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 family adopted a rescue this past February who was quite leash reactive. We heard about Kristina through a friend of a friend who hired her as a trainer. Kristina taught us the foundations to teaching our dog that we are his protector. From there she taught us how to redirect his reactiveness. Today he is walking by my side beautifully and rarely reacts to another dog. I have even had people come up to me saying how well behaved my dog is.

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  • I was so grateful when I received a referral to Kristina after we adopted our sweet pup from Redemption Paws. It has been so wonderful to work with Kristina throughout our pups training journey. Kristina is clear in her communication and instructions. Everything was always explained clearly which helped me to understand my dogs behaviors. After each session Kristina would send a summary and homework for us to practice. It really helped me to be able to reference back to these emails throughout the training process. I've contacted Kristina anytime a new concern or behavior comes up, and each time she has supported me to quickly address it. I feel empowered and prepared to deal with any challenge that may arise in the future with my pup. Thank you Kristina, you have helped me to become a confident dog owner! If you have found Kristina don't hesitate to book- I know you will also feel grateful you found her!

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  • We are so grateful for Kristina and all her help training our 100 pound puppy! She is very honest, knowledgable and really makes training feel simpler. Kristina has been so helpful teaching our dog (and us) all the necessities to have a loving, obedient, trustworthy dog! Everything she has showed us has been so helpful and we cant thank her enough- highly recommended!

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  • 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.

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  • Kristina is like a medium for dogs. As a first time dog owner, I've spent hours reading, scouring the internet, and working with other trainers to try to teach my lil dude, Schnitzel. Alas, his guarding, reactivity, barking, and at times — aggression, has persisted, causing major stress and concerns for his happiness and safety. Cue Kristina — my goodness! Kristina has given me so much insight into lil guy's psyche, and the tools I need to communicate with him. Even after our first session I saw progress. A lot of trainers will apply one philosophy to all dogs — whereas Kristina takes everything you've told her about your dog, and combines it with her extensive knowledge of different breed's psyches/needs to come up with a plan that will work for them — lemme tell ya, it HAS! She just gets them, and makes the training process so much more comprehensive for owners. Thank you so much Kristina!

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  • We got a rescue dog a little while back and we were having some minor behavioural issues with him and he seemed to have no training as well. Kristina was very professional and patient with not only our dog Willi but also with us, she helped us notice behaviours and explained why he had them and set up an easy to follow training routine for him. Willi has come a long way in the short time we had him. I will continue to use Kristina’s services and I and Willi think she’s great.

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  • Simply put, Kristina and her training plan changed our lives. We had limited dog experience and rescued a pittie mix last November. He's a wonderful pup, but working through lots of trauma. When we first came to Kristina, we couldn't get our dog to go on walks, eat from his bowl without growling, or play with toys safely. Now he's the happiest pup and we feel empowered to handle any training curveball thrown at us. All I can say is thank you - and if you're thinking about booking a session, just go ahead and DO IT. It will honestly be the best thing you do for YOU and your PUP.

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  • Kristina saved our dog Gigi’s life. Being a first time dog owner we were very overwhelmed with our dog’s aggressive behaviour. Kristina gave us the skills and tools we needed to work through the behavioural issues. Through our training sessions we learned how to care for Gigi so that the aggressive behaviour was avoided. Thank you Kristina for all your help and professional advice. We cannot thank you enough!

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  • 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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  • We are so very happy to have found Kristina, for us and our very exuberant boxer puppy Lucy ! Walking her has been a challenge because of her endless energy and love for everyone. Kristina has helped us correct our reactions to her and encouraged us how to respond correctly ! After two sessions we have seen a huge improvement with Lucy, even with the 2 week quarantine after her spay. ! Her professionalism shines, she is a competent and most reliable trainer, I would and have highly recommended Kristina as a dog trainer .

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