Labradoodles can be very excitable dogs, especially when they are puppies. Today we are going to take a look at how to calm down a Labradoodle that has become a bit too enthusiastic! We also help you to spot signs that your dog is becoming over excited, and let you know what is likely to set them off.
- Signs of over excitement in dogs
- What gets Labradoodles excited
- How to calm a Labradoodle
- Encouraging your dog to relax
Signs of Over Excitement in Dogs
An over excited dog is not a relaxing companion. Their enthusiasm can cause all sorts of tricky to handle behaviors, including:
- Rapid barking
- Ignoring you
Zoomies is the word used to describe when your dog has a wild few minutes. They usually involve running around in circles incredibly quickly, with no apparent awareness of their surroundings. They barrel into people, furniture and other dogs without even seeming to notice.
Dogs that are very excited often let out a fast series of short barks. They are usually high pitched, and the dog is normally facing whatever the source of their enthusiasm might be. Excited barking is accompanied by a loose body movement and quickly wagging tail.
Whether it’s bouncing up and down on the spot, or trying to throw themselves into your arms, (no joke with an adult Labradoodle!) jumping is a common sign of over excitement in dogs.
Tugging at toys can quickly turn into nipping at you. Whether it’s your hands, feet or loose clothing. Over excited dogs bite, grab and tear at anything within their reach.
Although it’s not a sign of aggression in that context, they might also growl at you. Puppies especially will growl and even snarl when over excited. Bearing their teeth in what seems a rather ferocious manner!
Your normally well mannered Labradoodle will lose all sense of decorum when they are worked up. Snatching toys or food out of your hands is much more likely to happen at this time.
They will also appear to go temporarily deaf. Don’t try to give instructions to a dog that has lost all sense of calm, because they won’t respond. And in fact it only serves to teach them that listening to your commands is optional.
What Sets Your Dog Off?
Every dog is different, and depending on how they are raised and what motivates them one dog might be wound up by different triggers to another. But there are some things that most dogs find very exciting. These include:
- Rough housing
- Playing longer games
- Being teased
Although it’s absolutely fun to physically play with your dog, and they enjoy it, unfortunately it’s often not a good idea. Especially if you have children. Kids are really bad at reading the signs that a dog is starting to get worked up, or even annoyed. So it’s best to keep their interactions calm and formal.
The best way to achieve doggy zen is through avoiding the things that wind them up. But what do you do once it’s too late to prevent it?
How to Calm Down a Labradoodle
There are four main steps to calming down a Labradoodle.
- Stop interacting with them
- Stand up and step back
- Take a breath
- Remove yourself
As soon as your dog starts zooming around at 90kph, or biting at your hands or clothes, the game must end. Stop playing them, touching them or trying to physically interact at all.
Stand up and step back
Get up onto your feet if you aren’t there already. Turn your back on the dog slowly, and if necessary hold your hands up by your shoulders to remove them as a target.
Take a breath
Dealing with a wound up dog is very stressful and frustrating, but you mustn’t let this show. Everything you do at this point, your pup will react to and feed off. Staying calm is an important part of the process of calming them down.
Take yourself somewhere your dog can’t reach you, or put them somewhere they can’t do the same. Useful tools for managing these situations include baby gates, a dog crate and a puppy playpen. Somewhere you can put the dog where you know they will be safe, but also unable to access anything that might increase their excitement.
Encouraging Relaxed Behavior in Future
We play a simple game called ‘catch the relax’ with all of our puppies, and with particularly exuberant dogs we continue this game into adulthood. It works really well, and is definitely worth playing with your dog.
Whenever your Labradoodle settles down near to you on the floor, laying or sitting calmly, you need to catch that chilled out behavior. Ever so quickly, place a treat between their front paws. You need to move fast and accurately, otherwise your dog will jump up for the treat and you’ll be accidentally rewarding the opposite behavior to the one you wanted.
Practice alone beforehand (even if you feel a little silly) if you are unsure about what to do. Imagine your dog is laying down beside you. Subtly pick up a few bits of kibble from the little pot beside you, and quickly put them down on the floor. You’ll be amazed how quickly you get quite accurate with it.
Catching the relax encourages your dog to relax, because they quickly learn that when they chill out they get a tasty treat. And what Labradoodle doesn’t love their dinner!
How To Calm Down A Labradoodle
Labradoodles are bouncy, enthusiastic and friendly dogs. Which is great. But they are also quite easy to get excited. To calm down a Labradoodle you need to stop interacting with them, stand up and turn away and separate yourselves. All while staying calm.
You can encourage them to stay more calm in future by rewarding them when they are relaxed. And remember, most puppies are more excitable than adult dogs. Even lovely Labradoodles are likely to calm down considerably as the months turn into years. The odds are good that you will have a lovely companion to share your home with as long as you manage them well in the meantime.