Is your dog bouncing off the walls?
Running amok off leash?
Can’t stop won’t stop?
Hyperactive dogs can be exhausting to live with, and it’s one of the most common behaviour complaints in puppies and teenagers!
Here are three things we do to help keep our high energy, high drive dogs happy and easy to live with!
Mental exercise > physical exercise
Although all dogs need physical exercise in varying amounts, mental exercise will serve you better when dealing with a hyper dog. Focus on teaching new skills in a way that doesn’t increase frustration, and provide more enrichment! I usually recommend that at least 7 meals a week come out of an enrichment toy. Pick a sport or specific training goal and work towards it every day. You can start with simple tricks, but make sure you keep progressing!
Focus on activities that calm, not excite
Enrichment like searching, sniffing, chewing and shredding, as well as long line or off leash walks in nature and away from triggers can all help dogs calm down. Oftentimes, we want to tire our hyper dogs out by throwing the ball a lot or taking them to the dog park, but this can actually make the problem worse.
Letting them move their bodies freely without an exciting toy or friend to wrestle with can be a game changer, as can giving them opportunities to engage with doggie behaviours like digging and searching for food.
This one seems counterintuitive. If the dog is over excited, shouldn’t they need more exercise, not more rest?
Think about kids on Christmas at about 2pm. They’re fried. Days of excitement and too much activity and sugar is a recipe for a meltdown. The same is true for dogs. Often, dogs who are hyperactive aren’t getting enough quality rest.
Your dog’s sleep needs will vary with their age, but make sure they get regular down time and that they’re actually sleeping, not just waiting for something exciting to happen!
Sometimes, hyperactivity can tip over into the territory of a mental health disorder that needs treatment from a veterinary behaviourist. Talk to your vet about your dog’s hyperactivity and speak with a qualified trainer before embarking upon a training plan.
If you live with a dog who is just a bit much, we can help
Our frantic to focused program is available fully digital or hybrid in person and digital.
Let us get you from frantic to focused!