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About a month a go I got a 8 week male dachshund and ever since the first days he seemed overexcited. Jumping up, chasing my cat around, excessive licking when someone pets him and so on.

At the beginning I assumed that it was because he wasn't getting enough exercise. (He didn't have all his shots so I couldn't walk him and we live in a flat) A month later, he got his shots and for the last week I've been walking him twice daily for 30-60 minutes each time and his behaviour hasn't changed.

For example, last night we came back from a 60+ minute walk and as soon as we came back he started running around like crazy and tearing apart one of his toys.

The "problem" seems to be around humans. When we're around or we have guests he goes crazy jumping on everyone. I honestly think I have never seen him lying down in his bed when another person is in the room. When we leave him alone in another part of the flat (because of his overexcitement), he's calm, doesn't make a sound and probably sleeps most of the time which I think only makes things worse as I would think that builds up even more energy.

Is this overexcitement? If so, what can I do to calm him down?

  • I will say, my recent Q re overtiring Bear notwithstanding, pets.stackexchange.com/questions/5488/… that an hour walk is not enough for our dog. He needs an hour of chasing dogs in the park. He flops down for a long rest intermittently, but then goes back to running around. If I get to the off leash hours, he sleeps all day. If he just gets a walk, even a nice long one, he tends to want more. – Amanda Jun 18 '14 at 13:00
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I am not an expert, just happened to have lived the same thing a couple of months ago.

Your dog needs to have a spot for himself, a basket or something similar, where you can send him. This should never be used as a punishment but a place for him to "hang out". Once the order of "go to your basket" is learnt, it will be a lot easier for you to help your dog calm down. Chances are that, at 8 weeks old, his mom did not get all the time to teach him to return to calm.

If your doggy wants to play it is a good sign! But make sure you are the one initiating all the play times. If he comes to you with a toy or just try to get your attention, ignore him, or even a "no" might be in order if he insists and 5 minutes later go play with him. This way you will be the one who controls, and you will teach your dog that bugging you to play is useless.

It is also normal that your dog sleeps while you are not around. As most animals, when their needs are fulfilled and no other stimulant is around, they are recovering or saving energy to be ready if something happens. Don't forget dogs used to live in the wild :)

Personally, I have found out that making him use his brain during playtime was a good way to make him learn, learn about him and tire him down somewhat quicker. My dog is now usually feeding off a plastic milk bottle (could be soda bottle, but the opening might be a bit too small), he cannot use his teeth on it at all. He has to bump it with his nose or use his paws to get some food out. I also mixed sit and a couple other orders during our games and he learnt a lot faster than when we tried with treats.

Refs: Own personal experience, doggy is now 9 months old, still has as much energy but he knows (and us too now) to control it. A personal trainer was of big help to us too, most of what I stated is suggestions she made that we followed.

Good luck, may the patience be with you

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9

To be honest, this just sounds like normal puppy behavior. They have limitless energy, much more than any of us I'd bet. Our collie-cross had the same issues (still does to some extent, if we let him away with it, at 10 months).

There are loads of things you can try, but unfortunately there will be no magic one-stop calming device:

  1. Get him used to people. Bring friends round, bring him to puppy classes. If humans and attention are what excites him, more interaction may take the sting out of the hyperactivity after a while. This however is a slow process and will take some time.
  2. Try find a toy which occupies him. I found it difficult to find toys suitable for puppies which my dog was interested in, but you might have better luck.
  3. Sounds like you're definitely exercising him enough. Try putting him in his part of your flat when you come back from a walk. Let him calm down. Then once he's calm, bring him in and ignore him. I'll bet eventually he will fall asleep

The most important thing to remember is that as long as you socialize & exercise him, eventually he will calm down, it'll just take time.

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You might be over exercising him to some extent. 60+ minute walks for an 8 week old puppy sound definitely over the top.

One sign to watch out for is what should be a tired puppy suddenly running laps around the room like its been stung by a bee. That's a sure indicator of overtiredness. The same way a toddler will get cranky when it's overtired, a puppy will just keep running around.

You'll have to calm it down until it gets a chance to realise how tired it is, either by sending it to its box, like Salketer mentioned (be sure to do it in a happy voice though), or by petting it with long, slow strokes and speaking in a soothing and calm voice.

A good way to teach your dog not to jump up on people is to get it to sit in front of you and slowly lower a treat from your forehead down to your puppy. When it jumps up, pull your hand back out of reach and verbally mark the loss of the reward ("ah-ah" or "no" in a stern voice). Find your dog's threshold for how low you can go before he jumps and, when reaching it without puppy jumping up, immediately reach down all the way and reward it with the treat. Do this a couple of times, then move your hand a bit lower before rewarding. You want to aim for puppy to get it wrong once for every four or five times he successfully stays sitting. That way, your puppy learns very quickly that, if it jumps up, it will lose out on the treat but if it sits still, happiness ensues.

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  • Wow, didn't know about the overtiredness bit. Thanks. He's not 8 weeks old at the moment though, 10 days shy of 4 months of age. – Nick Oct 11 '13 at 8:20
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    @NickNikolaou Ah, I missed that bit. We used to foster puppies and didn't know about overtiredness either. For the first few pupppies, whenever they started running circles around the house, we'd take them for another walk because we thought they hadn't had enough exercise. Until by the sixth or seventh puppy, we finally asked a trainer. Needless to say, both our and the puppies' lifes are a lot calmer now :) – ThomasH Oct 11 '13 at 9:33
  • @ThomasH Curious to know if pets.stackexchange.com/questions/5488/… reads as "overtired" too. – Amanda Jun 18 '14 at 12:57

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