How to Train an Excited Dog to Calm Down at the Dog Park

By: Sam Kanouse

Published Date: January 4, 2018

At this Omaha dog training session we were asked to help Goose, a one-year-old Rough Collie, and Molly, an eight-year-old Border Collie mix, to relax and calm down when greeting guests and new dogs at the dog park.

After I greeted Goose and Molly I sat down with their guardians to discuss their main dog behavior concerns. Like many dogs, Goose became over excited when he went to greet new people or greet strangers at the dog park. He was also overly excited when meeting new dogs. We talked about giving Goose the opportunity to learn how to build up self control and emotional regulation so he could make good choices when going to the dog park.

The best way to help Goose learn how to control himself is to set him up for success by putting him in situations that allow him to make the right choices. To see how I did this you can watch the video below.

As you can see in the video we moved slowly, allowing Goose the opportunity to stay calm and relaxed when seeing me come up the stairs. This gave him the opportunity to greet me calmly instead of jumping up on me. While he had already met me earlier in the session making this task easier for him ,this was a great opportunity for his guardians to practice giving him space on the leash so when they are in a novel situation they are ready to help goose have enough space to make the best choice.

To continue with this good behavior the guardians will want to continue to set Goose up for success by increasing the excitement of meeting a new person or dog in small, manageable increments. This will allow him to slowly learn how to handle more exciting situations such as a dog park over time but also generalize his experience to meeting new dogs and people not only at home and at the dog park but in other situations as well. We wrapped up this dog behavior training session with Goose and Molly’s Roadmap to Success video, which you can watch below.

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