The Agitated, Excitable Dog
- The dog can't stop moving
- The dog becomes very active at the sight of visitors
- The dog can't relax
The underlying symptoms where an overexcited dog is concerned are disobedience, lack of socialization, incomplete generalization, destruction rooted in over-stimulation, urination caused by excess stimulation, excessive barking, whining, inability to relax, and incessant activity. Sometimes, repetitive behavior patterns (such as pursuing his tail) result from this condition. A state of constant agitation prevents the dog from relaxing, taking away his ability to be attentive and to learn. To correct the problem, the situation must be well understood. The dog's behavior is usually an indicator of the symptoms related to the problem, and not the problem itself. Barking and destruction must be stopped, of course, but it's more urgent to address the question of the dog's ability to relax and to wait patiently within his environment. The dog needs quality time with his master, not necessarily to play, but just to be with his master in a "STAY" position and gnaw on a bone, for instance. Any stimulating activity, such as combat in all its forms, is to be avoided. Treat your dog when he has learned to remain calmly in one place, and his level of activity will become normal. When this objective has been reached, you can start working on symptoms brought on by agitation. Always react to your dog calmly. Whenever he is calm, congratulate him with the SR "SOUND + GOOD!".
Most of the time, excess agitation in a dog can be attributed either to poor training practices, a high-sugar diet, a lack of exercise, or lack of backbone on the part of the master. Whenfall into a fitful state, they display all sorts of problem behavior. The dog gets the most excited when he encounters new people or animals. The dog must be given some exercise so that he can work off excess energy. Still, a dog can be agitated and a nuisance despite the exercise, should a visitor show up at the door. Practice the "STAY" or "PLACE" command, and consult Section 3 for proper information. It is essential to return to the cause of the agitation in order to solve the problem.
It is perfectly normal for a dog to like barking, jumping and running. In extreme cases, this needs becomes unmanageable. For example, you're returning from a walk with your dog; as soon as you have seated yourself down to watch T.V., the dog throws himself at you and starts tugging at your pants. You must ignore his pleas. If he persists in disturbing you, say "HEY!" with an assertive tone and give him the SHORT SPRAY. If the dog remains calm for fifteen minutes, congratulate him and give him some attention. By then, the dog will have understood that the best way to get attention is to be calm when his master gives him the command "STAY".
A dog that displays overexcited behavior should never be rewarded for it. He must be isolated until he is calm once again. The cage is the best tool for dealing with an overstimulated dog. When he becomes unbearable, put him in the cage and close the door. When he becomes calm, give him a treat. As a diversion, use a bone or a. If the dog understands and masters the obedience commands, use "PLACE" instead of keeping the animal in his cage.
Note: Consult your vet, because this behavior can ~ become compulsive-obsessive.