The #1 Tip For Walking an Excited Dog

We have all had an excited dog at one time or another…

After all, I think dogs have “cornered” the happiness and excitement genre of life.

That is why we love them. 😉

If I just had an ounce of my dog’s energy and joy, I could get a lot more done around my house!

But, it makes them difficult to deal with, on occasion, when their energy level and excitement leads to their inability to control themselves.

I liken dogs to toddlers a lot! I think they are so similar in so many ways.

So before you go losing your temper, understand that taking your dog for a walk is like taking your 3 year old child to the zoo or to Chuck E. Cheese’s and expecting him or her not to get excited.

So then, how do you deal with an overexcited dog when you want to take them on a walk?

First off you must teach them manners and how to control themselves.

Just like we have expectations for our children as they age and we are constantly teaching them, so must we also have expectations for our dogs and be constantly teaching them what we want!

And, leash manners and walking nicely on leash should be a teaching priority!

Letting him pull you until your arm hurts creates a bad habit that neither of you should have to endure.

And, remember that habits are hard to break.

But, sometimes we want to take our dogs for walks or our children out to dinner before they have completely mastered all of their learning.

What is the best trick or tip to having a successful and enjoyable walk?

Wear your dog out first!

leash training, walking an excited dogA tired dog is much less excitable and much more controllable!

People often tell me that the second half of a long walk is much more enjoyable than the first half.


It is because the dog is more tired and over the hump of being excited.

Why not use that to your advantage?

The majority of people think that taking their dog for a walk IS the exercise and IS the best way to wear them out physically.

Walking is actually not the best way to a tired dog.

So before you go to take your dog on a stroll, throw the ball for him for 10 or 20 minutes, run him next to your bike, or teach him a new trick or game (mental stimulation works, too).

Then you can both enjoy a walk and he won’t be pulling your arm out of its socket!

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  1. “understand that taking your dog for a walk is like taking your 3 year old child… to Chuck E. Cheese’s and expecting him or her not to get excited.”

    This is the “aha!” moment for me. We have a rescued Black Mouth Cur (3) and a Boxer/Beagle mix (2) and they are wild about walks. You even mistakenly say “walk” instead of mouth it to the kids and those tails start wagging so fast you’d think they would helicopter the pups to the ceiling.

    Thanks for the insight here.I think we’ll play fetch the tennis ball for a few minutes before talking walks from now on.


  2. There is a lot of information out there now from vets and other trainers that throwing a ball is not good for.them because they hurt muscles, ligaments and experience other sport type injuries. How do you address these issues as you recommend ball throwing?


    Minette Reply:

    Living life is risky. I would rather have a mentally stimulated dog that chases a ball, rather than one that sits at home and rots mentally and physically. I am just careful that I throw the ball straight and not into or near anything that my dog may run into


  3. Beverly says:

    I’ve had dogs my entire long life and have played fetch the ball with most of them. Never has one of them been injured by that game. I’m wondering if we are getting into placing the dog in a “protective bubble” the way people are doing with children over a phobia of injury risk. Obviously you don’t throw the ball into traffic or something stupid like that.


  4. Dede Bruns says:

    It IS the same with dogs and kids. Helicopter parents obsessed with keeping their children safe are actually doing them harm. So PLAY BALL. Too bad there are no softball teams for us seniors. Hmmm. Maybe i should start one.


  5. Charles Enders says:

    yes when i throw scout his ball for 20 min.he does walk better! but i knew that makes petfect sence.


  6. Gary Kirven says:

    Thanks very much. I will tire my dog out before taking


  7. Cathy CVT says:

    First don’t let you dog get over weight. As a retired vet tech, I can say that most injuries from throwing the ball start with a dog trying to quickly turn around in deep snow or really rough terraine. They seldom occur on a nice grassy field or on the sandy ground usually available at a dog park or a big back yard. Plus a well exercised dog is usually in good shape, less over weight and less prone to injuries. I always tell people that a tired dog is a happy dog.


  8. J J says:

    Every dayI run my dog along side of my GO_GO electric cart .She runs along side of me for about one mile. Wears her out.
    When we return home she is wonderful.
    I let her off leash in a park so she can play with other dogs. I hold my breath as she can be nasty at times.
    I’m 81 and handicapped.


  9. Good Grief, he said throw the ball for fifteen minutes, not two hours. He also said “mental stimulation” tires them just as well.


  10. pat says:

    i think it’s great that you exercise your dog this way but PLEASE don’t let him run loose at a park. he may intimidate a younger, quieter dog or puppy and if he encounters a bigger, badder dog, you may be facing big vet bills or loose your own dog. this is why i NEVER take my dogs to dog parks and NEVER allow them to play off leash where it’s not safe for them.


  11. Susan K Wyle says:

    This makes sense! I did not train my dog to walk well enough as a puppy because we went to dog parks, but , eventually, everything you hear about dog parks did come true: owners not paying attention to bullying dogs, I got injured by a German Shepard trying to attack my dog, my dog got rolled , etc. So I stopped going to dog parks and now she is harder to train! She is learning though, and throwing the ball first is a great idea!


  12. Courtnie says:

    We had to take our dog in after 10 years of fetch and hard running injury free for a broken toe. He got the injury maybe from landing wrong on his foot, pouncing too hard on the frisbee… either way we went 10 years with no injuries. My vet told us she has had dogs come in with broken toes from digging. Any exercise you do with your dog puts the dog at risk for an injury, even going for a walk.


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