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Is your dog getting super excite on every walk?
Not only is it super annoying if your pup is constantly pulling you down the street. It can also potentially dangerous for you and others.
This is why it’s very important to deal with overly excited dog behavior on walks as quickly as possible.
My Mini Poodle Baloo used to get suuuuuper excited on walks. Well, he used to be overly excited about pretty much everything…
But walks included lots of pulling in the beginning for sure. Over time I’ve learned a ton about how you can make walks calmer and more enjoyable for you and your dog.
So here’s how to deal with an over excited dog on a walk.
Why Does My Dog Get So Excited on Walks?
It’s normal for dogs to see you pick up their leash and get super excited at the prospect of heading out for a walk! Most dogs love going outside and exploring the world, so it’s no wonder they get really happy once the leash comes out.
But what if your dog is getting a little too excited? If he’s not listening to you and is acting extremely hyper when you go for walks, then that can be frustrating. There are ways you can help your dog stay calm on walks, but first let’s get into why your dog is so excited.
He Doesn’t Get Enough Stimulation
Many people forget to make sure that their dogs are getting enough stimulation throughout the day. Although walks are one great way for your dog to get that stimulation, they shouldn’t be the only thing you’re doing!
You should make sure that you’re giving your dog enough physical activity every day. This includes things like playing, dog sports, and swimming along with walks. And don’t forget mental stimulation!
How much exercise your dog needs will depend on his age, breed, and health. If you’re unsure, you can speak to your vet and see what they recommend.
There Are So Many Things Happening Outside
The world is so full of sights, sounds, and smells that can be very distracting for your dog. Although you may be used to them, your dog doesn’t necessarily understand what they are, and will naturally be curious!
When you also consider the fact that a dog’s sense of smell is incredibly powerful, as is their hearing, then it’s no wonder your pup is getting so ramped up when you go for walks!
There’s so much going on, and he’s trying to understand all of it.
He’s Stressed or Overstimulated
Most dogs will be able to handle everything going on outside. But some dogs may find the whole experience stressful and overstimulating. Dogs who come from rescues or who have bad histories with other people, animals, and going outside may act over excited on walks. They may also become reactive.
The best thing to do in this case to help your dog is to recognize the signs of a stressed dog, and learn ways to keep him calm. These 2 articles will be able to help you:
Some dogs deal with overstimulation by finding something—or someone—to hump. While this relieves his stress, it’s quite embarrassing for you! If you’ve had this issue, you might want to know how to train him out of it.
How to Deal with an Over Excited Dog on a Walk
There are lots of ways you can help your dog learn to relax on walks. This will make your daily ventures outside much more bearable for you and your dog.
Make Sure He Gets Enough Mental Stimulation
Physical activity isn’t the only kind of stimulation your dog should be getting. Since the world outside has so much going on, you want to make sure your dog can handle it by exercising his mind too.
There are lots of fun ways for both you and your dog to work your dog’s mind. Mental stimulation is also a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Many activities, like agility and other dog sports, will work both your dog’s brain and his body.
For some fun ideas, check out these 10 brain games for dogs to play at home!
Mental stimulation can also be a wonderful training tool if used correctly. Check out Braintrainingfordogs to learn how to train your dog to be the best dog he can be by using mental stimulation! Or have a look at Dogpackr’s review first to see if it’s a fit for you and your dog!
Play A Round of Fetch Before Going on a Walk
Help your dog stay calm and collected on your walks by tiring him out a little physically beforehand. Playing a round or two of fetch before you head on a walk is a really great way to get in some extra physical activity.
By getting rid of some of your dog’s excess energy before you go for your walk, you’ll have a much calmer dog. Plus playing fetch with your dog is super fun. And you’ll love how excited he gets when he brings the ball back for you to throw again!
Stop Walking When He Starts Pulling
Walking isn’t just about exercise. Walking is all about training, too. If you want your dog to be well-behaved on walks, then you need to show him what that behavior looks like!
If your dog pulls on the leash and starts trying to drag you to get to where he wants to go, then the best thing to do is stop moving completely. This is because when you let your dog pull you, you’re showing him that dragging you along is how he can get what he wants.
If you stop moving completely, this demonstrates that pulling on the leash isn’t going to get your dog anywhere. Make sure you stop as soon as he starts pulling. And only keep walking once he brings his attention back to you. It might take a while for your dog to realize what you’re looking for. But with consistency he’ll start getting it.
Greeting People or Dogs Is Only Allowed without Pulling
It’s normal for dogs to get excited when they see other dogs and people out and about. And most of the time, they’ll want to say hi!
But just like the last tip, if you let your dog pull you over to the other person or dog then that shows your own dog that pulling is acceptable behavior. Not to mention the fact that this can seem rude to other people and dog owners!
If you see another dog or person up ahead and your dog starts pulling, stop walking completely. You should also always make sure to check in with the person you’re approaching to make sure a greeting is okay.
Teach a Before Greetings Release Cue
If the person you’re walking towards is okay with a greeting, then it’s okay to start moving towards them. But you should also make sure your dog knows a release cue. This will help your dog keep his attention on you and follow your lead.
You can use any word to help teach your dog his release cue. Most commonly, people use words like “break,” “free,” or “okay,” to let their dogs know it’s okay to break from that position.
My release word is “okay”. But I say it in a pretty high tone so Baloo can distinguish it from me just saying ok while talking to other people.
Reward Calm Behavior
Often, people focus on correcting bad behavior and forget about rewarding good behavior. But it’s really important to do both!
When you reward your dog’s calm behavior, you’re showing him that what he’s doing is something you like. This will encourage him to do it more in the future.
If your dog is making choices on walks that are calm, make sure to reward him. For example, if he sees someone walking down the sidewalk towards you and instead of jumping and straining at the leash, he checks in with you and continues walking calmly, he should get a reward.
This is called positive reinforcement. Check out this article to learn more about what positive reinforcement dog training is all about.
Over Excited Dog with Other Dogs
This is a really common issue among dogs and dog owners. And it can be embarrassing when you’re out for a walk! If your dog starts flipping out as soon as you cross paths with another dog, walks can be extremely challenging.
Dog trainer Adrienne Farricelli has a really great article on this exact subject. And don’t forget to check out my Brain Training for Dogs review that covers her online dog training program!
Over Excited Dog with Visitors
If your dog acts super excited and jumps all over everyone when you have company over, that’s not fun for you or your guests!
In that case, working on door greetings is the best way to do that. You can find out more information and tips and tricks in this article: How to Train a Dog Not to Jump on You or Others.
Over Excited Dog Around Strangers
Some dogs get really ramped up when they meet strangers. People your dog isn’t familiar with have all these strange new smells on them, and your dog really, really, really wants to get to know them!
Obviously, this can be very off-putting behavior for lots of people. So it’s best to work on curbing that behavior as soon as you can. The trick is start slow, and in controlled environments before gradually working your way up to meeting strangers in public.
You may also want to check out these tips on how to calm an over excited dog quickly.
Going for walks are great ways to give both your dog and yourself some daily exercise. But if your dog gets way too excited on walks and pulls on your leash and barks at everything he sees, then your walks aren’t going to be much fun.
Luckily, there are lots of ways you can help your dog learn to settle down and remain calm on walks. You’ll need to exercise a lot of patience and consistency with your dog. But if you keep at it, and use the above tips, you’ll find yourself with a well-trained dog that’s a delight on walks every time.