Training Tips for Calming Hyperactive Dogs - My Blissful Pet

Training Tips for Calming Hyperactive Dogs

If you've got a dog that seems to bounce off the walls, you might wonder, "How do I calm down my hyperactive dog and keep them from becoming hyper again?". This is where Tips for Calming Hyperactive Dogs become priceless..

Training hyperactive behavior out of dogs will take some time, but there are simple training tips for calming hyperactive dogs you can take starting now that will help subdue even the most unruly dogs.

TL;DR Summary:
Lots of dogs are hyperactive by nature, and others are hyperactive as a sign there’s something you can help them with. Learning more about your dog and helping them manage that will help calm them down.
The best ways to calm a hyperactive dog are:
  • Figure out why they’re hyperactive.
  • Stay calm while dealing with hyperactive behaviors.
  • Learn your dog’s tells.
  • Train in practical and emotional skills.
  • Teach a relax cue.
  • Give your dog a job.
  • Provide calming treats.

Why is My Dog Hyperactive?

They’re a Puppy

Puppies are well-known for being hyperactive. This is normally just a phase that they grow out of, [1] but it's also the perfect time to start training them on habits and behaviors that will keep them calm throughout their lives.

They’re Anxious

Anxiety is a common cause of hyperactive behavior in dogs. [2] The signs of anxiety and hyperactivity often overlap and can include the following:

  • Destroying, chewing, or scratching things they shouldn’t
  • Showing signs of depression, including changes in appetite, less energy, or hiding
  • Barking or whining constantly
  • Drooling and panting
  • Pooping or peeing inappropriately in the home
  • Signs of restlessness
  • Pacing
  • Repetitive behaviors like licking or chewing

They’re a High Energy Breed

High-energy breeds that are meant to be getting plenty of exercises, like Border Collies or Cattle Dogs, can get hyper if they're not getting the appropriate level of activity. Therefore, it's important to ensure that you understand how much exercise your dog breed needs.

The Tips for Calming Hyperactive Dogs

Stay Calm Yourself

The first thing that’s important to know about training your hyperactive dog is that they'll take their cues from you. Your energy level, attitude, and emotions will influence your dog and how they act as dogs and their owners can synchronize emotions and stress. [3]

Another study from the University of Nebraska at Omaha shows that short-term and long-term stress can be shared between dogs and their owners, which leads to higher levels of stress hormones in both. [4]

This shows how important keeping ourselves calm when dealing with our dogs is. Our stress and hyperactivity can lead to the same in our dogs. But it's crucial to note that we can also ramp up the emotions they're already feeling. For example, if your dog is feeling hyperactive, and you get stressed out by it, they may feed off that stress and use it to become more hyper. Similarly, yelling and getting high-energy angry with your dog could worsen the behavior.

Staying calm and modeling the calm behaviors you want will help keep your dog calm and show them the right way to behave.

Knowing your breed is one of the most vital tips for calming hyperactive dogs

The number one thing that will help calm down hyperactive dogs is exercise. They're usually hyper because they have too much energy in their body, and they're trying to work it off. This is part of why regular and appropriate exercise is crucial to behavioral management in dogs.

All dogs need different levels of exercise. For example, a Chihuahua is going to need a much shorter walk than a Greyhound or Border Collie. Understanding what breed your dog is and how that affects their needs for exercise and enrichment is crucial to calming down hyper dogs.

Learn to Read Your Dog’s Tells

Whether your dog is hyper or anxious, learning to identify when they’re starting to feel higher energy or anxious will help you put training into action before they begin to fall down the rabbit hole of hyperactivity.

Every dog is different, so you’ll have to pay close attention to their unique personalities and body language, but some common anxious and hyperactive tells include [5][6]:

  • Drooling
  • Pacing
  • Whining
  • Ears twitching or moving forward
  • Tail raised above the spine level
  • Tail moving side to side in short, rapid movements
  • Hair standing on end
  • Panting
  • Exaggerated playful motions in hyperactive dogs
  • Bowing
  • Jumping
  • Loose and wiggly motions
  • Brief pauses that explode into movement

Training in Practical Skills is another one of the most key tips for calming hyperactive dogs

Practical skills include the trained techniques that will help your pup act calm even if they aren’t really. The most classic practical skills for this are “sit,” “down,” and “stay,” although there are others you can add, such as “stay on your mat" or “go to your crate." [7] These skills will help your dog act calm, giving their racing heart time to calm down too.

A designated settle-down area, like a mat, crate, or bed, can help calm your dog within the house. This is a designated place where they know that calming down, resting relaxed, and being calm will result in a favorite treat.

Train in Emotional Skills Through Modeling

Training your hyperactive pup to be less hyper requires you to teach them the desired behavior. Modeling and training on skills like "relax," "calm,” or “quiet" will help show them the correct behavior and emotional skills you’re looking to instill in them.

It's always best to train by reinforcing positive behavior. So the times your dog is calm and well-behaved on their own are when you want to reward them with their favorite treats, reinforcing the behavior with the associated command words.

Teach a Relax Cue

Your dog will take cues from you in many scenarios, so having a designated cue that signals to them that it's time to lay down and chill out will strengthen your bond and their ability to calm down. [8] Training on a relaxed cue like this can help you trigger your dog into calming down when it might be tougher for them to calm down or when they're overly hyper.

Start in a Relaxed Scenario with these tips for calming hyperactive dogs

A quiet home where your dog can relax is the best place to start training this behavior. Don't do this at the dog park, where they'll be excited to have fun and play.

Ignore Them Until They Settle Themselves

Your dog will eventually calm down and relax while you're ignoring them. This is that voluntary relaxing behavior that we want to encourage. Most dogs will settle and calm down after a few minutes of quiet ignoring.

Calmly Praise and Reinforce

Once your dog has laid down how you want, you can reinforce the behavior with calm praise. Gentle pets and calm words about how good they did in a praising tone will show them that they're doing the right thing. While praising them you can give them a treat or two while introducing the cue word such as "relax" or "settle."

Repeat

Train this behavior at least once a day for a few weeks. This will help reinforce the word in their mind as a positive thing.

Test These Tips for Calming Hyperactive Dogs in More Stressful Situations

Once your dog sets off with getting the hang of it, they'll eventually get to a place where you can begin testing the behavior in more stressful or exciting situations, and they should be able to relax or calm down in those as well.

Put Your Pup to Work

We have been breeding dogs for thousands of years to help us in our day-to-day lives, and for some breeds, they just can't get away from that. Leaning into that with the understanding that they're simply hyper because that's in their nature, and they need more stimulation can help you devise some strategies to help calm their hyperactivity. [9]

Do Career Research for Your Dog

Do some research into the breed of dog you have. What have they classically been trained or encouraged to do? Are they a breed of Shepherd or Cattle Dog that wants to zoom around and group everyone up? Or are they long-legged-lopers that would prefer to be running down a prairie field somewhere? Are they natural diggers that tear up your gardens? Understanding the driving behavior behind their actions will help with the next step.

Set Up a Job Interview

Now that you've pinpointed what kind of activity your dog wants to engage in, you can set up a space they can do it in. This is easiest if you have a big backyard where you can set up an obstacle course, training ring, or another play area where they can work some of their energy out on. If you haven't got access to a large enough space, you can always make a mobile version you can set up at your local park for some extra enrichment on your daily walks.

Play with your dog in this play space a few times as it will let them see how it works with them and how it makes them feel. It's a good opportunity to determine how much they like it, where you can tweak and improve things and how well it might work for your dog.

Examples of the kind of play space you could set up for your dog include an agility course that they can snake and weave through, hoops and rings to jump through, or even a pool to swim in (with supervision). Get inventive with it because the more it's suited to their needs, the more it'll work to calm them down.

Train to Go to Work

Once you have this job all set up for them, you can begin to train them to head out there when they start to get hyper. You can use a cue word to signal them that it’s time to funnel this energy into their day job and let them go run through their job to get some of that natural hyperactivity out.

The earlier you start with these training tips for calming hyperactive dogs the more naturally they will come to your dog, and the easier it will be to use them to keep them occupied instead of hyper.

Provide Calming Treats is the last but not least tip for calming hyperactive dogs

At GiandWin, we believe that anxious and hyperactive dogs deserve to be as relaxed and happy as us. That's why we offer a range of stress-relieving THC-free CBD treats designed to give them calm they need. So for more details on how we can help you and your pup check out our website.

 

 

References:

[1]- https://wellbeloved.com/blogs/caring-for-puppies/do-you-have-a-hyperactive-puppy-understanding-puppy-energy-levels

[2]- https://www.goodrx.com/pet-health/dog/how-to-calm-down-your-dog

[3]- https://www.k9ofmine.com/how-to-teach-dog-to-relax/

[4]- https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-43851-x

[5]- https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-train-a-hyper-dog

[6]- https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/7-tips-canine-body-language

[7]- https://vcacanada.com/know-your-pet/dog-behavior-and-training-teaching-calm-settle-and-relaxation-training

[8]- https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/06/06/729328198/you-may-be-stressing-out-your-dog

[9]- https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/5-tips-for-a-hyperactive-dog/

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.