How to Train High Arousal Dogs


High arousal dogs require special training consideration. They are the types of dogs that demonstrate a heightened level of physical, mental, and emotional intensity. This can manifest in higher energy levels (such as during play or exercise) as well as during periods of rest or when exposed to certain stimuli. High arousal dogs often respond out of excitement or fear, rather than using their natural ability to problem solve.

In order to train a high arousal dog, it is important to pay attention to their body language so that you can properly understand when they become over-aroused and know how to respond appropriately. It is also beneficial to create an atmosphere in which the dog feels safe and secure while being trained. Additionally, it is important to set clear commands and limits for the dog and ensure that both positive reinforcement techniques are used consistently when rewarding good behavior. Finally, short intense training sessions may be more effective than long drawn out repetitive ones with a high arousal pup – by keeping these sessions short it helps keep your pup’s enthusiasm up while teaching them obedience skills quickly yet effectively.

Assessing Your Dogs Arousal Level

The first step in training a high-arousal dog is to accurately assess your dog’s current arousal level. Signs of a stressed or aroused dog may include panting, salivating, dilated pupils and/or hair standing on end, tail wagging or held low between the hind legs, lip licking and raised hackles. Other common signals can include excitable barking or whining, yawning (stretch-yawning), vocalizing (barking and growling), head turning away from you and sudden movements. To properly gauge your dog’s true arousal level it is recommended that you perform simple tests such as the frustration test and threshold test.

The frustration test requires setting up an environment where potential rewards are placed out of your dog’s reach but still within their sight. This will help you determine how easily your pup gets frustrated with an enticing yet inaccessible food item, toy or interesting object. The threshold test involves exposing your pet to progressively more intense stimuli from strangers, crowds or other animals until they show visible signs of distress before removing the stimulus and so gauging the threshold at which your pup can handle each situation. Once you have assessed your pet’s true arousal level it will be easier to pick appropriate strategies suitable for training them in calmness and focus even in stressful situations.

Managing Your Dogs Stimulus

It can be very challenging to train a dog with high arousal levels, especially if the animal was not exposed to proper handling techniques at an early age. As such, it is important to introduce the dog to controlled and positive environments where they can receive mandatory obedience exercises while allowing your pet the opportunity to become acclimated to interactions with other dogs and humans. It’s equally important for owners of high arousal dogs to learn how best to manage their pet’s stimulus in order for successful training sessions.

When working with highly aroused animals, it’s imperative that owners avoid exposing their pets to overly stimulating situations such as loud noises or aggressive behavior from both other dogs and humans. An effective way of managing your pet’s stimuli is by refocusing the animal on basic commands like sit-stay or retrieve if necessary. This helps them regain focus and works as a diversion technique that allows them the opportunity to shift their attention away from what originally overwhelmed them. Owners of high arousal dogs should also embrace positive reinforcement as part of their rule structures in order to accurately train these types of animals – positive reinforcements like attention, praise, treats, toys and reward-based training are all great strategies for owners aiming for successful outcomes when working with highly refreshed dogs.

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Structuring Training Plans

It is important to develop an effective training plan for high arousal dogs in order to ensure that their learning is positive and successful. This type of dog typically needs structure and clear boundaries in order to remain calm and focused.

A great way to provide these boundaries is by structuring a training plan with consistency, positivity and reinforcement. To start, create a series of commands or activities that the dog can complete. Use consistent words or sounds as verbal cues for each command, which should be simple so your dog can easily understand them. For example, you can use “sit” or “down” as commands that your dog knows.

Once you have established this consistency, provide positive reinforcement when the right behaviour happens. You can use treats, toys, petting or verbal praise as reward when they respond correctly and calmly to the command or activity you give them—this will help reinforce positive behaviour while also creating a positive bond between you and your pup. If your pup becomes overwhelmed with excitement during training sessions, try not to get angry or frustrated—simply move on and stick with reinforcing good behaviour afterwards. With time and patience, this strategy will help your pup stay focused on the task at hand and progress towards success in training!

Teaching Calm Response

Training a high arousal dog can be a difficult task. It is important to understand that these dogs are more likely to become over stimulated and need more guidance to remain calm and responsive. Here are some practical strategies for training a high arousal dog:

1. Establish Structured Routines: High arousal dogs thrive on structure and consistent expectations from their owners. Creating structured routines helps them learn boundaries, predict outcomes, and adjust their behavior accordingly. Exercise, predictable feeding times/regimens, playtime and obedience training can all help with creating an organized schedule for your pup.

2. Utilize Positive Reinforcement Techniques: Positive reinforcement is the most effective way of teaching desired behaviors in any type of animal species; this includes dogs! Rewarding expected behaviors with treats or chances at engaging in preferred activities builds trust between you and your pet while allowing them to become familiar with the new expectations you set out for them.

3. Incorporate Calm Environment Training: This technique involves regularly exposing your pup to low stimulation scenarios where they can relax while also practicing basic obedience commands they already know (e.g., sit, down, stay). This will promote good manners as well as build self control; it also creates positive associations with commands which further reassures dogs when performing tasks outside of “calm environment” scenarios.”

4. Enlist the Help of Activities like Nose Work: Activities such as nose work have been found to help reduce stress in anxious dogs by providing them an appropriate outlet for mental stimulation without resulting in behavioral outbursts often seen in uncontrolled environments or stimulating situations which could cause further heightened energy levels or stress levels for high-arousal pups

5. Provide Toys and Chew Options that Stimulate Natural Behaviors: It’s important to provide toys your pup can enjoy playing with but also stimulate natural behaviors when given stimuli (i.e., crinkle toys like squeaky balls, plush teddy bears etc.). Chews such as antlers, pigs ears , deer bones ,etc are great options as well because they create sensory stimulation through taste , textures of objects which may not be found naturally outdoors by pups – giving satisfaction to the “hunting instinct” many active breeds possess!

Building Your Dogs Confidence

It is important to work on building your high arousal dog’s confidence. Providing your pup with positive interactions and encouragement can increase their level of comfort and make them more responsive. When walking, begin in a quiet environment and take it slow. Speak reassuringly with slight praise; this involves verbal commands such as “Yes!” or “Good girl/boy” while making physical rewarding gestures like petting or offering treats. Additionally, focus on preventing any potential triggers that may provoke the dog’s anxiety, like sudden loud noises or crowded spaces. Put the pup in a spot where they can observe what is happening but not get overwhelmed.

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To further help build your pup’s confidence, taking them to obedience classes or behavior classes will teach social cues and better behaviors. These classes can help keep the pup from getting overstimulated when out in an environment with other dogs and humans. Additionally, working with a professional trainer who specializes in high arousal dogs can be beneficial for both you and your pup. The trainer can provide detailed instructions for commands which all family members must follow, in order for consistency leading to better results and progress. Finally, providing your pooch with a safe place to retreat during times of distress is necessary. This area should include their favorite toys, blankets, beds etc., so they have familiar objects that make them feel safe when they are feeling overwhelmed or anxious as well provide them with comfort during those moments.


High arousal dogs can often be difficult to train, as they tend to be very easily distracted and excitable. However, with patience and consistency, owners can successfully teach their high arousal dogs the behaviors they need. The key is to understand what signs to look for that indicate whether or not a dog is prepared for training. Readiness indicates that the pet is eager and excited for interaction; hesitancy signals that the pet may need more time before learning begins. Recognizing these signs is an important part of successful training of a high arousal dog:

Readiness indicators include happy barking or whining, restlessness and excitement, a body posture characterized by alertness and curiosity, and fun-seeking behavior such as panting, running around in circles or jumping up in anticipation. Owners should start their training sessions right away when they observe these actions in their pet.

On the other hand, hesitancy signs are much less obvious but still worth noting; these activities might include a hesitant body position or activeness slowing down where it’s clear that the pet lacks enthusiasm. Other indications include drawn back ears (a sign of fear), lowered head position (submission), lack of eye contact (avoidance) or tucked tail (apprehension). These may signify true stress rather than excitement on behalf of the dog, meaning it’s best to give them time outside of training sessions to relax and become re-centered before proceeding with additional instruction.


Training high arousal dogs can be challenging, but they are still capable of learning new behaviors with the right guidance and training. By always providing positive reinforcement, setting clear boundaries and expectations, and believing in them to reach their fullest potential – you can help create a well-rounded companion that is emotionally healthy, confident and obedient. Remember, your dog is doing their very best to strive for your approval! With understanding and patience, you can help your high arousal dog become the furry friend you’ve always wanted and expected them to be. Don’t ever forget to stay consistent with your training efforts and provide lavish amounts of praise when all signs of success appear. You’ll find that success will come quickly as long as you remain positive with yourself and your pup.

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