HOW TO CALM DOWN A HYPER DOG

A hyper dog can really try its guardian's patience. Many people think that they need to tire their hyper dogs out in order to get their dogs to calm down. This seems to make sense when you think about it. It’s hard for a dog to be hyper, if it's worn out. The problem with this idea is that as a hyper pet gets used to a certain activity level, that activity level no longer wears it out. You then have to exercise your hyper dog more to wear it out. Then, it becomes used to that amount of exercise, and you have to exercise it even more. As you can see, this can become never ending.

So, what is the answer to calming a hyperactive dog? The answer, of course, is teaching calmness. Here are some tips.

TIP 1: REINFORCE YOUR DOG WHEN IT IS CALM

When are you least likely to give your dog attention? I’m going to guess that it’s when your dog is lying down being calm. Well, if you have a dog with any hyperactive tendencies, then you need to give your dog attention when it is lying down. Yes, that’s right. When your dog is lying down, praise it, pet it, toss it treats; whatever you can do to let it know that you like the fact that it is lying down. Just be careful to do it in a way that doesn’t cause your dog to get excited, or to get up.

TIP 2: IGNORE YOUR DOG WHEN IT IS HYPER

Dogs often get attention for being hyper. Never mind that this attention is often human attempts to stop the dog from being hyper, it’s still attention. This leads the dog to become hyper when it wants attention. So, walk away from your dog when it’s hyper. If your dog gets destructive when it is hyper, then you can have it drag its leash around, so that you can calmly take it to its crate without giving it much attention, when it gets too active. Just do your best to ignore the hyperactivity, so that you are not inadvertently reinforcing it.

TIP 3: PRACTICE “STAY” A LOT

It is easiest to learn something by practicing it. Your dog can learn to be calm by being given chances to practice being calm. Teach your dog to stay, and practice it often. Reinforce your dog for staying for longer and longer periods of time. This will give your dog a chance to practice being calm.

TIP 4: GIVE YOUR DOG POSITIVE OUTLETS FOR ITS ENERGY

Of course, you can’t expect your dog to lie down all of the time, although many dogs sleep at least 20 hours a day. You need to give your dog things to do that are appropriate ways to use its energy. The best outlet for your dog’s energy is obedience training So, throughout the day, give your dog training sessions that are fun. Do training while you take your dog for its walks. Your dog will have to use its brain, as well as its body. This will help to tire your dog out faster than simple exercise would do.

Another positive outlet for your dog is play. Teach your dog to play fetch (and bring the toy back to you). Play hide and seek with your dog. Play gentle games of tug-of-war with your dog. Hide its food at feeding time, and tell your dog to find it. Invent any kind of game to help your dog have appropriate fun. And, of course, give your dog things to chew on, which is the simplest form of dog play.

There you have it; four things to do to calm your dog down. My dog Emma was extremely hyper when I adopted her at age two. These are the techniques I used for her. She has even learned to calm herself down, if something causes her to start getting too excited. It takes time, but stick with it, and you can teach your dog how to calm itself down, as well.

For complete information on training your dog, and on getting rid of dog behavior problems, check out my e-book



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