Dogs are very active animals and not every pooch owner can get access to large acres of land for the dogs to exercise. As a result, a dog owner has to learn how to calm a dog down. A hyper active dog could be an indicator that he is not getting enough exercise.
The best approach in calming your dog is by starting training as early as possible. When your dog is still a pup introduce commands like “settle down”, “stay still” or “relax”.
Train your puppy to “stay still” for long and synchronize these exercises with day to day activities like reading a newspaper, watching television, eating dinner or retiring to bed. At first, the pup will be restless and adamant but with time they will get used to the exercise.
As times goes on introduce place commands and as he goes to the place give him treats. After conducting several successful practices at home try doing the exercise outside.
As the puppy learns more commands outdoors take him to parks and sidewalks and try to settle him down. The main goal of learning how to calm a dog down is to be in a position to calm your dog when he is too excited.
How to Calm a Hyper Dog
A hyper dog is mostly due to boredom and lack of adequate stimulation. Below are some of the ways you can calm a hyper dog:
1. Ignore the dog’s over-excitement
Sometimes dogs bark to seek attention from the owner. Ignoring their outbursts will help calm them down.
The sudden over-excitement can be calmed or managed by declining to yield to their barking, nipping or jumping when they are hyper. Ignoring can help calm them very fast especially when the over-excitement is towards the owner.
2. Playing games with your dog
Playing games is an easy way of wearing out your hyper dog. Introduce interactive games such as dropping pea-sized treats on the ground and commanding your dog to find them. Do this a couple of times and soon your pooch will be weary.
You can also hide the treats in harder places especially treats with a distinct smell and you’ll be assured of a calm worn out dog by the time you are through.
You can also use exercise pens and crates when it is not possible to supervise his energy outlets. There are many other methods and games you can come up with that can help you calm your hyper dog.
3. Redirect the dog’s energy by going for a walk
If your dog has too much energy redirect it to something useful or involving like going for a walk. Go for a walk and burn the extra energy. After this exercise, your dog will be exhausted and it will be easier for the dog to relax.
4. Try aromatherapy
Dog’s primarily experience the world by scent. You can use this aspect to your advantage as dogs can be calmed using a nice and soothing smell.
The best approach to this idea is to consult a vet or holistic professional and figure out the smells best suited for your hyper pooch. Also, learn the safest dispersal methods to use.
What Can I Give My Dog to Calm Down?
Some dogs are too hyper and may require medication to calm them down. Before you choose any medication for your dog consult with a vet and check if your pooch is suffering from conditions that could contraindicate the medication especially heart diseases.
One of the best tranquilizers is Melatonin which is very effective when used to calm a dog.
Melatonin can be used as a sedative, an anti-convulsant and it also helps regulate reproductive cycles and body rhythm. This drug should be administered by a vet.
The duration and interval of each dose will depend on your dog’s response to treatment. Melatonin is safe for use and has only a few notable side effects. The most common being drug hypersensitivity. The other notable side effect is the drug’s interaction with the other medications that your dog is taking.
How to Calm Down a Puppy
Puppies are very hyper with too much energy. Puppies tend to bite, nip and growl which they use as a means of communication. Some puppies might be aggressive due to their genetic makeup.
Others could be aggressive due to neurological disorders but such cases are rare. There are also puppies that are aggressive trying to get back at their owners due to mistreatment or abuse.
Puppies also exhibit such behavior when trying to guard their toys, food or treats. Below are some tips that can help you prevent or curb aggression:
- Train your puppy to exhibit a good and calm behavior.
- Incorporate the use of firm-but-fair disciplining methods.
- Teach your puppy to be social from an early age.
- Avoid punishing your hyper puppy by either shouting or smacking him.
- Play games that do not involving bullying or overpowering your puppy as this could make the pup combative or scared.
- Use treats to reward your puppy after every successful training session.
- Incorporate fun activities to the training session.
- Learn to understand, recognize and distinguish normal behavior from the aggressive canine interaction.
- Enroll your pup in one or two courses for formal training in matters concerning obedience.
- Avoid playing rough-house or tug-of-war with a pushy or dominant puppy.
If these tips are not viable or suitable for your puppy you can seek the online courses offered by Dr Ian Dunbar. He is a renowned veterinarian, dog trainer, animal behaviorist and author. The course offered will help you learn how to calm down a dog or a puppy.
Training either a puppy or a dog requires patience. You have to sacrifice your time to train your dog to adhere to your commands when you tell him to calm down. Having treats come in handy when trying to maintain a high level of interest.
Start training right from an early age. The extra effort will soon yield results. It will be fun walking with a calm dog along sidewalks so go ahead and train your dog.
How do you calm down your dog? Tell us on the comments section.