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9 Reasons Why Dogs Get Overly Excited According To Science

Excited Dog

Puppies get random bursts of energy.

But if they don’t seem to get out of it…

Or if your adult pooch is suddenly always in ‘hyper mode’

There could be an underlying reason for it.

So what are those possible causes?

And how will you handle an excitable Fido?

Keep reading to learn:

  • 9 scientific reasons for dogs’ overexcitement.
  • 5 dog breeds that are prone to be out of control.
  • 13 simple tips for managing overly excited dogs.
  • And a lot more…

Why do dogs get overly excited? 9 reasons

#1: They have ‘runner’s high’

After a long, intense sprint…

Some people might feel as if they can still go on for hours.

You call this ‘runner’s high.’

And experts say it makes people forget fatigue caused by extreme exercise.

But only for a while.

“How does this happen?”

Running boosts a group of chemical messengers in the blood.

These are endocannabinoids, a.k.a. eCBs.

And they activate the ‘reward center’ of the brain.

They’re similar to tetrahydrocannabinol, a.k.a. THC.

Which is the substance that causes feeling ‘high’ in marijuana.

Hence, eCBs result in a short feeling of extreme joy.

Now, based on research

Dogs can experience ‘runner’s high’ too

(As well as mice, according to another study.)

In the 1st research, experts made dogs and ferrets run on a treadmill.

After the test, they took blood samples from both animals.

And then, researchers found that dogs had high eCB levels.

Like what humans with ‘runner’s high’ experience.

On the other hand…

They didn’t observe elevated eCB levels in ferrets.

So the study suggests that this bliss might only be for ‘cursorial’ mammals. Or ones adapted to run and travel long distances.

Say, humans, horses, and dogs.

Thus, if your Fido often does long, intense exercises…

They’ll be aroused most of the time.

Which then causes their excitable behavior.

Note: Although possible, not everyone gets ‘runner’s high.’ This is because everyone’s experience differs. Plus, one may have to run for many hours before it happens.

#2: They’re under ‘eustress’

Tension also causes overexcitement in dogs.

It’ll make them uneasy.

Which then causes them to look hyper.

But aside from the negative stress that we experience…

Did you know that there’s a ‘good’ version of it?

It’s called ‘eustress.’

And it could also be the cause of your Fido’s arousal.

Doctors say eustress comes from situations that are challenging.

But at the same time, rewarding.

So its common examples are:

  • Traveling.
  • Working out.
  • Starting a new project.

“How does eustress affect dogs?”

Same with humans, it’ll also motivate them.

Then make them satisfied afterward.

Say, exercising or learning a trick.

However, whether good or bad…

Stress has the same effects on the body.

One of those is the release of stress hormones like ‘cortisol.’

It supplies extra energy when you’re troubled.

Plus, it makes you breathe rapidly. And cause your heart to pound fast.

Thus, if your Fido’s always highly stimulated…

Even though it must be good for their mind and body…

It may take a toll on their body.

Also, their cortisol level will continually rise.

Quick trivia: A study says that the hormone usually lasts 1 hour in a dog’s body.

So if eustress is constant…

Your Fido’s body will have too much cortisol.

And it can stay in their bloodstream for days.

Which will result in a pooch who’s often jumpy and tense.

#3: They have separation problems

Overly Excited Dogs Have Separation Problems

It’s heartwarming coming home to your Fido, who’s so excited to see you.

They jump like a spring.

And they bark loudly when you arrive at the door.

However, if your dog also cries every time you leave

And if your house’s always a mess when you return…

Instead of excitement, your pooch might have separation anxiety.

“What is it?”

It’s when a dog gets highly anxious whenever their human’s out of sight.

Unlike other Fidos who don’t have separation issues

These dogs don’t cope well with the absence of their parents. 

Or someone they’re strongly attached to.

So, what would they do if they got separated?

They’ll find an outlet to release their stress.

And usually, this will result in the following behaviors:

PetMD says these signs usually appear when the parent:

  • Leaves the house.
  • Prepares to go out.

I remember a report about a dog named ‘Campbell.’

Based on her parent, she suffers from separation anxiety. 

And it makes her panic and injure herself whenever her human leaves for work.

Campbell tried many methods to escape, such as:

  • Chewing the dog gates.
  • Jumping out of her crate.
  • Breaking out from the window.

See this for yourself in the clip below:

These behaviors are all dangerous.

So you shouldn’t take this condition lightly.

“How do dogs get separation anxiety?”

Around 20% of the canine population has this condition, as per research.

Based on another study, it’s most common in dogs who are: 

  • Males.
  • From rescue shelters.
  • Separated from their mother before 60 days old.

But loyal dogs who tend to be attached to only 1 person are prone to this too.

Take Chihuahuas as an example.

Reading tip: Why does my dog all of a sudden have separation anxiety?

#4: They spend too much time alone

Taking care of a dog isn’t only about feeding and walking.

You also need to give time to your Fido every day.

This is to improve your bond and prevent loneliness.

But since some fur parents might be busy due to work or studies…

Without them knowing, they may leave their Fidos alone more than needed.

So, as a result…

They’ll come home to what will appear as overly excited dogs.

But in reality, they’re only bored and craving attention.

“How long should a dog be alone?”

Experts say it must not be over 6-8 hours daily.

Meanwhile, they need at least 2 hours of interaction with other dogs or their parents.

#5: They don’t get enough workouts

Most dogs, especially young ones, have a bottomless pit of energy.

So they need to let it all out during the day.

Or else they may go crazy in the evening.

But as I said earlier…

Frequent intense workouts may cause your Fido to be more excitable.

However, the result’s the same if they’re underexercised.

Vets say your dog will have pent-up energy.

Plus, they’ll be more hyper outside.

As they’re too eager to get the workout they need.

“So, how much should I exercise my dog?”

Generally, the rule’s 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Then you’ll adjust it based on their:

  • Age.
  • Size.
  • Breed.
  • Health status.

For example, adult working dogs might need more than 2 hours of daily exercise.

Sick and senior Fidos require short walks with a total of 30 minutes a day.

Meanwhile, puppies need 5 minutes of exercise for every month of their age.

For example:

3-month-old pup x 5 minutes = 15 minutes/day.

Trivia: Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise daily. But a study says it’s 2.5 times possible for fur parents to achieve this due to walks. And this is one of the many benefits of having a dog.

#6: They lack brain exercises

Aside from their bodies…

Dogs also need to work out their minds.

Doing so will keep their brains working and busy.

Which will soon wear them out, then keep them calm.

“How does this help?”

If you’ve been working on an assignment for hours straight…

You may notice that you’d like to doze off on the couch immediately due to fatigue.

This is because studies show that using your brain makes you tired.

And this is also the same case for your pooch.

You might also like: 17 Brain Games For Dogs To Entertain Your Fur Baby

#7: They lack obedience training

Dogs act on instincts.

So they don’t know if their behavior’s acceptable or not.

Thus, you need to guide your pooch for them to behave properly.

Or else, they’ll often be excited and hard to control.

Which is a common issue in Fidos. Especially those who had no obedience training.

“How do such classes benefit dogs?”

Experts say they learn basic commands and good manners from obedience training.

But besides these, it also:

  • Improves bond.
  • Builds confidence. 
  • Stimulates the mind.
  • Teaches them to socialize.

Based on research, dogs who took this lesson showed fewer signs of separation anxiety.

So this proves that trained Fidos are calmer.

Plus, they adapt well to most scenarios.

#8: ‘Trigger stacking’

‘Reactive’ dogs may also appear excited.

Don’t get them wrong.

These Fidos aren’t in a good mood.

They’re overly aroused by a certain stressor in the environment.

Say doorbell sounds or other hounds.

And when these pile up in a short period…

That’s when trigger stacking happens.

Everything will be too much for the dog.

So they’ll show excitable behaviors, like:

  • Barking.
  • Lunging.
  • Growling.

Check out also: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Barks At Certain Dogs & 5 Tips

#9: They have hyperkinesis

Some dogs can also be overly excited due to a condition.

As a result, they’ll have a problem focusing and staying still.

Plus, they’ll often act crazy and have loads of energy, even in the morning.

In humans, you call this attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, a.k.a. ADHD.

But in the canine world…

The correct term’s ‘hyperkinesis.’

“How do dogs get this?”

One study says it runs in the blood.

Thus, certain Fidos are more prone to being hyperactive.

And as per research, it’s most common in these 5 breeds:

Breed namePrevalence rate (greatest to least)
Mixed breeds23%
German Shepherds 22%
Spanish Water Dogs19%
Staffordshire Bull Terriers18%
Border Collies & Smooth Collies17%

Based on a study, this trait could be in their DNA.

The researchers studied German Shepherds.

And the results?

They found a link between a gene, a.k.a. DRD4, and ADHD.

The dogs with the said gene showed more signs of ADHD than those who didn’t have it.

They scored high on the hyperactivity scale.

And this is mainly seen in K9s or police German Shepherds.

In addition to this…

One research had similar findings.

But this time, the experts did the test on Siberian Huskies.

Which are also famous for their high energy.

So a dog’s genes play a big role in their over-excitement.

Note: The signs above can be due to anxiety or stress. So you must spot other medical symptoms to verify that a dog has hyperkinesis. Say rapid heart rate at rest.

Learn more: 17 Hyperactive Dog Symptoms + 11 Tips To Calm Down Your Dog

What should I do when my dog gets too excited?

If your dog gets too excited, stay calm first. Then speak to them in a firm but friendly tone. Avoid shouting “No!” or “Stop!” and talk to them as if they’re a small kid.

Studies say that canines can sense human emotions.

Plus, raising your voice may only excite or scare your dog more.

Next, read your dog’s body language.

Then find the reason for their excitement.

And try the following tips according to the problem:

CauseWhat to do?
LonelinessSpend more quality time with your dog.

Ignore attention-seeking behaviors (e.g., barking, lunging).

Reward your dog whenever they’re calm (e.g., lying down, quiet).
Lack of exerciseTake them for longer walks.

Try new games or physical activities (e.g., running, swimming).
Not enough mental stimulationMake them learn new tricks.

Give them interactive puzzles and long-lasting snacks.
No obedience trainingEnroll them in a dog daycare.

Teach them basic commands (e.g., “sit,” “lie down,” “stay”).
Separation anxietyConsult a vet and behaviorist.

Stroke your dog before leaving them.
Stress/overstimulationAvoid their stressors.

Play soothing music for dogs.

But remember, calming down an overly excited dog may take a while.

So always be patient and consistent.

If you want more tips on this…
Check out this article next: 101 Proven Ways To Calm Down A Dog (How-To Guide)