Overly hyper and aggressive mix


New Member
I haven't been on the forums since my dachshund Ben passed away, but I now have a dachshund/chihuahua mix who is driving me nuts.

She came from a pretty awful situation...her original owner kept her locked up in a cage most of the time, and when she was out she was allowed to bite people, run around like a lunatic, chew everything, and go potty all over the house. She was also screamed at often (and I'm assuming hit based on how she reacts to someone reaching a hand toward her). I've been working hard with her training but she just will not calm down for long enough. As soon as someone has a treat for her she gets so excited she shakes and will jump all the way up to their face if they don't give it to her soon enough. I've taught her sit, lay down, "give me five", and we're working on stay now but she shakes so badly from excitement over the treat that she practically scoots across the floor.

Any tips on how to calm down an overly hyper dog? I've been trying to get her to stay longer and longer but she's calm for all of five seconds after. She also runs as fast as she can through the house and slips (it's all tile), sometimes she slides for fun and sometimes she actually loses grip and twists around as she falls. Earlier she slipped and sat there screaming in pain for a minute, then took off again like nothing had happened. I'm a nervous wreck because she just won't stop for even a few minutes.

She also bites nonstop...if you pet her, she bites. Sit down, she'll jump on your lap and chew on your hand. Try to give her something, she makes sure she bites you. Stranger shows up, she'll chase them down and bite their shoe or tug on their pants. She stole a child's shoe before. I've tried pulling my hands away and ignoring her when she does it, she settles for clawing at my eye instead. Tried giving her treats when she went several minutes without biting, nope started biting again. I don't know what else I could do since it's so difficult to even get her to pay attention to anything...Maybe putting something bitter on our hands? She's a sweet dog the incredibly rare times she's calm, but ohmygoodness she won't behave.


New Member
Aw, she sounds like a handful! How kind of you to give her a better home. I didn't catch how hold she was? This sounds like it could be puppy behavior. She may calm down a bit with age.

There are many other factors that can contribute to crazy behavior. A good routine is important. Teach her a place cue (go to your bed or kennel) and reward her with a long-lasting treat when she's relaxing in her bed. A stuffed Kong or Bully stick might work well. Exercise is vital too. Try to walk her twice a day and get her tired out. Play dates with other dogs, fetch, off-leash jaunts in the woods-whatever physical activity she enjoys. Games that are mentally stimulating are also excellent. You are already training her-keep that up! You can also hide treats or toys around the house and encourage her to find them. My dogs love agility, so I set up simple courses at home.

If she goes crazy over treats, try lower-value ones. Use her kibble as treats if you feed kibble. You can use every meal as a training opportunity. Practice reaching over the top of her head with one hand while feeding her with the other. This will help her not to be scared of hands coming towards her.

There are calming aids out there: liquid you put in her food or water, calming treats, pheromone-doused collars...even a tight-fitting t-shirt can really calm a dog down.

With my younger dog, I find she gets crazy when she's overtired. I just send her to her crate when she gets barky and wild and within minutes she's asleep. They are like little kids that way-they don't know they need naps, but they do!

If you can find a good positive (rewards-based) training class, you could really benefit from taking your dog. It's helpful for bonding, and getting support when you're feeling overwhelmed.


New Member
She's a little over one year old, so that could be part of it!

I'm making a bed for her (it will have a blanket attached since she likes to burrow) and plan to train her to go to it on command. I also reward her when she's laying calmly by herself or on someone's lap. She gets hyper again instantly if she thinks there's any chance of getting a treat. The treat doesn't matter...if you have something in your hand she wants it so badly that she shakes and bounces around the room.

Hiding treats around the house is a great idea...I did that with my last dog and anything that made him think seemed to tire him out faster. Right now she loves chasing a laser pointer and not much else...She'll chase it until she's too tired then get hyper again after a few minutes of rest, though. Ha. If I can get her to figure out she has to find the treats I'll definitely give that a try. I think I have a puzzle ball somewhere that drops kibble when they roll it the right way too. It's hard to get her to focus on anything, but she'll do anything for food.

Thanks for the suggestions! Thankfully the biting has started to calm down since I last posted here...She still does it often but I can usually pet her without her getting snappy now.


New Member
Hi! Nice to see you here.
My dogs are pretty calm so I don't know how much help I would be. Some thoughts come to mind though. Please don't use a laser pointer. Some dogs, not all of them, get very obsessive compulsive with laser pointers, then transfer that to all kinds of light, and can't seem to shut off. There is something better to use.

You can play hide the ball. I started a long time ago showing the new dog what I wanted. One person held the dog, I walked away and showed them the ball, saying 'Get the ball' and the person let them go. They ran over, grabbed the ball and 'Good boy!'. Repeat, and start to get a little harder, like go behind the couch. Go into another room. Then at some point you can have them behind a door and hide the toy some where in the house. Be sure to give a 'All done' and put the ball up so they know it's quiet time now. We can't go for walks or play in the yard for the winter so this activity is out go to thing.

Do you practice walking on a leash? That is a good mental exercise for them, that they have to pay attention to you to walk on heal. Not pull ahead or put the brakes on, just stay at your side. 'Look at me' is an excellent command as well.

You've got your hands full right now but I think a year from now you'll be very pleased with the progress you both have made. Do you have photos to share? Hope so! congrats and good luck!


New Member
She actually calms down about the laser pointer pretty quick, and ignores any other lights. As soon as she hears the keychain attached to it rattle she jumps up and focuses only on that until it's put away.

I've been trying to get her used to a leash...But as soon as she sees one she cowers and refuses to move. Guessing that's another thing from her past home that she had bad experiences with. We used to let her run around the yard, then she started running away and disappearing in the tall weeds that are all over. So now she has to stay in a fairly small space when she goes out until we finish getting the main fence set up.

She was being calmer for awhile, then got too hyper pretty suddenly and clawed my face again.

Here's a picture of her btw:

Don't let that cute face fool you...she's a mean little thing. x3