How Do I Calm Down My Over-Excited/Stressed Out Dog?


Hi Don! I’m loving your Perfect Dog system so much! However, I’m still struggling with my dog’s energy levels in some situations. How do I handle an over excited/stressed out 6-month-old hunting line Labrador? Whenever I allow him to investigate (allow him to sniff the ground – like he wants to do all the time if I allowed it!), he starts racing from a level 5 to 6,7,8,9 and he soon gets out of control. It seems like he’s doing it in light speed. Can I do something about this?



Great to hear you’re loving my Perfect Dog system! Thanks for the feedback. Re your question: Yes, absolutely, you can do something about this. The key is to correct your dog every time he exceeds a certain level of excited activity. So, as soon as he steps over the Level 5 threshold, both verbally and physically correct him to bring him back in line with what’s acceptable.

Watch how I use the “Relax” command in my DVDs. Simply use the same Command Collar/Freedom Training Line correction for non-compliance. He’ll soon get the idea of the behavioral boundaries. If he’s not responding – or not responding enough – then you need to review my DVDs (see the Golden Rules section) for what I instruct about gradually increasing the correction level until the dog is sufficiently motivated to obey.

Often, this is the missing link between failure and success with any situation during training. That is, the dog owner knows the appropriate corrective technique and he’s implementing it properly, but he’s just not gauging the right level that’s needed for his particular dog.

So, if you feel you’ve got the “Relax” command down pat, but you’re still not experiencing the results you want, examine the level of your corrections. Every dog has his own personality, and with this personality comes an individual strength of will. This strength of will also changes according to the situation. One dog might, for example, be very compliant in the home no matter what the distraction or temptation, but once he’s in public his resistance increases rapidly.

Even though you have a dog with innate hunting instincts, there is never any acceptable excuse for non-compliance. It all comes down to respect (or lack of respect) for your authority. The following Blog posts will also help and encourage you:


– Don Sullivan, “The DogFather”

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