The Best Way To Train A ‘Hyper’ Dog, According To Science

Training a dog is seldom easy, but how can you teach a hyperkinetic canine to sit, stay, and come? New research from Duke University suggests that it’s all about your tone of voice; “hyper” dogs learning better when commands are spoken in a calm voice.

“Excitement pushed the pet dogs over the edge and impaired their ability to perform at their peak,” study lead author Emily Bray, who conducted this research while she was an undergraduate at the university, said in a written statement.

For the study, the researchers tested 106 dogs that were categorized based on tail-wags per minute — hyper dogs averaged 70 wags per minute, while calm dogs averaged 35.

Each dog in the study was called twice from behind a clear barricade to retrieve a treat — once in a calm voice and once in an excited voice.

Hyper dogs, like the one shown in the video above, performed well when the calm command was used. But when the excited voice was used, the hyper dogs were unable to figure out how to retrieve the treat.

The bottom line? Consider your dog’s temperament before you dive into training.

This study was published on July 14, 2015 in the journal Animal Cognition.

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