8 Ways to Calm a Hyperactive Dog
You’re having Thanksgiving dinner at your place tonight and you’re expecting your family and friends over. When they arrive, your dog gets overly excited for guests and is the first one to greet them. Sparky’s spinning in circles, running around, and cannot contain her excitement. You almost feel embarrassed that your 100lb dog is jumping on everyone who comes in and tries to smother everyone with slobbery kisses.
Sure, Sparky loves people and is extremely happy that guests are over, however, there’s an underlying issue with overly excited, hyper dogs. When dogs have outbursts of high energy, it may mean that they are not getting enough exercise, and the kind of attention that they need on a daily basis.
You might be saying, “Wait, I give my dog tons of attention!” Remember, it may not just be about hugs and kisses, it may mean a particular type of stimulation. We’ve compiled a few tips on how to calm a hyperactive dog:
· Exercise more - The best way to eliminate their excess energy is to tire them out during the day! High energy dog breeds such as huskies, terriers, and German shepherds will need more exercise. Play fetch, tug-o-war, have puppy play dates, or go for a run to wear them out.
· Go for a walk - A simple walk around the neighborhood can allow them to release their energy. A 15-20 minute walk can calm them down. If they are still full of energy after your walk, try using weights as a challenge. Read our blog post on the benefits of walking your dog.
· Mentally stimulating toys - One way to keep your dog busy and entertained are toys. Puzzle toys can mentally stimulate them and keep them focused on their goal. You can stuff a Classic KONG dog toy with treats to create a long-lasting challenge. They’re going to have to use their brain power for this!
· Dog park - Check for local off-the-leash dog parks nearby. This is a great way for them to socialize, run around and play with other dogs. Although they might come back with muddy paws, this will definitely tire them out for the day!
· Train - You have to let them know that if they obey your rules they will be rewarded. Having them “sit” before receiving a toy or meal will give them the idea that listening to you will result in something positive. This can be especially helpful when paired with guests in the home. Practice patience when new people arrive, and this may be enough to shift your dog’s focus away from the excitement of new people. The best time to train a dog is when they are calm and less active, so taking them for a walk before training would be ideal.
· Reward them for calm behavior - Dogs often repeat behaviors when they know they will be rewarded for it. When you catch your dog settled down, use positive reinforcement to let them know that their calm behavior is wanted.
· Pet Corrector - A pet corrector is a great way to eliminate unwanted behaviors such as jumping up, barking, and aggressive playing. It emits a hissing sound that dogs hate to hear and immediately stop them.
· Take them out! - The best way to bond with your dog is taking them out to places. Go to a dog friendly restaurant, go shopping, or head to the park. The more you spend time with them outside of your home, the less likely they will feel the need to have outbursts of energy. Wear them out during the day, and they’ll have to rest when they’re home.
Before you decide on taking your hyperactive dog to the shelter, try to correct their behaviors through training and allowing for more exercise. We know, high energy dogs may be a handful at home, but it takes time and patience for them to change their behaviors. As long as you put in the effort, your dog can be trained!