Anxiety and excitement are common in every dog. However, just because it’s common does not mean it cannot negatively affect your dog or the people around him. Therefore, every dog owner needs to know how to calm down an overly excited or anxious dog. In this article, we will try to understand the reasons behind excitement and anxiety in dogs and how you can calm an excited and anxious dog. First, let us see how to calm an overly excited dog.
Reasons for Excited Dog Behavior
There are various reasons for such kind of a behavior in pets, which includes:
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of socialisation
- Conditioned behavior
Excitement or hyperactivity is caused by an excess of pent-up energy that seeks a means of escape. The main reason is mostly a lack of exercise, which is critical for every dog. Moreover, conditioned behavior indicates that your dog has been taught to view excess energy as a positive trait.
How to Calm Down a Hyper Dog?
Here are some tips on what you can do to calm down your hyper dog and help it become more obedient.
#1 Start by Calming yourself First
Dogs are empathic creatures that can instantly feel your mood. Consequently, hyperactive dogs are sometimes the result of hyperactive dog owners. Maintain calm and forceful energy when training your pet. This is particularly relevant when interacting with pups who are still young. The dog must learn that when you ask for calm behavior, he must respond instantly.
As we mentioned earlier, the main reason for this excessive pent-up energy stems from a lack of exercise. It is always a good idea to regularly take your dog for a walk. Play with him for some time or run around in an open area. It not only helps in dog calming but is also excellent for bonding with them.
#3 Don’t Give Him Attention
Dogs are similar to us in more than one way; like us, they are social animals. They love to socialize and are big attention seekers. A lot of the time, they are acting over-excited only to grab your attention. If you give in to the temptation and give them what they want, it will only make the situation worse. Additionally, this will reinforce their behavior whenever they seek attention.
#4 Try Obedience Training
Obedience training is a beautiful way to bond; it tells your dog you are in charge and simultaneously gives your dog some necessary brain stimulation. You start by giving them in-home obedience training from the very beginning, or you can also hire professional help.
#5 Games that Involve Nose Work
Dogs are known for their sense of smell. Engaging your dog’s nose in play provides the cognitive and emotional stimulus. You can play hide & seek games by hiding small and natural calming treats for dogs around the house and urging your pet to sniff them out. Additionally, you can also try aromatherapy after consulting with your vet.
Till now we discussed about how to calm down a hyper dog? Now, let us look into the causes of anxiety in dogs and how you can calm your anxious dog.
What Causes Anxiety in Dogs?
Anxiety can manifest itself in a number of ways. Some of the best causes can be attributed to these reasons.
- Separation anxiety
- Generalized anxiety
- Environmental anxiety
- Social anxiety
Generalized anxiety frequently occurs out of nowhere with no recognized origin or explanation. Social anxiety can arise due to previous trauma in rescues or just from not being socialized regularly.
How to Calm an Anxious Dog?
Anxiety is a difficult, short-lived, and sometimes costly affliction that can affect your dog’s life significantly. If you notice changes in his behavior and enjoy the companionship of your pet, follow these tips to calm your canine’s anxiety.
#1 Regular Exercise
As we have previously mentioned, the benefits of exercise for your dog, but how does exercise help calm an anxious dog? Exercise helps in dealing with separation anxiety in dogs as well as social anxiety. Regular exercise, like walking your dog and playing games like fetch, helps strengthen the bond between you and your dog. Additionally, being out in the open, socializing with humans and other dogs, makes him more comfortable around strangers.
#2 Create a Safe Space for your Dog
What causes anxiety in dogs? As mentioned already generalized anxiety could also be the reason. Such a type can be due to discomfort. Make a haven for your dog to unwind. You should use the same mattress, comforter, or cushion and bring it with you while visiting potentially stressful areas for your dog.
#3 Massage and Physical Touch
Nothing calms the stress in dogs like his owner’s touch. A massage is a cherry on top. Massages are not only good for people but are also incredibly beneficial for your anxious friend. Anxiety commonly produces physical tension, and massage therapy is one dog stress relief technique. Ear and head massages can also be the best anxiety relief for dogs.
#4 Counter Conditioning
It is a training strategy that is used to deal with long-term anxiety. Counter conditioning is the process of teaching your dog to view triggers or stresses as positive rather than unpleasant. Give them something pleasant to do when the stimulus occurs, so they will look forward to it rather than fear it.
#5 Audio or Music Stimulation
Music can be the answer for how to calm an anxious dog. Both humans and dogs have been found to benefit from music therapy. Various studies have concluded that audio stimulation is excellent for dealing dogs with anxiety. According to a research, classical and calming music for dogs can help your pet relax, whereas rock or heavy metal can make them nervous.
#6 Take Help from an Expert
If you have tried everything and still are waiting for results, then it’s time to call a behavioral expert. These specialists assist clients in managing, changing, and preventing undesirable behavior in pets. They are particularly educated specialists in animal behavior and learning, using a range of scientifically supported strategies, such as behavior modification for hyperactive dog treatment.
Recognize that your dog’s behavior is a way for them to express how they feel. They wear their hearts on their sleeve if you want to know how to quiet a dog and attempt to understand what your dog is communicating via its behavior. When our dogs know that we understand them, they feel accepted and calm. With this knowledge, your dog will have greater faith in you and, as a result, will become more responsive and calm. This indicates less supervision and more self-control on your dog’s part, which suggests that you can spend less time thinking about how to calm a dog down and more time enjoying your dog’s companionship.