Do you have a dog that literally bounces off the walls with energy and excitement? Would you consider him hyperactive? Unfortunately for the dog, hyperactivity is all in the mind of the owner! A dog who can be labeled as hyperactive is an energetic, and usually athletic dog that has no outlet to use up all of this energy he has built up, leading to behavioral problems such as jumping up, digging, chewing, barking, leash pulling, and much more!
Some very basic exercise can help with the hyperactive dog. This involves walking, jogging, running, and visits to the local dog park to get some off leash running out of his system. Keep in mind, though, that your dog should never be let off leash unless he is completely reliable in recall for safety purposes, even in a dog park!
If you are not able to take your dog out to get as much exercise as he really needs, there are other options! Doggy daycare centers and professional dog walkers provide exercise for pets that need it for a living! These different venues can give your dog all the walking and running exercise he needs while you are away at work or otherwise busy.
Hyperactivity goes beyond simple exercise as well. While your dog’s muscles are itching to run, his mind is also itching to learn! Going to a few dog obedience classes, trick training classes or even agility classes can help the both of you bond closer and give the two of you something special to do together. All of these classes will get his mind working hard and he will soon be able to impress you, and your friends with everything he has learned!
During those times when you can’t take him to class to spend 5 to 10 minutes teaching him a new trick or practicing your obedience cues you can always give him a canine puzzle toy! These are specialized toys meant just to entertain intelligent and bored dogs. These puzzle toys hide away treats, food, or toys that you put into hidden areas where your dog must use his nose and mind together to lift flaps, slide doors and push buttons to get to the reward.
Breed Specific Traits
Sometimes hyperactivity is more related to the genetics in your dog’s DNA. Breed traits can include a lot of energy and the desire to dig, chase, hunt, run, herd and more depending on your dog’s breed or mix of breeds. Outside of regular exercise and training you may be interested in taking up a sport that will help your dog relieve that craving to follow his breed specific instincts!
Herding classes or even playing fetch for a Border Collie or Australian Shepherd can drastically reduce his hyperactive tendencies. For other dogs like Beagles or Spaniels, getting involved in tracking and nose work can be great fun for the both of you! Your dog may even make an excellent search and rescue hero!
The old saying ‘a tired dog is a good dog’ still holds true today. Give your dog that activity that he so desperately needs and you will be amazed at how well behaved he becomes at home!