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Calming an overly excited dog: Tips and tricks to keeping canines happy

April 4, 2016

When pet guardians across B.C. come home to an excited, happy dog with his tail furiously wagging, it can make the whole day better. But sometimes, Fido can get overly excited while out and about, jumping up on their guardian or even others. BC SPCA manager of animal welfare Kim Monteith shares some great tips on how to prevent such behaviour in a new Tip Tuesday video.

“If you’re out walking and your dog starts getting excited, and jumping up on you, instead of trying to push him down or hold him down – you don’t want to reinforce that behaviour – this isn’t how dogs learn or how anyone learns. It’s best to ignore the behaviour,” Monteith says. “Turn away or turn your back to him and ask him to sit, and reinforce what you want with something he loves, like a treat or petting him, etc.”

Bring some of the dog’s food, like kibble, or treats he’s fond of, can help reinforce correct, or wanted, behaviour, she notes.

“If he starts getting excited again, another thing you can do is to toss the treat for your dog, so it gives him a chance to stop – it interrupts the behaviour,” Monteith says.

It’s also important for pet guardians to pay attention to their pet’s wants and needs. Some dog behaviour is normal for a dog but we find it annoying or think it’s bad.

 “Keep in mind, dogs will be dogs – if they’re chewing on the leash or anxious to get going on their walk, they’re just being dogs, they’re not trying to be bad,” Monteith adds.

Other times dogs have behaviour issues. Jumping up, being afraid of people or things and reacting are just a few issues we see regularly.

We can help dogs, by better understanding and managing dog behaviour and ensuring they get enough exercise, enrichment and training.

Download our additional resources for managing dog behaviour problems:

Learn more about caring for dogs.

Three energized happy dogs running a forest trail off leash with a woman

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