Hyperactivity in dogs is one of the most common complaints of dog owners. Most young dogs go through energetic phases, and it is normal. Daily exercise and play should be enough to calm an active young dog.
However, some dogs develop hyperactive behaviors as a response to other issues. If you believe that your dog’s level of activity is not normal, consult your vet. Some things that can help:
From calming chews to obedience training, there are a number of ways to calm a hyperactive dog. However, it is important to understand the underlying causes of a dog’s hyperactivity. The first important thing to consider is a dog’s breed. For example, a Belgian Shepherd needs a lot of exercises, and will likely seem hyperactive if confined to a small place for long stretches of time.
Most herding breeds require a significant amount of exercise. Fetching games in fenced spaces are highly recommended for these types of breeds. Regardless of breed, puppies and very young adults need more exercise. In some cases, they will even become destructive if they don’t have a proper way to release energy. Doggie daycare is a great alternative for owners with busy lifestyles.
A daily exercise routine
Dogs benefit greatly from established routines and repeated patterns. A dog that is displaying hyperactive behaviors is usually in need of more exercise, but also, a more structured routine. During the younger years, taking your dog on long walks, or playing fetching games will likely diminish the hyperactivity. Your dog will expect to have its daily exercise time so changes can affect behavior.
Try hiring a dog walker if you have limited time. Remember that dogs are very active and social animals, and when confined to small spaces or when left alone for long periods, they can experience dog anxiety. An anxious dog will likely display hyperactive behaviors.
Discipline training your dog early is an excellent way to avoid anxiety and hyperactivity issues. Trained dogs follow instructions better, and develop coping mechanisms for difficult situations. Most dogs are extremely intelligent and can even be trained as emotional support aids or service animals, so a simple obedience training is not really difficult.
If you are finding it difficult to train your dog, you might want to consider hiring a professional dog trainer or attending a training school. Both options will give you actionable tips to work with your dog and can help you achieve results faster.
While you may think that releasing energy is the only thing your dog needs in order to overcome its hyperactivity, mental stimulation is also necessary. If your dog spends a lot of time on its own, try to communicate with it and show you care. A dog that’s petted talked to and made to feel safe will likely exhibit a lot less hyperactive behaviors.
If your dog was adopted, try to learn if it was in a situation of abuse and/or neglect. If this is the case, you will need more time and established routines in order to help your dog overcome anxiety. Dogs that were victims of animal cruelty will likely be either too calm or too active.
Veterinary Checks are Important
Annual or semi-annual veterinary checks should be part of your routine as a dog owner. But if you observe sudden behavior or mood changes, then you should call your vet and ask for an appointment.
While you as a dog owner are the best to identify a pattern that causes concern, trained professionals are better equipped to determine what is causing that pattern. A veterinary will offer more insights to understand what your dog needs, and will help you establish a treatment plan in order to help.
Dogs –and most pets– are an important responsibility. Dogs are especially sensitive animals that require a lot of attention. A dog that is cared for, that has a healthy exercise routine, and is fed and loved will likely go through a hyperactive period while very young but will calm down after a few months.
Before considering getting a dog, it is important to consider how you will be able to care for it. A cat may be a better option for people with restricting agendas or for those who travel a lot.