Louis can get too excitedAnother case of a dog that simply gets too excited. Louis is a Labradoodle, age twenty months.

Here is a summary of the problems:

Louis gets too excited when people come to the house. He goes crazy at the doorbell and as soon as anyone enters he jumps up for a fuss.

He still steals things out of bins and off tables. He pinches socks or the man’s hat and will not let go. Their waste bins live in the bath!

They would like to leave him with their friends and their dogs, but he plagues their dogs, jumps on them and humps them. Also his stealing things and lack of recall. He may also hump children if they are playing on the floor.

‘Action Dog’

Some of this is about accepting him how he is, but a lot we can do. We  pick our battles.

Loui has been born to be busy! Consequently, he find there is ways to fulfil his needs. Too excited, he’s constantly trying to find things to make himself feel better. To vent. They will now find more acceptable replacements. They can help him with chewing, sniffing, hunting, foraging and brainwork. He can work for his food.

This isn’t about training – teaching him to sit, to stay and to settle, but about fulfilment.

Interestingly, he can often occupy himself very well. He sits still in cafes, making no fuss as he watches the action around him.

Too excited. Things they can work on.

This is like a jigsaw puzzle. Put various bits in place and the picture takes shape.

The garden. The neighbour has a couple of noisy dogs that stir Louis up. They can pop a lead on Louis when letting him out and they can remove it if the dogs aren’t out. If they are out, they can take Louise back indoors or work on our ‘dogs next door’ plan.

Nicking things. He’s now learnt to take socks for the ensuing ‘game’ and getting a treat!  They should immediately walk out and shut the door – or ignore it. No negotiating. To show him immediately that they aren’t playing that game! He’s a working dog finding a job – getting predictable attention and food. He sets them up beautifully.

That though isn’t enough. The answer is to give him more to do. Get him to go hunting for something else. It’s a symptom of boredom and lack enrichment – not lack of exercise.

The front window. He occupies much of his day waiting for action to pass by the window. His excitement will build, most particularly if he sees a cat. I suggest they put our old friend window frosting on the bottom of the window.

Friends, callers and deliveries

They will desensitise him to the doorbell so he won’t then have built such a head of steam when friends walk in. They need to educate their callers – and maybe they can give him something for his mouth to help calm him. (One caller even kicked him, winding him – which really upset them).

Now they will keep him on lead until he calms down.

They will instruct people who look after him to step in regularly when the dog play goes over the top. Before humping starts.


They will prioritise enrichment – sniffing and exploring – over distance.

Other dogs. They will step in before things get out of hand. Everything is about controlling excitement – stopping him getting too excited.

The humping is over-arousal, not dominance. It simply is something he does to make himself feel better.

Helping Louis to help himself

Calm LouisThey will teach him to find things. We looked into basic clicker technique in order to mark calm moments. It’s a tool to teach what they DO want. A clicker, or saying ‘Yes’ instead, uses his brain. He can’t be too excited and use his brain at the same time.

I’m sure the beautiful, gentle, intelligent and friendly dog will soon be able to cope better. With their adoring humans’ help.

NB. For the sake of the story and for confidentiality also, this isn’t a complete ‘report’ and is always written with permission of the client. If you listen to ‘other people’ or find instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dog it can do more harm than good. Click here for help