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Aggressive K9 Behavior: Misdirected Over-Excitement

Aggressive K9 Behavior: Misdirected Over-Excitement

Table of Contents


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Canine fun and play are wonderful UNTIL it gets out of hand! Did you know that over-excitement could lead to aggressive K9 behavior? Below is what you need to know before the aggression starts from our own canine aggression expert. 

What dog owner doesn’t love to see his dog happy and playing? But it’s important to keep your dog in check before over-excitement escalates into aggressive behavior. In addition, it’s even more important for us humans to not unknowingly encourage over-excitement as “harmless happiness.”

“An overstimulated dog is in an unhealthy, high state of arousal which can potentially create a dangerous situation.”

East Valley K9 Services

Misdirection of K9 Over-Excitement

word image 813 2 aggressive k9 behavior,misdirection,redirection,gilbert az A dog who has been allowed to become – and stay in an over-excited state – may redirect that hyper-energy in the only way they know, with physical action. Unfortunately, that misdirected over-excitement can have negative implications including an unwanted dog bite!

The re-direction of this excess energy can be aimed at other animals, humans or even objects that elicit a reactive behavior from the dog including vehicles, bikes, skateboard and more. Always remember, an overly excited dog can bite! Even a normally happy-go-lucky dog.

Keep reading to learn more about the signs of K9 over-excitement and 3 effective steps to manage it before it gets out of hand.

Is your dog showing aggressive behaviors (and you live in Gilbert, Mesa or East Valley Arizona)?

Reach out to us today for help with any K9 aggression.  Do NOT wait for the behavior to escalate!

Click here to contact our aggression expert.

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Signs of K9 Over-Excitement or Over-Stimulation

When a dog becomes over-excited or over-stimulated, they typically exhibit the following signs:

  • Hyperactive behaviors
    • Spinning in circles (also a compulsive behavior)
    • Running around uncontrollably
    • Easily distracted
    • Excessive panting (but it’s not that hot)
    • Chewing unusual items
    • Nipping or biting (especially if the dog is also fearful)
    • Jumping, leaping or lunging
    • Barking and snarling
    • Pulling on the leash
    • Separation Anxiety
    • Excessive barking and yipping
  • Hiding
    • Insecure and unsocial dogs may hide when they are over-stimulated
  • Compulsive Behaviors
    • Tail chasing
    • Constant Licking
  • Engaging in rougher play than normal and being mouthier and nippier

Never (Ever) Encourage Over-Excitement

word image 813 4 aggressive k9 behavior,misdirection,redirection,gilbert az When it’s time to go for a walk, many dog owners go through a familiar routine and then misinterpret their K9’s unbridled excitement and often – without even realizing it – contribute to winding them up even more!

But never encourage such over-excitement. Never reinforce this bad behavior by joining in the excitement, giving them attention, or petting them because your dog will learn it’s ok to continue (and even escalate) this unwanted behavior.

Instead, ignore the over-excitement and ask – and then wait for – your dog to become calm. And always reward this positive behavior!

“Always check your own energy before asking your dog to present calmness and balance. Remember, our dogs take their lead from us, so stay calm before asking the same of your dog.”

East Valley K9 Services

Managing a Dog’s Over-Excitement with 3 Effective Steps

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  • Engage your dog in regular, healthy exercise that stimulates his mind and his body while effectively draining any pent-up and excess energy. A tired dog is always a happier and calmer dog.
  • Provide positive outlets for your dog’s energy. Games like fetch, find it or agility courses are wonderful in engaging a dog’s mind and body and wearing them out. But make sure you control the time and intensity to discourage over-excitement. Never allow the game to continue if your dog begins to get over-excited.
  • Use natural aromatherapy to help your dog calm down. Scents like lavender and vanilla have excellent calming properties for your dog (and you too!). Put a little on a bandana and loosely tie around your dog’s neck. (Always check with your veterinarian first before using essential oils with your dog.)

NOTE: All forms of canine aggression are very unpredictable and dangerous behaviors for the average dog owner to address on their own.

Always bring in an experienced and well-qualified K9 professional for the best possible – and lasting – results.

Live in the Gilbert, Mesa, and East Valley areas of Arizona?

Contact East Valley K9 Services for professional help with aggressive dog behavior or other K9 training services!


Our certified behavior trainer can help you with your aggressive or reactive k9.  Give us a call at 480-382-0144 


Additional Reading:

  1. 4 Signs Your Dog is Overstimulated

  1. 6 Steps to Managing a Dog’s Over-Excitement

  1. Excitement: When is it Unhealthy?

  1. Redirected Aggression, Why it is So Dangerous and Why You Don’t Think About it

Image Credits (Shown in Order):

  1. Image by Vember from Pixabay
  2. Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay
  3. Image by Luis Eduardo Bastias from Pixabay
  4. Image by Bruno Glätsch from Pixabay
  5. Image by kaylafratt from Pixabay



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