If you’re a pet owner, you can likely understand the stresses of trying to calm a restless or hyper dog. Most pets’ temperaments are likely attributed to daily lifestyle factors like diet, exercise and social interaction. In rarer cases, some dogs may be diagnosed with Hyperactivity—a behavioral condition in which dogs can display frenetic activity and abnormally short attention spans.
According to Clinician’s Brief, true hyperactivity involves “… overactivity, attention deficits, impulsivity, high testing physiologic parameters and a paradoxical calming response to amphetamines.” It’s often difficult to diagnose this psychological disorder because multiple factors that could lead to similar behavior in healthy dogs.
In order to properly care for your pet, it is important to understand some common reasons why they may be exhibiting hyper behavior.
Reasons Your Dog May Be Hyper
Lack of Space and Exercise
Physical exercise is vital to the happiness and healthiness of a dog, and exhausting pent-up energy is one of the best ways to help with restlessness. Large dog breeds, like Labrador Retrievers or Border Collies, tend to need more exercise and room to play.
Lack of Attention
The bond between humans and dogs are strong. If a dog feels they are getting less attention or not enough attention, they may often become over excited when they are around people. They usually will demonstrate overbearing attention-seeking.
Studies have shown that ingredients like sugars, byproducts and fillers can affect behavior in dogs. It’s best to look for pure ingredients without preservatives or byproducts included when shopping for dog food.
Not Obedience Trained
Obedience training is known to make a difference when it comes to dog’s exhibiting desirable behavior. Along with good manners training, it’s a good idea to spend time time teaching your dog impulse control. Teaching a dog to sit and wait can help you communicate the importance of patience. Here are a few other common commands they can expect to learn in obedience school.
Tips and Tricks to Calm Down Your Dog
Develop a Workout Plan
Large-breed dogs definitely require more outdoor exercise for a healthy body and mind. They usually have higher energy levels that need a productive outlet. As their coach, you should create a workout routine to stick to on a daily basis. Try jogging with your dog, going on a few walks or even play a few rounds of outdoor games with them. Doing so will release any pent-up energy that they harbor.
Just like in humans, dogs can benefit from certain smells. This is even more true for canines, due to their nose being their strongest sense. Scents like lavender, vanilla or chamomile can help calm them, especially when you associate it to times when your dog is calm. Here is a great guide that discusses aromatherapy for your dog, including the use of essential oils.
Your dog is ultimately a reflection of you. Because of their empathetic nature, they will pick up on moods and worries that you have. This can translate to your pet being anxious or stressed because they can detect your feelings through your voice and body language. Next time you are feeling upset or anxious, be aware of the tune of your energy around your dog.
Be Consistent with Training
If you don’t have the budget for a extensive course of obedience training, clicker training can be a less expensive, yet effective, alternative. It involves using a clicker to signal when you dog does something good, and a reward and praise for when the desirable behavior is met. This comes in handy when you dog is acting out to get them to stop quickly. It’s all about repetition, so best results happen over time.
Use CBD Oil Regularly
In dogs and humans alike, CBD oil is a non-psychoactive compound known to relieve pain and reduce forms of inflammation. It is also known to help relieve anxiety that could be tied to hyperactivity or stress. This is usually given in the form of a tincture so pets can quickly reap the benefits. If you feel this would be a good option for your pet, make sure to do plenty of research to find a CBD oil company that uses high-quality ingredients.
Introduce Other Herbal Remedies and Supplements
Herbs and supplements are a great way to help hyperactive dogs, as long as they don’t have any known allergies. Popular herbal remedies include Skullcap, Valerian and Chamomile. Cooked oatmeal has also been known to help calm nerves. Some natural nutritional supplements to help calm your pet include L-theanine (found in tea plants) or thiamine (water-soluble vitamin B1).