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How to Calm an Excited Puppy

By Jane Williams
 

Overview

Puppies are little wobbly balls of energy that explode with excitement the moment they encounter something or someone new. This bounding energy and happy licking may be adorable in a tiny 8-pound puppy, but it's less appealing in a much heavier and stronger adult. As cute as it may be, this hyper, excitable behavior in puppies can lead to uncontrolled bad behavior as they grow. As hard as it is to resist a happy puppy, training should start as soon as possible to help reinforce proper behavior and stop unwanted behavior before it becomes habit.

Step 1

Ignore the excited behavior. Any response from you while your puppy is excited and hyper only reinforces the behavior. Praise the puppy once she calms down, petting her and encouraging her with positive phrases such as “Good girl!”

Step 2

Redirect her energy. Instead of reacting to the excited behavior, redirect your puppy by giving her a command to focus on. Tell her to get her ball or another favorite chew toy and bring it back. Tell her to sit. Refocusing her attention on something positive will help curb the hyper behavior and reinforce a better outlet for her energy.

Step 3

Let her run. Sometimes your puppy seems excited simply because she can't contain all the energy in her little body. Use that energy to your advantage by taking her outside and letting her play and run it out. Afterward you'll have an exhausted puppy ready for a long nap.

Step 4

Promote a calm environment. Certain scents encourage a feeling of calm and relaxation and work just as well on animals as they do on humans. Use a diffuser with a few drops of lavender oil to help her stay calm. Products such as Rescue Remedy and Comfort Zone promote a feeling of relaxation through a mixture of essential oils and synthetic mother dog pheromones. Create a comfortable bed in a kennel to give her a safe, quiet place to calm down and teach her to head there when she feels too excited or stressed.

Step 5

Start training early. Behavior training should start the day you bring your puppy home for the first time. Identify behaviors you want to root out and replace them with positive behaviors. Be consistent with training and make sure every person involved in your puppy's care is on the same page.
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