Dealing with an overexcited dog can be challenging, but there are several strategies you can try:
- Exercise: Ensure your dog gets enough physical activity to burn off excess energy through walks, play, and runs. It may be that you need to split walks into multiple walks per day to add variety to your routine.
- Mental stimulation: Engage your dog’s mind with puzzles, training, or interactive toys to tire them out mentally. If you know that your dog has a time of day that they become overexcited or when someone is coming in from work then prepare them for calmness with a mental enrichment beforehand.
- Obedience training: Teach basic commands like in your bed, sit, stay and continue to reinforce them with treats until such time as they are doing it to the standard you are happy with.
- Calm environment: Create a calm and structured environment at home to reduce triggers for excitement.
- Time-outs: When your dog gets overly excited, use a time-out or settle them in a quiet space to calm down. A crate or a pen works really well for this. If you have nowhere to put them inside consider time outs in the garden but may induce barking.
- Avoid reinforcement: Be cautious not to inadvertently reward overexcitement with attention or play. Even telling the dog off can be reinforcement for an attention seeker. Always better to redirect the behaviour to something else.
- Consistency: Maintain a consistent routine and training approach to help your dog understand expectations.
The key thing to remember is that if this has been going on for a period of time it has become a habit. Habits are hard to break as anyone will know who has given up smoking, stopped biting their nails, given up alcohol.
Dogs will get over excited from time to time and they will act out but by ensuring you follow the 7 steps above that will work for you over time.
Break the habit and start today.