Hyperactivity in a dog is fairly common, and more common amongst certain breeds than others, but that is not to say that it is any less exhausting for the owners. When a dog is hyper, their owners tend to look forward to when that hyper dog is sleeping. If you are really struggling, here are some top tips that may help you sort out your dog’s hyperactive behaviour once and for all.
Ignoring Bad Behaviour
This is one of the most difficult tips to implement, but perhaps one of the most crucial too. Hyper dog owners simply have to learn and find a way to ignore their dog when they are having a hyperactive moment and just zone it out somehow. By not giving them any attention, they are not getting what they want which is time with you and your company. Giving them any sort of attention – good, neutral, or a telling off – is all attention to your dog and so they are just as likely to act in a hyperactive manner again and again. Given that hyperactivity can manifest itself in your dog barking at you or pawing at you to get you to play with them, it is hard to do, but necessary as it should help stop them acting in such a way in the future.
One of the reasons that dogs exhibit bad behaviour which can manifest itself in chewing through furniture, zooming around the house or constantly barking at the window or even barking at you, is they simply haven’t got enough exercise that day. Taking them for a long walk as often as possible will help tire them out so they simply do not have the energy to have a hyperactive episode. In addition to long walks, a good idea is to play games with them that use both their brains and their physical natures, like fetch or hide and seek. Lastly, a fantastic way to tire out your pooch, if at all possible, is to take them out for a walk with other dogs. They will play chase repeatedly as that is simply what dogs with hyperactive natures do, and running around after a dog is far more tiring than going on a 8 mile walk.
Reinforcing Positive Behaviour
As a flip side of ignoring bad behaviour, is the practice of remembering to reinforce positive behaviour that your dog exhibits. This means giving them lots of praise when he or she is having a quiet moment curled up in their bed, or by giving them a treat as soon as they lie on the floor. By rewarding the calm and quiet behaviour, they will learn by association when good things happen to them and want to repeat it. This means they will soon clock on to the fact that when they are still and not running around like a headless chicken, they get a fantastic reward – either lots of cuddles and attention from you, or with food and other little titbits.
If you are really at the end of your tether, and not at all sure how to tire your dog out immediately so that he or she stops running around your house and tearing up the carpets, it may be an idea to try giving Bach’s Rescue Remedy a go. Just a few drops in their water, depending on their size, can really make a difference to their temperament and their constant need for speed and attention. It is a herbal, homeopathic recipe that has no nasty chemicals or such ingredients in it, so you are not drugging your dog with a sedative in any way. It is thought that Bach’s Rescue Remedy simply makes a dog happier and more content, like it does in humans and therefore calms them down as a consequence. It doesn’t work for all dogs – depending on their level of anxiety or hyperactivity – but it’s worth a shot. Some trainers swear by it as one of the best calming aids for dogs that is available.
Time Out Zone
An easy way to ignore a dog’s bad behaviour that is coming from their hyperactivity is to give them a time out zone, much like a parent would a toddler. While you won’t be able to use it as threat as such, like some parents do to teach their children the idea of cause and effect, it does provide dogs with a form of negative association that comes straight after the start of one of their hyperactive episodes. Plus, it is a heightened way of ignoring their bad behaviour. Then, once they have calmed down in their time out zone, that is when an owner can go back to wherever the dog has been kept to retrieve him and give him praise. This means that they are also getting some positive reinforcement of their good behaviour too.
Look at Their Diet
Finally, take a look at their diet. Some dog kibble simply isn’t good quality and is full of additives that is akin to giving a toddler lots of sugar and candy. It can really make a massive impact on a dog’s behaviour if their food is changed for something high in protein and all the nutrients and vitamins he or she needs. Some owners may do well to change to a raw diet whereas some owners actually may do well to take their dog off a raw diet, and so on. Try changing up their food until you see a marked improvement in their behaviour.
Hyperactivity in Dogs – The Bottom Line
Hyperactivity in dogs can be incredibly frustrating, but it is a learned behaviour a great deal of the time and can be trained out of them by employing several of the above methods at once. Give them all a go, over a two month period, and you should soon start to see a difference in your pup.