One of the most common misconceptions about hyperactive dogs is that the hyperactivity is their way of showing that they’re happy. However, this notion couldn’t be further from the truth. We have 5 proven tips to manage your hyperactive pup.
You may not know it, but any dog who is spinning around in circles, barking and yipping uncontrollably, may actually be quite stressed out. In fact, these are likely signs of over-excitement that the pooch doesn’t know how to deal with.
Allowing it to go unchecked can pave the way for future misbehaviors, which is why it’s best to nip the issue in the bud as early as you can. Here are a few steps that you can take to help your over-excited dog calm down, from buying tug-of-war toys to stimulating their mind and everything in between.
How To Manage A Hyperactive Pup
Work Out to Wear Them Out
Regular exercise is the best and most effective way to keep an energetic dog from becoming too hyperactive. In addition to your pup’s regularly scheduled walks, intensive outdoor activities that engage them physically and mentally can help keep their energy at a manageable level. These can include objective-based games such as hide and seek or fetch, long-distance hikes and running obstacle courses. If these options are not available to you, you can try going on longer walks or increasing the intensity by doing some jogging instead.
You can wear your pup out by scheduling a play date with another dog with whom she can run and play and just be a dog!
Tug-of-war is another interactive game you can play with your dog to help them settle down. Doing this with a specialized toy designed for the purpose, such as PrideBites’ Tug ‘N Toss, will keep your dog’s teeth away from your hands, allowing for safe playtime sessions. When you initiate a game, only tug from side to side to prevent injury to your pup’s spine.
Engage Your Pup’s Mind
High-energy dogs often have very active minds that can benefit from the stimulation provided by puzzle toys and indoor activities. Many fur parents swear by food puzzle toys that have their babies working for their dinner. The activity is usually enough to tire any pup out mentally, leaving you with a calm and settled fur baby.
Nose work games are another indoor activity you can try teaching your dog. In this scenting-based activity, you hide various items and teach your pet how to find them.
Tone the Activity Down with Training
Positive reinforcement training relies on management tools and items to keep your dog from practicing undesirable behaviors. When you can’t directly manage your pup’s energy, you can train them to sit in a crate or pen. This reinforces good behavior while keeping your pup safe.
Leash training is another type of positive reinforcement that works especially well for hyperactive dogs, especially if yours has a tendency to go wild during walks. Teach your dog to walk calmly at your side and offer him a treat when he does just that.
Give Your Pet a Backpack
As pack animals, dogs typically want to be of use and contribute to the group. However, most pet parents tend to treat their companions like children, making sure every need is provided for. This can rob the pup of a sense of purpose, which then leads to the hyperactivity and all sorts of problematic behaviors.
The solution: a doggie backpack. This is because carrying one around makes your dog feel useful and gives them a task to focus on. Walking while wearing a weighted backpack also ensures your best bud gets workout minutes in. Consult your veterinarian regarding how much weight you should include in the pack before going out there for those gains, though. Remember to go slowly when introducing your dog to a backpack as he may be afraid of it. Use positive reinforcement training to get him accustomed to the backpack.
Some dogs are just naturally exuberant, and you may not see results immediately. Just be patient and consistent.