How Can I Calm an Excited Dog?

It’s always great to see your dog excited when you meet him after coming back from the office. Dogs are often at their cutest when happy and jumping on their owner. 

However, if they get overly excited and out of control, they can become unmanageable. 

A hyperactive dog may start spinning around in circles, jumping up and down, and barking non-stop. 

As a pet owner, you must be aware that over-excitement can result from stress, conditioned behavior, or overstimulation. 

Once you’ve singled out the issue and better understand it, adopt some of these methods to help calm your overstimulated dog.

How To Calm an Excited Dog 

Encourage Calm Behavior 

The first rule is never to encourage excitable behavior. When a dog gets excited, the worst thing a dog owner could do is pay extra attention to the pooch. 

While this is normal behavior, if everyone begins to gather around the dog and give them even more attention, it could make the issue worse. 

Instead, don’t acknowledge the behavior at all. Do not talk, stroke, pat, or make eye contact with them. 

On the other hand, reward your dog when he becomes calm, such as affection or a treat.

Ignoring overly excited behavior and encouraging a calm demeanor will teach your dog that staying calm is a more appreciated and rewarding behavior.

Provide an Outlet 

As stated above, there could be several reasons behind the overexcitement of your dog. Figuring out the reason is key to helping your dog relax. 

It’s better to provide the dog with an outlet to reduce excess energy. 

Playing games like searching for a hidden treat, running through obstacles, and fetch are just a few games that will stimulate your dog’s mind and reduce his energy by physical exertion. 

Teach him that if he gets over excited, the playtime will end. This will help to control his excitement level. However, this only works if you act quickly enough.

If your dog begins to become overstimulated, stop immediately. Playing games with your dog will help drain some excess energy, such as those mentioned here

Keep Yourself Calm 

It’s very common to see when a dog gets excited; the dog parent also shows hyper behavior. Either they start playing with the dog, or the behavior makes the owner nervous or agitated.

In most cases, a dog will not calm down until the parent is calm. Because of this, you’ll need to do more than just correct your dog’s behavior. Try to work on yours as well.

Check your behavior. Do you calm your dog with a few words, or do you immediately start shouting “no” in exasperation? 

Shouting can provide even more stimulation, which an already excited dog doesn’t need more of. That’s why you have to make sure to have control over your nerves too.

Sit down calmly, take deep breaths and see how your calm vibes are transferred over to your dog right away.

Wear Him Out 

Another helpful tip is to wear your dog out. A mentally and physically drained dog can’t get over-excited in the first place, right?

While jumping around requires a lot of energy on the dog’s part, a fatigued dog won’t have the excess energy to do this.

If you see that your dog grows overly excited about the smallest things, it’s better to keep constantly engaged. 

Different dogs have different energy levels and exercise needs, so the exact methods may vary.

 The best indication of a tired dog is when he’s snoozing peacefully. Try taking them on a hike or a long way to drain some of that excess energy out.

Engage His Nose and Hold Him Still 

As the primary organ of sense for dogs is their nose, you can calm them down by engaging their sense of smell. 

First, it’s a great idea to introduce your dog to some soothing scents like vanilla and lavender when they’re not overly excited. 

You should make sure that your dog does not have any allergies and ask the veterinarian for recommendations. You can have a mild scent spray or air freshener near your bed.

If the dog starts to become hyper, try spraying some in the room; when he smells the light vanilla scent, his attention will be diverted. 

Another way is to hold your dog still if he starts jumping around excessively. Just sit down comfortably and hold your pup by the shoulders.

This approach usually takes less than a minute for a dog to calm down. 

When Training May Be Necessary  

If The Dog Starts Biting 

There are several factors behind overexcited behavior. Removing or altering the stimulus can help manage the dog. 

However, sometimes overly excited behavior can be alarming for dog parents. In these cases, adding professional training combined with the methods above is crucial.

For instance, if the dog starts biting when he becomes excited, this is often because the dog has very little self-control. When they have no outlet, the energy comes out in a destructive way.

This can result in aggressive behavior in some dogs, like biting. This could lead to serious injuries for the other person. 

For the reasons described above, proper training is important to manage a dog’s behavior and keep both the people around them and the dog themselves safe.

Excessive Barking

If the dog starts excessive barking when he is excited, his behavior should be addressed immediately. 

Jumping shows that the dog is happy. However, barking can be a sign of aggression and/or overstimulation. Once a bad behavior is developed, it takes time to unlearn that. 

So if your dog barks loudly on a regular basis, address it immediately. First, try to ignore him altogether. Go inside the next room and close the door. 

This will send him the message that he is not welcomed when barking. Only come out when he stops the action. Once he is fully calmed and quiet, then you can pet him. 

If this strategy does not work, look up different ways to train him properly. Continue the training until you achieve the desired outcome. 

If The Dog Gets Excited by Seeing Other Dogs 

If your dog gets excited when encountering other dogs, he might be anxious or alarmed. In excitement, the dog might start whining, spinning, barking, or pulling on the leash. 

If this happens every time your dog goes for a walk or the pup sees your neighbor’s dog outside; then you need to address the issue.

There are two possibilities. Either the dog doesn’t get much canine socialization and is genuinely excited to see other dogs and feels playful, or the dog is afraid. 

As this behavior is not normal, the dog should be familiarized with other dogs or pets. With the proper training method, this problem behavior can be resolved.

It’s important not to dismiss it, as a dog who overreacts to other dogs and animals will never be able to socialize with them properly.

Takeaway 

While excited dogs are super cute, overexcitement is a different story. There’s always a reason behind the behavior. If you’re seeing a new pattern, then take notice.

First, try to figure out how and when your dog started acting like this. Look for any experience that might be a trigger for the dog’s overexcitement. 

You can manage this behavior by encouraging calmness and, most importantly, staying patient yourself. If the dog starts barking or biting, consider properly training your dog. 



Written by Bryan Rucker

Brian Rucker has been a dog lover since childhood. He has had his Lab Mix with Hound for over 10+ years now! They enjoy playing outdoors together. Brian loves sharing his knowledge about all things dog on this website. Read more of Bryan's articles.