Does your dog constantly digs up the garden, doing circles, jumps onto you, chews everything in sight, or is just being overly-excited all the time? This behaviour in dogs, also what is known as hyperactivity, is usually due to boredom or lack of exercise and stimulation. So we've done the groundwork and listed 5 popular ways to calm your hyperactive dog for you to try.
1. Exercise, exercise, exercise
As the saying goes, “a tired dog is a good dog”. A dog must have its exercise everyday, be it a walk, a swim, or a game of fetch. The walk doesn't have to be fast-paced but the rule of thumb is that bigger dogs will require more exercise. Once your dog has released those pent-up energy, it will be less frustrated and instead, be more pleasantly exhausted to be misbehaving.
If you are usually away or don't have the time, you can hire a dog walker or even consider pet boarding or sitting with someone qualified, so your dog can properly chanel that high energy the right way.
2. Have a routine
Dogs thrive on routines. When dogs know what to expect in its life, it will be less insecure and thus, calmer. A simple routine like a morning walk + training, and evening walk + playtime for example, is good enough so long you are consistent!
Simple cues like ‘sit, come, and stay’ can take you and your dog a long way. Not only your dog learn some manners, you can distract a hyper dog by commanding it to some of your cues. The more you break its hyper state of mind, the more chances for it to learn to be calm. Obedience training also stimulates your dog's brain, which is another reason for your dog to be less bored (as boredom contributes to hyperactivity).
4. Ignore your dog's hyper behaviour
A contrasting method to no.3 above, is the ‘no touch, no talk, no eye contact’ approach. As dogs seek attention from their owners, you'll need to teach your dog what behaviour is not acceptable when wanting attention, by ignoring the behaviour you want to eliminate. Once your dog is calm, reward your dog.
5. It certainly helps to be calm
Your emotions can be reflected onto your dog so if you're not calm, your dog will probably not be calm too.
Remember - chances are that your dog wasn't born hyperactive, therefore it's not an overnight effort to reverse this behaviour. Consistency is key! Persevere and you will see a change.