How to stop over exiting


Well-Known Member

Recently, Kai has been too easy to excite. When I play with her, just starting to run causes her to whirl around, and bite my arms, or if I'm a head of her, she jumps up and bites my shoulders. It really hurts! Also, when I'm playing tug, and I ask her to stop, all of a sudden she starts to growl, so when I take it out of her mouth, she jumps up and bites at the same time, with her teeth exposed and growling. I'm sure it's play, though, because she's got very lose body language, unlike the rigid body language an aggressive dog would have. Anyway, she's gotten fractions of an inch from biting my face today, and that caused me to worry that maybe she might get over exited and bite a smaller child. SO, I was wondering if anyone had tips on how to keep Kai from getting exited like that. Please, though, don't say "Slow down.", because Kai completely loses her mind when I do that; and it causes a complete biting frenzy.



Experienced Member
Kai is becoming a little teenager! Teens are horrible at impulse control, and that is what I think Kai needs lots of right now!

First I would get a really good go to mat cue with Kai. Proof it like crazy so she learns to go to mat and lie down regardless of your body language. Then you can practice doing some light play, sending her to mat, treating, resuming play, repeat.

"Crate games" (amazing dvd by susan garret) is also a must. Similiar to mat work, but generalizing is great! Teach Kai to have amazing DRIVE to her kennel and volunatarily stay in it with the door open while crazy things are going on around her. Play the "it's yer choice" game and "yer in yer out" to build great drive that's useful for obedience, agility, and just good impulse control in general.

Use Kai's tug drive to your advantage to teach a rev up/cool down game. Note how long you can play with Kai before she's over the top- 30 seconds? 5 seconds? and play for less then that. So say she starts to get worked up at 10seconds, play a light game of tug for 5 seconds and ask for a drop it. Then don't say anything, but wait for Kai to calm down (ideally you want a sit or down, but the main goal is any calmness so it's ok to start with just standing nicely). As soon as kai is visibly calm, start the game up again. Repeat. Don't bump the time up until Kai understands that being calm can make you tug again. As she understands this, start to play rougher and rougher, but have her be calm before you start again.

If Kai doesn't know a drop it (and i mean really knows it, drops it right away without growling and jumping on you), you could try a little technique of grabbing underneath her collar while you calmly hold your end of the toy against your body. If you're doing this right, Kai shouldn't be able to tug back and instead you will be in a very boring deadlock. Most dogs give up rather quickly when the fun stops. She also shouldn't be able to jump up that easily if you have her under the collar. If you have to do this, I would start playing again as soon as she drops it, don't wait for calmness since you can't work on drop it and calm at the same time if she doesn't know one. I would also work on drop it by teaching her to trade bones and toys for treat outside the context of tugging.


New Member
Sounds familiar... I'm sure a lot of the advice people gave me on the thread I started for Ryleigh's biting will help with Kai. I don't have a link for it right now. Good luck its not easy:msnsad: