In many cases, what seems like hyperactivity to you is merely boredom and lack of stimulation from the dog’s point of view. If your dog is more active than you would like, you can use the following 20 tips to fix the situation and take back control of your life.
1. Give the dog a job
Most dog breeds were created to do a specific job, like hunting game, herding sheep or protecting the family. Giving your dog a job to do allows focuses that excess energy and channels it in a positive way. You can use your dog’s natural abilities to give him a suitable job to do and reduce his overall energy level.
2. Go for a walk
Simply taking your dog for a walk once of twice a day is a great way to use up that extra energy and eliminate unwanted behaviors around the home. Grab the leash, grab your pooch and head out to the great outdoors. You will get some healthy exercise and your dog will burn off some of that extra energy.
3. Meet your jogging partner
A daily walk may not be enough for some high energy breeds. If your dog is still overactive even after regular exercise, you might need to ramp things up a bit. If you love to jog, think about taking your dog with you. Dogs love to run, and jogging with your pet has healthy benefits for both of you.
4. Go to the dog park
If you are lucky enough to have a dog park in your neighborhood, taking your pooch there regularly is a great way to burn off that excess energy and have some fun. You can have fun chatting with the other dog owners while your pet plays with the other dogs. Some dog parks are quite elaborate, with jumps and other obstacles for the dogs to enjoy.
5. Install a dog run
If you do not have the time or the inclination to walk or run with your dog, you can install a dog run at your own home. All you need is a fenced area with enough space to let the dog run around and stretch his legs.
6. Sign up for an obedience trial
You do not have to be an expert to attend an obedience trial with your dog. Many events have beginner classes, and the more experienced participants will be happy to show you the ropes. The obstacles at the obedience trial will challenge your dog and let him channel all that excess energy. You might even find that you love this new sport as much as your dog does.
7. Curb your own stress
If you are stressed out all the time, your dog will pick up on that. If you cannot figure out why your dog is so hyperactive, you might want to take a look in the mirror. Curbing your own stress level can reduce the tension in the house and allow your dog to relax. Regular exercise can help both you and your dog reduce stress, so take a walk with your dog to relax.
8. Consider a calming supplement
A calming supplement can help reduce your dog’s energy level and mood. There are a number of calming supplements on the market, with a number of different ingredients. You should talk to your vet about any supplement you are considering, since some could have harmful side effects.
9. Try aromatherapy
Your dog experiences the world primarily through its nose. A dog’s nose is hundreds of times more sensitive than a human’s, and a soothing smell can have a remarkable impact. There are various aromatherapy preparations designed to improve your dog’s mood and reduce excess energy. You may need to experiment until you find the right one, but aromatherapy can be remarkably effective.
10. Keep your household calm
Hectic households often have overactive dogs. Those dogs are reacting to the stress and activity level in the home, and that reaction often manifests as hyperactivity. If your dog is hyperactive, take a good look at your own household and how you can do things better.
Do your family members speak to one another in calm voices, or is there a lot of yelling? Making a few changes in the way you interact can reduce your dog’s stress level – and yours.
11. Give your dog a den
Simply giving your dog a safe and quiet place to go can reduce problems with hyperactivity. If you crate-trained your puppy, think about getting that crate back out and setting it up in a quiet room. If you do not have a crate, you can use a dog bed, a few toys and a blanket to create a cozy den for your dog.
12. Make your dog work for his food
Making your dog work for his food is a great way to burn off excess energy and change the focus. Check out the pet store for toys that conceal hidden treats. Fill those toys with an assortment of biscuits, tidbits and other special treats and let your dog work for them.
13. Play games with your dog
Playing games with your dog is a great way to deal with hyperactivity problems. It can be something as simple as a game of catch in the back yard or something as elaborate as a series of jumps and obstacles.
14. Make obedience training a daily activity
Obedience training should not end when puppy kindergarten is over. Doing some obedience training every day can keep your dog focused and keep excess energy at bay. Grab the leash and work on simple commands like sit, stay and come. Once your dog has mastered the basics, you can move on to more elaborate tricks and other fun activities.
15. Take your dog for a car ride
If your dog loves to ride in the car, making regular outings can help him burn off excess energy and make life more enjoyable after you return home. If you plan to make car rides a regular thing, you might want to invest in a doggy seat belt to keep your pooch safe on the road.
16. Set up a play date
Setting up regular play dates with other neighborhood dogs is a great way for all the animals to burn off their excess energy. Chances are you will run into other dog owners when you stroll around the neighborhood. Take a few minutes to chat and set up a play date for the two dogs at your home or theirs. A play date is also a great way for you and your dog to make new friends.
17. Get your dog a friend
If you have been wanting to bring home a new dog, this may be your chance. If you have two dogs instead of just one, they can entertain each other while you are away at work. It might be best to rescue an older and more settled dog, since bringing home a new puppy could raise the energy level of the home even more.
18. Make a dietary change
The food your dog eats can impact his energy level. If your dog seems overly active, try changing foods. You might need to do some experimentation until you find the right formula, but the right food can really make a difference.
19. Consult an expert
An animal behaviorist may be able to get to the root of the problem and make your dog less hyperactive. Sometimes an expert opinion can have a big impact, so do not be afraid to reach out for help when you need it.
20. Check with your vet
If you have tried all the above tips and your dog is still bouncing off the walls, it might be time to talk to your vet. Some behavioral issues are a result of physical problems. Ruling out anything physical is important for dog owners who are dealing with a hyperactive pet.