Is Your Dog Hyperactive or Overly-Excited?

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An Excited Dog is Not A Happy Dog

There is a common misconception that many humans have about dogs which is that “An excited dog is a happy dog”. This could not be farther from the truth.

The reason this is a common belief is that oftentimes when a human is excited, they are also happy at the same time.  Dogs are different psychologically than humans in many ways, this being one of them.

When dogs are overly-excited, that emotion is paired with anxiety. When you understand that, it helps you understand that a dog who is excited is not a happy dog. This really helps you to stop reinforcing this state of mind.

Dogs repeat behaviours and states of mind that they receive positive reinforcement for.

The vast majority of dogs you see who appear to be hyperactive are actually not like that naturally. This behaviour is almost always created by the pet parents. 
Dogs repeat behaviours and states of mind that they receive positive reinforcement for. Positive reinforcement for a dog can be as simple as attention of any kind from their human. They will learn quickly that if they are over-excited or obnoxious, that they are much more likely to get attention than if they were calm and sitting by themselves minding their own business. 

This is why we see so many dogs that have become ‘over socialized’, meaning that they have learned that every time they see another human or dog, if they get overly excited and start jumping and pulling on the leash, that they will inevitably get attention from them. 

In order to stop this cycle, you must first figure out what it is your dog is getting out of being this way. If attention is the answer, you must make sure that when they are like this you are not giving the attention they seek. 

There are many different techniques to how to do this. Each dog will be different in which methods are successful in helping them understand this concept. What is for sure, is that if your dog is exhibiting a behaviour you don’t like, using treats at that moment is likely to make them believe that this behaviour is what leads to them getting a treat. Dogs are far too intelligent for this, and will always figure out the pattern that leads them to the food. 
This is why a one size fits all training methodology just doesn’t cut it. It really depends on your dog’s personality on what will and will not work.
Kristina and dogs

When working with dogs who are overly excited (or who have what's called impulse control issues), I use a lot of calming exercises that will help your dog learn how to calm themselves when they get this way. Many dogs with this issue really struggle to turn off their excitement when they get this way, and so it is up to us to teach them how to do it.

The Hairy Dogmother

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  • My favourite thing about Kristina’s training style is her supportive/interactive nature, articulate and honest communication. I started working with Kristina on my dogs leash reactivity/aggression ~1month ago, and I have seen tangible and consistent improvements in my dogs obedience, engagement, and our relationship in general. This was previously a big source of stress in my journey as an owner, and something I have struggled immensely for quite sometime. If you are having difficulties with your dog or maybe you have a dog with behavioural issues that is above your current skill level, she’s your gal!

    thumb Elaina X
  • Kristina was super knowledgeable and helpful in working with me and my dog to concur her resource guarding and reactivity. Her clear homework instructions were easy to follow and she was always available to help whenever I needed it. Forever grateful for her expertise!

    thumb Kayla Carson
  • Kristina helped us with our anxious and aggressive rescue dog a few years ago. Her guidance helped us gain confidence and, in turn, give our dog the environment he needed to flourish. We recently reached out for further support and I was surprised that she remembered all about our dog and where we had left off in our training. She is calm, clear and patient (both with our dog and with us) which is so helpful when dealing with stressful behavioural issues.

    thumb Sandra Bertoia
  • I had a great experience working with Kristina to train my puppy Alfie - she was thorough, king, patient and incredibly encouraging! She was flexible with the spring weather and sent extensive follow up emails to help with my training at home. She could even check in on how things were going in between our sessions, and always answered my random questions as well. Couldn't recommend her more! Such a great help to me.

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  • Kristina is an absolute gem to work with!!! She gave us very helpful tips to work with our rescue dog and followed through whenever we had additional questions! We felt very at ease at her studio and loved the walk through sessions outdoors as well. She catered exactly to our needs in working with our dog and with her help we've made SO MUCH progress. Our dog no longer pulls during our regular walks and his reactivity has gone down significantly since working with her. We will continue working with her to help build our doggo's confidence and to allow him to be comfortable in different settings and cannot wait for our next sessions ahead 🙂

    thumb Hyeyoon Boo
  • Kristina is the dog whisperer. I started working with her when I was at wits end with my golden doodle puppy -jumping, biting, leash pulling, barking. Over a few sessions she helped us curb the undesirable behaviors and make him an obedient calm puppy. Results were immediate and her follow up helped make sure we were making continued progress on our own. I"m so so so glad I worked with Kristina. My pup turned one today and he's a really well behaved guy,

    thumb Kristine Coco
  • I have a super reactive dog that has so greatly improved through working with Kristina! Now we are able to pass other dogs where she does not react (except for the very few times, but we’re still working on those lol). So happy to have found Kristina to help me and the family have a much more happy and fulfilling life with our love Muffy 💜

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  • As a first time dog owner, Kristina gives me all the tools I needed to best support my pup! She is super knowledgable and understanding of my pups needs and has so many helpful resources. She is also great with humans - professional, kind, and easy to work with. She has checked in with me throughout my training journey making me feel very supported!

    thumb Faith Gallant
  • We are very thankful for all the useful advice that Kristina has provided to us! We were really struggling with some behavioural issues with our dog, particularly around leash reactivity. After just one session, we have noticed a huge difference! Walking the dog had become really stressful and now we have concrete solutions to help with training that have worked wonders! Thanks Kristina!

    thumb Anne Stephenson
  • Kristina is very knowledgeable and takes her time to get to the root of the dogs behavioural issues. My dog has become a lot less reactive to on walks since the two sessions we have had with her. Very much enjoyed the sessions and listening to the philosophies of how she approaches dog behaviourial issues. Very helpful in helping me understand my dog better too.

    thumb Aimee Yoo