Some dogs can be hyperactive and they can get really annoying to their owners.
Trying to calm your dog down can be difficult if you don’t know what to do. Dogs that are hyperactive often need to exercise more.
The problem with hyperactive dogs is that most of the time don’t want to run around and exercise; instead, they start to misbehave.
Why my dog so hyperactive all the time?
If your dog seems hyper, or overly excited, the problem likely stems from boredom and a lack of stimulation. So in order to address the problem, you have to assess the way you are interacting with your dog and the kind of activity your dog gets on a daily basis.
This is the number 1 reason for hyperactive dog behavior!
Dogs are usually quite relaxed beings. They sleep or relax for up to 20 hours per day. But for the remaining waking hours, they want something to do!
In the wild, this would be looking for food, mating, playing or fighting with other dogs. Domestic dogs often feel like they have to do a job, too. Only, they don’t really know what that could be. But that wouldn’t be so much of a problem. The worst thing for dogs is to have a lack of physical and/or mental stimulation.
If the only interesting thing going on are 30 minutes of walking per day, that would be pretty boring for us, too, right? Sure, dogs sleep much more than we do. But they still need some action in their life!
Unfortunately, not every dog gets the amount of action that he needs. And this can lead to dog boredom which then leads to dog hyperactivity.
Btw, if you’re looking for indoor things to do with your dog, make sure to check out these 21 fun things to do with your dog at home.
This is a very important factor for sensitive dogs. Some dogs struggle with all the stimuli of our modern world. Especially when they’re not used to it, this can easily cause hyperactivity.
Actually, the opposite of boredom can also make your dog be too hyper.
While this is more of a reason for suddenly appearing hyperactivity, it can sort of becoming more permanent if your dog is overtired every day.
While it’s great to provide lots of activities for your pup, you can actually also overdo it. If the hyperactivity only ever appears after a full day of action, then the reason is most likely that your pupper is overtired.
Symptoms of Hyperactive dog
Let me start by telling you that your dog most likely doesn’t suffer from any clinical disorder, such as ADHD!
If he shows one or several of the symptoms below, he’s probably hyper. However, in the very vast majority of cases, your dog’s behavior can be led back to a cause. This also means that there are numerous ways to calm a hyperactive dog down.
So, even if your dog shows hyperactive dog symptoms, don’t despair! Just keep reading, I’ll tell you exactly what the most common causes for hyperactive dog behavior are and how to get rid of it.
But first, let’s have a look at the hyperactive dog symptoms.
This is probably the most obvious. Is your dog constantly pacing around? Does he never settle down, no matter how quiet and comfy his sleeping place is?
Well, then he might be hyperactive.
But be aware, there can also be other reasons, such as an illness, pain or itchiness.
Only if it’s a happy and playful restlessness, then it’s probably hyper behavior. If you’re not sure, consult your vet.
Another symptom for hyperactivity in dogs is if they’re being vocal. This can mean just “aimless” barking or crying, howling etc.
Some dogs bark more than others. But it’s usually towards something, such as other dogs, the mailman, an unfamiliar object and so on.
f your pup is just barking for no obvious reason, then it might well be that he’s hyperactive.
This doesn’t apply to all dogs. But some dogs can get really clingy when they have a hyperactive phase.
They’re constantly waiting for their human to do something fun, so that they can finally get rid of some of their excess energy.
Getting himself into trouble
Then there are the more independent kinds of dogs: they’ll just find themselves something do to. And this usually isn’t something you’ll appreciate, like digging in your garbage, destroying your shoes or digging on the couch.
The difference to just ordinary nasty behavior is that it will happen constantly when your dog is too hyper. Hyperactive dogs are usually bored. So, they’re constantly on the look for something fun to do!
And last but not least – the good old zoomies.
This often happens for sudden hyper behavior. Zoomies are a way to get rid of excess energy.
They’re usually short and very wild. In some cases, they can last for up to an hour or even longer, though. If they last for that long, then your dog is definitely hyperactive!
5 Ways To Calm A Hyper Dog
Ignore the Hyper Dog Behavior
Dogs seek attention from you. By paying attention to the hyper dog during outbursts, you’re reinforcing the very dog problem behavior that you’re trying to eliminate.
The next time your dog is jumping or nipping at you in an overexcited way, give it a try — no touch, no talk, no eye contact — and see how you fare. You might be surprised how quickly the dog settles down.
Give Your Dog a Job
Having a task to focus on can help tremendously. Hyperactivity in dogs can come from psychological needs as easily as it can from physical needs.
By giving your dog a job to do, you are removing his hyperactive dog behavior and are redirecting his energy elsewhere.
For instance, having your dog wear a backpack with extra weight will keep your dog focused on carrying instead of getting distracted by squirrels and other things.
Go for a Dog Walk
If your dog has a lot of built-up energy, a really vigorous dog walk is another excellent way to redirect it where YOU want it to go.
Once you’ve burned that extra energy away, your dog should be pleasantly exhausted and too tuckered out to jump and nip. Without that frustration, he’ll find it much easier to relax.
Check Your Own Energy
Your dog is your mirror. Any energy you project, he will reflect back.
Are you in a calm assertive state of mind? Are you projecting a confident pack leader energy? Are you stressing out over an argument, or burdened with the worries of the workweek? Nervous or anxious moods can translate into nervous or anxious body language or tones of voice and can affect the energy of your dog.
So be the pack leader and stay in tune with your energy.
Don’t forget that dogs experience the world primarily by scent! Just as the smell of lavender is said to relax human beings, a soothing smell can also have a very calming effect on your pet.
Talk to your veterinarian or consult a holistic professional to find out what smells may work for your dog and which dispersal methods are the safest for him.
6 Steps To Manage A Dog’s Over-Excitement
Don’t Encourage Excitement
The most important thing to remember when your dog approaches you with excitement is that what you do will determine whether such behavior becomes more or less frequent. The worst thing you can do is give affection or attention to an excited dog.
This is just telling him that you like what he is doing. He’ll learn that being excited gets a reward, so he’ll keep doing it.The best way to react to an excited dog is to ignore her. Use no touch, no talk, no eye contact. If she tries to jump on you, turn the other way or push her back down.
Encourage Calm Behavior
This is the flip side of the first tip. When your dog is in a calm, submissive state, then you can give affection and attention, which will reinforce that state. If your dog is treat motivated, then reward his behavior when he is calm.Through a combination of ignoring excited behavior and rewarding calm behavior, you will help your dog to naturally and instinctively move into the calmer state.
Wear Your Dog Out
Of course, it’s easier to keep your dog from being over-excited if she doesn’t have the energy to do it in the first place, which is why the walk is so important. It provides directed exercise and channels your dog’s excess energy while draining it.Just letting your dog out in the yard to run around and do her business is not the right kind of exercise.
In fact, this kind of activity can often leave her more excited when it’s over and not less. Likewise, the purpose of the walk is not just so your dog can do her business and come home. It mimics the movement of the pack on a mission together to find food, water, and shelter. This helps your dog stay connected to her primal instincts, stay focused on moving forward, and drain her excess energy.
The return home — where the food, water, and shelter are — becomes the reward for going on the excursion with the pack. By bringing your dog home with excess energy drained through exercise, she will associate her feeling of calm with this reward.
Provide an Outlet — With Limitations
Keeping your dog’s mind stimulated can also help reduce excess energy.
This is when playtime comes in. Things like playing fetch, having your dog search for a hidden treat, or running him through an obstacle course are all good ways to stimulate his mind and drain his energy.
The key here is that you control the length and intensity of the activity. That’s where “limitations” come in. If your dog is getting too excited, then the game ends. This is a gentle sort of negative reinforcement. While rewarding calm behavior tells your dog, “When I settle down I get a treat,” creating limitations tells your dog, “If I get too crazy, the treat goes away.”
Engage Their Nose
Since a dog’s primary sense organ is her nose, capturing her sense of smell can have a calming effect. Scents like lavender and vanilla can help calm your dog down, especially if you associate them with times when the dog is calm — like having a scented air freshener near her bed.
Be sure that your dog doesn’t have any allergies to particular scents and ask your veterinarian for recommendations on the scents that work best at calming dogs down.
Most importantly, your dog cannot be calm if you aren’t, so you need to check your own energy. When you have to correct your dog, how do you do it? Can you stop their unwanted behavior with just a nudge or a quiet word, or do you tend to shout “No” at him over and over?If you’re in the second category, then you’re contributing to your dog’s excitement.
The only time it’s necessary to correct a dog with a loud sound is to snap them out of a dangerous action; for example, if he’s about to run into traffic. But you should only need that one short, sharp sound to distract your dog and get his attention.
Here’s an image to keep in mind: two soldiers in the woods. They’ve come to a clearing and see the enemy ahead. One of them starts to move forward. How does the other soldier stop this? Not by yelling. You’ve probably already pictured the move in your mind — an arm across the chest or a hand on the shoulder, without saying a word.Dogs are hunters, so they have an instinctive understanding of this kind of correction. If the group came up on a deer in a clearing and the Pack Leader barked to tell them to stop, the deer would be long gone and none of them would eat. The leaders stop the pack with nothing but their energy and body language.
What If The Dog is Still Uncontrollable?!
So, you’ve tried everything. Your dog now wears itself out on a daily basis, he or she receives training from a certified trainer, they’re on the best diet money can buy, and every minute of their day has been accounted for, but still “My dog is uncontrollable!”
After the proper amount of lifestyle changes, it’s perfectly reasonable to visit your veterinarian about stimulants to calm your dog.
STIMULANTS FOR THE OVER-STIMULATED
It may seem backward, stimulating a dog that can’t seem to be anything but over-stimulated. But the effects work the same as they do for children of ADHD.
The trick to understanding this is identifying that “over-stimulation” is from “self-stimulation.” The child who is always fidgeting and the dog who is unable to pay attention for long periods of time are both stimulating themselves.
Thus, when you administer stimulants to your dog’s body, the need for self-stimulation goes away. They’re able to act normal again.
This is the final and defining test for dogs with hyperkinesis: Do they become calmer on stimulants? A backward, yet eye-opening test.
If your dog is naturally high-energy and excitable, it can take a while to see results with these techniques. The important part is that you remain consistent in using them and don’t give up. Chances are that your dog didn’t become a hyperactive mess overnight, so you’re not going to undo it overnight. But you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll start to see a change once you commit. Consistency is the key to success.
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