Bringing home a dog is always full of challenges. As a new dog owner or one with more experience, you want to nip behavioral problems in the bud as early as possible. Hyperactivity is a common problem in puppies. If it is left unchecked, however, it can result in disastrous behavioral issues later.
Follow these tips to learn how to calm and train a hyperactive dog whether puppy or adult.
1. More Exercise
One of the most common causes of a so-called hyperactive dog is boredom. This tends to result in a lot of pent-up energy. So, when a dog is given some freedom, he will bolt, jump, or become too difficult to control. Offer your dog who is exhibiting hyperactive traits more walks, exercise, and other physical activities. This will help with both discipline, and burning off the excess energy.
2. Keep Your Dog Stimulated
Certain breeds of dogs need to be mentally stimulated along with getting their exercise. Puzzle toys can help stimulate the dog mentally. If that doesn’t seem to be doing it, try enrolling in a sport with your dog. Games like Frisbee and agility training exercise the dog’s body and mind and help keep them mentally stimulated, as well as physically wearing them out.
3. Build a Routine
Oftentimes, dogs act out or get over excited when they don’t know what to expect from you. Hyperactive dogs are usually high energy dogs that have been left untrained. Remember, your dog wants to please you. Provide structure by giving the dog an expected routine, including food and walking schedule. Try as well to be consistent with where you go, and the activities you do together. If your dog is exposed to a routine early and often, they will understand the expectations in your home, and feel calmer and safer.
4. Learn How To Discipline
It’s a common misconception that dogs need to be disciplined through displays of dominance. Most often, a hyperactive dog is the result of poor training techniques, not the dog's desire for dominance. Never respond to a display of hyperactivity with aggression. This will encourage nervousness in the dog, and may cause him to snap, or create aggression problems later on. Instead, distract the dog with a walk or run with a running dog leash. If the dog needs discipline- for example, if they have chewed something or become too anxious to distract- crate or lock the dog in a safe separate space first, to calm down.
Your dog takes his cues from you. Hyperactivity as a puppy can often be handled effectively as he ages. But too many pet owners believe this is a problem to do with age, or that the dog needs harsher discipline methods. In reality, hyperactivity is usually a sign of boredom in dogs. Once you understand what your dog is trying to tell you, the tips on this list can help you turn a hyperactive pup into an obedient, energetic best friend!