Over-exuberant puppies and dogs can be trying for pet owners. A few simple training tricks, basic dog obedience training, and exercise can work wonders for these dogs.
Puppies and adult dogs which are hyperactive and over-excitable are commonly encountered. In fact, this type of behavior is normal for a young, healthy dog or puppy. However, for dog owners, this type of behavior can be frustrating. Fortunately, these dogs and puppies are controllable using some basic dog obedience training and some simple time-tested training tips for the dog or puppy.
Exercise is Key to Calming a Dog or Puppy
Exercise helps to get rid of pent-up energy for young dogs and puppies and is healthy for all dogs. Without regular exercise, many dogs have no outlet for their energy and will become even more active and difficult to control. Methods of exercising a dog or puppy include:
- playing interactive games (fetch, frisbee, chase the ball, etc)
- play sessions with other dogs
Obedience Training for Dogs and Puppies
Basic obedience training for a dog or puppy is essential to teach proper behavior and allow the dog owner to gain control over the dog or puppy’s activities. Regular obedience training sessions to teach such behaviors as sit, stay, lie down and come are recommended. Obedience training sessions should be short, frequent and fun for the dog or puppy.
One obedience training method which can be extremely effective in calming active dogs and puppies is teaching the dog or puppy to focus on the handler or owner. This is done by holding a treat at the level of the handler’s eyes and waiting until the dog or puppy is calm and focused intently on the handler’s face (and the treat) before rewarding the dog or puppy with the treat. The handler should start by holding the treat in front of the dog or puppy and then proceed to move the treat so that it is in front of the handler’s face, with the dog looking at his face.
If the dog or puppy grabs for the treat, simply move the treat out of its reach. In most cases, it does not take long for the dog or puppy to realize that the treats will not be given until it has calmed down and is quiet. By coupling this behavior with a command, such as “look at me”, a dog owner can train the dog or puppy to obediently calm down and remain quiet when asked.
Leave Interactive Toys for the Dog or Puppy When Away
For dogs and puppies who are too active or destructive when the owner is away from home, supplying the dog or puppy with interactive toys when away can be helpful. Interactive toys might include Kongs stuffed with food or treats or other food-filled toys which stimulate a dog’s mental activity and keep the dog or puppy occupied.
Stay Calm when Faced with a Hyperactive Dog or Puppy
One of the most important tips for the dog owner to remember is not to contribute to the behavior of the dog or puppy. The dog owner must stay calm and not yell at or scold the dog or puppy. Doing so will only reinforce the behavior. No attention, positive or negative, should be given to the dog or puppy until the dog or puppy is calm and relaxed. In many cases, especially early in the training process, this may mean that the owner needs to go to a separate room and close the door between himself and the dog until the dog has calmed and is quiet.
Even greeting a dog or puppy who is overexuberant on the owner’s return to the home can reinforce the dog’s overactive behavior and make the behavior more difficult to control. Dogs and puppies should be rewarded only for calm, relaxed behaviors. Overexuberant greetings should not be encouraged.