. High-energy puppies can turn into easy-to-control dogs, but you will need to make the effort to guide their behavior in the right ways.
See Related: How To Help Puppies Fighting Cancer