All dogs will have moments of great bounds of energy. But when that energy lasts until the owners have reached the end of sanity it can become a serious problem. For some canines, much to the dismay of their owners, tiredness isn’t something that seems to ever occur to the dog. Whether its constant excitement and energy, wanting to play games at 3am or leaping up and being too forceful with enthusiasm, all these can be calmed with the following steps.
The first thing you want to do is assess where, why and how your dog is so hyperactive all the time.
1) What are you feeding your dog?
Grab the packaging of the dog food you feed your pet and then read our article on feeding your dog and use it as a guide. You’ll be surprised to find what additives are pumped and baked into dog food to make up for the lack of nutrition.
Poor nutritional foods are essentially junk food for dogs and weaning your dog onto a higher quality food can do all the difference to your dog’s behaviour. Poor quality dog food is the number one cause of hyperactivity and the simple change of diet can be like having a brand new dog.
2) Give your dog proper exercise.
All dogs should be walked at least once a day. Sometimes, for some breeds, once just isn’t enough. Some dog breeds, particularly working dogs, have been specifically bred to be able to keep up with a high intensity day. Whether that be herding sheep or hunting game, all require a seemingly limitless energy pool in order to deal with the demands of active work. These are traits that have been bred into the very fibre of the dog and will be hard to remove, other than to fulfil the dogs require to expel all the energy they have through sufficient exercise.
If you don’t feel like walking as much as your dog does, simply taking him to a large, safe, open space such as a field or park and letting him off the leash is the perfect way for him to let off steam. You can walk at your own pace and let the dog run around and tire itself out as it wishes. Bringing a ball and getting your dog to chase after it is also a really good way of tiring the dog out.
3) Handling over excitement with a heavy handed dog.
Nothing is more frustrating that entering a home only to have the large dog jump up and almost knock you over. For some this can be very intimidating and jumping up is a behaviour that should be dealt with from the moment you see it happen to stop it from continuing.
Should your dog ever jump up and be too over-bearing, simply turn your back on it. If he comes around to your front to do the same thing again, turn your back on him sharply again. Eventually he should learn to stop unwanted jumping.
Try not to over excite your dog with shrill petting and attention. Shrill praise sounds very exciting to a dog and will encourage him to get super excited with you.
4) Neutering & Spaying
Many dog owners disagree with neutering, but the practice is actually a part of responsible dog keeping. Thousands upon thousands of unwanted puppies are abandoned or put into rehoming centres every year due to an irresponsible lack of neutering.
Many view it as inhumane, but in fact the practice is far from it. Not getting your dog neutered is actually more inhumane as neutering your dog quells a lot of unsavoury and uncontrollable behaviour and urges in dogs and removing these behaviours can often mean that co-habiting your home with your dog can again become bearable. Your dog will then relax without having pent up frustration. Dogs should not attempt to mount guests and can often become ruthless, snappy and irritating towards visitors when they do so.
When a bitch comes into season, Dogs from all around will be able to sense this and walks in the park can become a nightmare. Not only will your dog end up in scraps with other dogs but she’ll also become the victim to unwanted attention. If your dog becomes pregnant, will you be able to cope with a litter of puppies?
Neutering and Spaying are usually considered mandatory to responsible dog ownership, unless you intend to breed.
5) Ignore your dog upon coming home.
Possibly one of the hardest steps is ignoring your dog the moment you step through your door. It’s hard to ignore the sweet face that greets you with excitement when you come back home, but often this is the best way to deal with it. Not only will it help stop your dog peeing with excitement when you run up to it to say ‘hi’ back, but the pack leader never acknowledges and pays much attention to those below them first.
Upon coming home, walk in, put your things away and carry on with your normal routines. Then, 5 minutes after entering and giving your dog a chance to calm down, walk over and calmly greet your dog. After the first few times, it should get easier and your dog will grow to respect you more.