Hyperactive Dogs – How to Calm a Hyper Dog or Hyper Puppy

All dogs are created equal, but certain dogs are created more hyper than others. I have three very energetic dogs, two Siberian Huskies and a Shiba Inu, so I have had my fair share of hyper dog challenges.

Here are some important lessons I learned, on how to calm a hyper dog or a hyper puppy.

1. Try to Remain Calm

One of the most important things to remember, if we have a hyper dog, is the best medicine for a hyper dog is calm energy.

If I lose my temper, get frustrated, or become angry, my dog will pick up on that energy and become even more hyper. When my dog is over-excited, I do my best to remain calm, and project calm energy to him.

2. Make Our Dog Work for His Food

I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs. This means that they have to do something for me first, before I give them something in return. NILIF is a great way to –

  • Motivate my dogs to follow house-rules,
  • Help them learn that people are the source of good stuff, and also
  • Redirect their hyper energy into positive pursuits.

I use part of my dog’s daily food for good behaviors throughout the day, for being calm, for following commands, for walks, grooming, and more.

Whatever food is left over, I put in interactive food toys, so he has to work for that as well. Interactive food toys are a great way to exercise my dog mentally, and to keep him engaged in a positive activity. Some food toys that I use include the Buster Cube, Premier Busy Buddy Collection, and of course Kongs.

Frozen Kongs are great to keep my dog occupied when he is in his crate, or to help calm him down before bed-time. I put some wet food into a classic Kong and freeze it. My dog has fun licking and chewing at it, and has less time to get into trouble. πŸ˜€

Variety is the spice of life, therefore, I try to figure out new fun ways, to deploy my dog’s food. For example, I may put his food on some paper, bunch the paper up into a ball, and then push the paper ball into a Holl-ee Roller toy. Sephy has a fun time figuring out this food puzzle!

Another thing that works pretty well with my dog is the Egg Babies toy. These toys have openings to give us access to the squeaker balls within. I open up the compartment, take out the squeaker balls, and put some food into the toy. Sometimes I stuff a regular ball into it, to make the toy more challenging. The Egg Baby is a soft-toy though, so some dogs may try to chew or shred it.

It is important that we are around to supervise our dog when he is working on a toy. We want to make sure that he does not swallow pieces of paper, soft-toy fabric, or rubber.

If our dog likes swallowing paper or soft toy fabric, then *do not* give him such toys. With rubber toys, make sure he cannot tear chunks off, because they may become a choking hazard.

3. Play Fun Games with our Dog

A game that my dog absolutely loves to play is the flirt pole.

A flirt pole is a simple pole or handle that is connected to a rope, with a toy at the end. We may create our own flirt pole or simply buy one.

I made my own flirt pole by getting a drain-plunger and detaching its wooden handle. Then, I drilled some holes in the handle and tied some rope through it. Finally, I attached the other end of the rope to a Premier Tennis Tail Toy. This Premier toy works well with my homemade flirt pole, because my dog loves chasing the fox-like tail on the toy.

However, it is only appropriate if we use regular rope, and not bungee or elastic cord. If we use an elastic cord, there is a high probability that the toy will bounce around a lot, and it may hit us, our dog, or others. As such, we should only use a very soft and light toy.

With this game, we may exercise our dog while not having to overly exert ourselves. Other fun dog play games include soccer, catch, fetch, and tug-of-war.

I always set up a consistent set of rules while playing with my dog. This helps to keep everyone safe, as well as helps my dog learn positive play behaviors and self-control.

4. Do Obedience Training Every Day

Enroll in a dog obedience training class or get a good positive reinforcement dog training book. Then, have short (10-15 minutes) training sessions with our dog, several times per day.

This will help establish us as pack leader, improve the bond with our dog, exercise our dog’s mind, and provide us with effective tools to control him in the house.

5. Daily Walks or Hiking Trips

Neighborhood walks are a great way to exercise our dog, and socialize him to people. Walking can also help with obedience and bonding.

We may walk our dog on a loose leash or in a heel position. Personally, I keep my dog on a loose leash most of the time. I only put him in a heel position when I need greater control, for example-

  • When I see another dog, cat, or squirrel,
  • When young children are around, or
  • When my dog starts to get reactive.

Dogs enjoy roaming around and smelling social markers (dog urine) left by other dogs. They can easily do this on a loose leash. Being in a heel position all of the time, is probably more boring than death for a dog. Therefore, to provide a fun walking experience for everyone, relax, give our dog some freedom, and stop to smell the roses.

In addition to neighborhood walks, it can also be fun to go hiking on nature trails.

Note that different parks, or different trails within a park, may have different leash rules (on-leash or off-leash). We may have to try out a variety of parks and park-trails, before finding one that suits us and our dog.

Hiking can also be a relaxing way to socialize our dog to both people and other dogs. Unlike enclosed dog parks, hiking parks are larger and have a lower density of people and dogs. In hiking parks, owners are usually more engaged with their dogs, and are better able to control them. Hiking trails also offer an interesting environment for a dog to explore.

If we are too busy, consider hiring a dog walker to exercise our dog. Many dog walkers offer group-walks, where they will take a small group of dogs to a nearby off-leash park. This is a fun activity, and a good way to tire-out our furry friend while we are away at work.

6. Organize Play Sessions with Another Dog

One of the best ways to drain energy from a hyper dog, is to organize play sessions with other dogs. I invite social dogs over to my house, to have one-on-one play sessions.

Other possibilities include dog daycare centers or enclosed dogs parks. I prefer daycare centers because they usually screen a dog before admission, therefore, they usually have more social dogs. In addition, a good daycare will have dog playgroups that are well-supervised, as well as structured by size and energy, which makes things a lot safer.

Enclosed dog parks are open to all, so there may be aggressive and anti-social dogs. In addition, owners may not supervise their dogs well, because they are busy socializing with the other people at the park.

In my experience, it is difficult to find a good enclosed dog park. In addition, there is always an element of danger, because all it takes is one irresponsible dog owner, for a dog fight to occur. More on my enclosed dog park experiences.

While Dog Parks can be fun, they also bring plenty of NEGATIVE interactions by forcing your pet to come up against dogs that might be overly stimulated, short-tempered, outwardly aggressive or otherwise badly managed. Smart Socializing means keeping your friend dog-tolerant, and that involves AVOIDING dicey situations where conflict can spark.
~~[Smart Socializing]

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  1. Kayla says

    I have five dogs 1.giant snauzher, Sophie, 10 2.bashan Maltese, Boo, 10 3.english setter, Davy, 10 4.bashan frisΓ©e, fuzzums, 10 5.boxer, Bruno, 10 and Davi is NOT potty trained. And I tryed it on Sophie and it SO SO SO worked on her.

  2. Rebecca Dill says

    I have a 3 year old englishbull dog it dose not matter what i try she is always extreamley hyper and i can not excircse or take walks with her because she has extream breathing problems. i cant get her to be still to teach her anything or trust her to sleep out side of the cage.. do you have any segestions on what i could do!!!

  3. Lyndsay says

    I have a 15 week old German Shepard pup she’s only pees in our garden won’t do the toilet any where else even when we take her Long walks! Constantly hyper too teething so biting feet and other things constant we got her loads of teething toys but unsure as to wht to do next!

    • Anonymous says

      Leash your dog and take her to the designated area and give her a verbal que. DO not walk around stand in one spot let her circle while leashed. Give her 15 minutes…if she goes praise
      and play. If she doesn’t go crate her wait up to 30 minutes and repeat. Keep doing this and eventually she will go to the spot on command and hurry back for her reward.

  4. Allysen says

    Just found your page. Love it. I have a 12 week old Siberian Husky, named Chinook. She’s a real gem. Stubborn at times, but very, very smart. You’ve got lots of useful information on here. Thank you!

  5. Clay says

    Hey there,
    So, we just bought a new puppy (12weeks old). She tends to bite a lot and when we put her in the cage she will start barking at us. We also have two cats, the cats and dog are not getting along too well. The dog hasn’t tried to attack the cats but the cats are not too friendly to the dog. She’s overly hyper and we’re trying to get her calm. What is the best way to handle these situations?

    Thank you,
    Clay Williams

  6. Becky says

    Thank you so much! We adopted a boxapoint puppy and had no idea what we were in for. I was at my wits end until I saw your “flirt pole”. Perfect! She’s exhausted in 10 minutes. I used a broom pole and which gave a great reach so she runs in circles at top speed.

  7. Rachele Sipple says

    I have a 4 1/2 month old pitbull puppy. She knows comands such as sit, stay, lay, paw, etc. she is the sweetest thing she wouldnt hurt you for the world. But she is super hyper.She does speed rounds around my house at least 3 times a day . I take her to the park everyday and take her on different trails there and I play with her and her toys. I also go in the yard and play frisbee and throw her ball for her because she loves to play fetch. But she is still hyper. she only calms down when i put her in her cage at night. Any tips?

    • shibashake says

      Haha, yeah my dogs were also very hyper during puppy-hood. Puppies have a lot of energy, are curious about everything, and have very short attention spans. πŸ˜€

      Some things that help with my puppy-
      1. I set up a fixed schedule.
      In this way, my puppy knows when it is play-time, training time, food-time, and nap-time. I make sure to schedule enough activity time so that puppy has good outlets for her energy, however, nap-time is important as well. I needed the break! πŸ˜‰

      2. Frozen Kongs.
      Frozen Kongs were a great way to keep my Husky puppy occupied. Puppies need to eat quite a lot, so working on the frozen Kongs took up a fair amount of her puppy energy. I got good quality puppy wet food, and froze them in rubber Kongs. Initially, I help my puppy get the food out if needed.

      Generally, I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs.

      3. Good social puppy classes.
      Puppy classes were also great for my Husky puppy. I make sure to pick good classes that focus on socialization and structured play. They also check all puppies for vaccination records.

      The classes helped my Husky puppy with socialization and impulse control during play. Playing with other puppies in a structured way also helped to drain her puppy energy.

      More on dog socialization-

      I also did obedience exercises, grooming exercises (touch, fur brush, teeth brushing, nail desensitization), recall exercises, etc.

      Keeping up with a puppy is always hardest for me in the beginning. However, as my puppy matures and learns more impulse control, things get a lot easier.
      The first 10 days with my Husky puppy. πŸ˜€

      Big hugs to your puppy girl!

  8. Kim says

    Hi I have some concern about my 2yr 2 month old female boxer/ American bull dog. We got her at 10 weeks old from a rescue. We also have a 10 year old golden retriever shepherd/border collie. About a year ago she would show some dominance over both male dogs. My daughter lived with us and had a pit bull who was 6 moths older then the female. The female gets to the point where she will go after the older male by growling and pushing him to the ground, plus standing over him, not broke skin. So just recently three weeks ago the older male walked into the room where my son and I were. The other two dogs were already with us. The female went at the older one and growled and went to push him down on the ground but then the pit bull jumped in and it got terrifying . The pit attacked and ripped part of the older dogs ear off and tore his snout. The female put a tar in the back of his neck. Since then my daughter moved out with her dog. She has gone after the older dog twice since then but has not broken skin. What is your opinion on what we should do with this situation? I really don’t want to get rid of her but afraid of both dogs being left alone or watching very closely when we are home. Oh and one other thing she did tonight was, our cat will hit the dogs with his paw at times. He did that to my female tonight and she growled at him plus went after him to bite. Thank you for reading my email.

    • shibashake says

      Given what you describe, I would consult with a good professional trainer.

      Dog behavior is very context dependent, so especially in more serious cases of aggression, it is usually safest to have a trainer observe our dog, read his body language, and evaluate his behavior within the context of his regular environment and routine.

      When I was having issues with my Shiba Inu, we visited with several professional trainers, and I learned something from each one. However, the dog training area is not well regulated and there is a lot of misinformation in the field, so I was very careful to find trainers with good experience, proper certifications, who understood behavioral conditioning, and who knew what they were talking about.

      I use leashes, gates, a basket muzzle, and other management equipment as necessary to make sure that everyone, as well as all my dogs are always safe.

      With my dogs,
      – I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules. I supervise and slowly teach them what those rules are. In this way, they know exactly what to expect from each other, what to expect from me, and what I expect from them in return.
      – I make sure to redirect bad behaviors before they escalate into something more serious.
      – I make sure there are always safe areas that my older dogs can go to rest without being bothered by my younger Husky. If my older dogs do not feel like playing or interacting, then I make sure my younger Husky leaves them alone.
      – I do not leave my dogs together alone until I am very sure that they will not cause each other harm, even accidentally.
      – I set them up for success by carefully managing their environment and keep things safe by using management equipment (leash, gates, etc.) as necessary.
      – I give them positive and structured outlets to expend their energy, e.g. structured play-time with me, daily walks, obedience exercises, grooming exercises and more.
      – I try to create positive and calm together time, in a structured and controlled way, for example through desensitization exercises.

      More on what I do to help my dogs get along.

      However, as I said above, dog behavior is very context dependent and each dog and each situation is different. My dogs do not have a bite history and I have trained them since puppyhood, so I know their temperaments, quirks, and behaviors very well. This is why, especially in cases of more serious aggression, it is best and safest to get help from a good professional trainer.

  9. says

    Hey ShibaShake,

    I recently got a 6 week old German Shepherd (5 weeks ago), and he’s doing great. Currently about 80% potty trained, slowly getting used to our cat, has all ready learned a ton of commands (sit, down, up, come, stay, paw, etc.) – however, he’s recently began having bursts of energy. We live in an apartment, and I don’t mind taking him out – however, our vet has advised us to keep him indoors until he’s had his final parvo injection in a few weeks.

    Is there any way I can properly exercise him inside my 2 bedroom apartment, while not taking him outside? He’ll be able to go around no problem a few days after his final parvo injection, but he’s tearing our couches, tables, beds, etc., up, and it’s getting to the point where it isn’t cute anymore!

    Thanks for your time, and I hope to see a reply here in the near future when I check back.


    • shibashake says

      What is your puppy’s current routine?

      Some things that helped with my Shiba and Husky during puppyhood are-
      1. Puppy classes.
      I specifically picked ones that did socialization and they also checked each puppy to make sure they have immunization records. This reduced the risk of infection while at the same time allowing me to start socialization with other dogs and with people.
      More on dog socialization

      Veterinarians specializing in behavior recomΒ­mend that owners take advantage of every opportunity to socialize young puppies in environments like puppy classes, where the risk of illness can be minimized. They state that:

      β€œPuppy socialization classes offer a safe and organized means of socializing puppies. Each puppy should have up-to-date vaccinations and be disease and parasite free before entering the class. Where possible, classes should be held on surfaces that are easily cleaned and disinfected (e.g., indoor environments). Visits to dog parks or other areas that aren’t sanitized or are highly trafficked by dogs of unknown vaccination or disease status should be avoided.”

      2. Puppy play-groups.
      There was also a dog daycare place nearby to us, which organized free puppy socials every weekend. The sessions were supervised by their trainers and they also checked each puppy for immunization records. We visited the daycare first to make sure that they are properly managed before bringing our puppy. This is more risky because there are a lot of dogs at the daycare, so the effectiveness of the staff is very important.

      3. Nothing in Life is Free.
      At home, I have my puppy work for all of her food. Frozen Kongs were great to keep my Husky puppy occupied. I also start leash training inside the house, just to get my puppy used to having the leash on (only under supervision). Grooming exercises (fur and teeth brushing) are also good to practice during puppyhood.

      I also set up a fixed schedule for my puppy and I supervise her closely. If I cannot supervise, I put her in her crate temporarily or in a safe enclosure.
      More on how I do crate training.

      I do not take my puppy for outside walks until she is fully vaccinated, which took several months for my pups.

  10. Sarah says

    My Australian Shepherd pup is 10 weeks old. She goes crazy when we first get up and whenever food is involved. She has zero attention span but understands about going outside. She isn’t dumb but she surely can bite and launch a world class temper tantrum. Any ideas for slowing her roll?

    • shibashake says

      Haha, yeah my Huskies were also big energy balls of Brownian motion when they were pups. πŸ˜€

      Some things that help with my Husky puppy-
      1. I set up a fixed schedule and routine.
      2. I set up a consistent set of rules and structure. I slowly teach those rules to my puppy, but she learns that there are boundaries right from the start. I also follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs.
      3. I use a drag lead for control. I only do this when I am there to supervise and only with a safe flat collar or harness (no aversive collars).
      4. I keep training sessions very short and rewarding. It works best when I make it fun and more like a game. In this way, nobody gets frustrated, and puppy is ready for more. πŸ˜€
      5. More on how I trained my Husky puppy.

      More on what I do to calm my hyper puppy.

      Big hugs to your new furball! πŸ˜€

  11. Ashley says

    Ok so I have an American bulldog and he’s 8 months going on 9 months old and he is very out of control!! I honestly gave up with trying to train him he doesn’t know how to walk on the lease he eats everything including his lease and collar when we put him in the cage and hold him by the collar he bites our arms and jumps up and down and slashes around like a fish I honestly don’t know what else to do PLEASE HELP ME

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, my Shiba Inu was a furry terror as well when he was young. Some things that helped with my dog-
      1. I established a fixed routine and a consistent set of house rules. Structure and routine are very important, and helped to create some amount of order.
      2. It was overwhelming for me to deal with too many things at once, so I picked two of the most important things and worked on those first. Once I fixed those, I picked another two more and so on.
      3. I always try to set Sephy up for success. The more successful training sessions we have, the more I can reinforce good behaviors, and the more likely we will be successful in the future.
      4. Consistency, timing, and repetition are all very important in training my puppy. I set up a consistent mark and no-mark, and teach my puppy what these mean by tying it to appropriate consequences. More on how I trained my puppy.
      5. Sephy was very sensitive to my energy. If I am angry, frustrated, or stressed, he will pick up on that, get stressed himself, and act even more crazy. Once I controlled my own energy, Sephy’s behavior also improved.

      I also provided a lot of positive and structured activity for Sephy, so he has good ways to expend his puppy energy. I talk more about this in the article above.

      Finally, we also visited with several professional trainers to help us troubleshoot particular issues with Sephy. Dog behavior is very context dependent, so it was useful to have someone observe Sephy and guide us on how to manage his environment, as well as how to retrain his problematic behaviors.

      More on how I leash train my dog.
      More on how I discourage puppy biting.
      How I deal with my dog’s bad behavior.

  12. Vivian says

    Hi ShibaShake,

    We have a 5 month old Shiba & she is very excitable when it comes to meeting other dogs.

    We tried the various techniques recommended online such as making her sit first or moving away when she gets too excited but with limited results so far.

    Some times she can approach another dog calmly (but goes straight to sniffing the nose which I recall reading somewhere that this can be viewed as offensive by some dogs) & after 1-2 second of sniffing she will start jumping & spinning around making snarling noises. Most of the time the other dog will just be “stunned” or back away from her growling.

    I’m under the impression she’s not aggressive & just want to initiate play but other dogs seems offended by her “technique”. Did you have the same experience? If so, what did you do?



    • shibashake says

      Yeah, Sephy was also pretty reactive when he was young.

      We did a lot of dog-to-dog desensitization exercises with him, which was helpful. We did the training at our local SPCA, under the direction of one of their trainers. They would pick appropriate dogs for us, we would do a bunch of training, and then at the end, Sephy got rewarded with a fun play session. He loved that more than anything, so he is willing to do good work for the play reward.

      During regular walks we mostly ignore other dogs, thereby creating neutral experiences. I only let Sephy meet dogs that I know he will be successful with. He can be a bit forward in his greetings as well. πŸ˜€

      We also did one-on-one, highly supervised play sessions at my house. There was a really friendly neighborhood dog who lived right across the road from us, and her temperament really suited Sephy’s. She is larger, goofy, likes to play, and totally not dominant, so they got along very well. I still set up structure, play rules, and supervise during play, but it was a great way for Sephy to invest his play energy in something positive.

      In general, I try to maximize successful positive greetings and minimize negative encounters. In this way, he gains confidence and learns to associate other dogs with positive events.

      More on dog socialization.

      Big hugs to your Shiba girl!

    • shibashake says

      Remember that the things I talk about are what works for Sephy. I always observe my dogs carefully and tweak things to suit each dog and each situation.

      Good luck and let us know how things go with Emi. πŸ˜€

  13. New mom says

    Thanks for the speedy reply!

    Emi is full Shiba! Which also means she is full intelligence and stubbornness. :)

    To answer your questions:

    1. What were her interactions with the bigger dog?
    – Their interaction was very minimal. My brother in law wanted to introduce them, so he held her up and let the big dog some by to sniff her. But the big dog ended up biting her tail and paws!! She whimpered and kept her tail between her legs for a good few minutes. :(
    – I kept the big dog outside from there, and Emi in a playpen
    – But the big dog busted into the house at one point and marked his territory all over the play pen, blanket, and toys!!
    2. Did they play? Was she trying to get away?
    – they definitely didn’t play
    – she didn’t really squirm or try to get away
    – I’ve noticed that Emi is a little anxious/shy at first, but she typically goes crazy after everyone/everything is gone and things are calmer
    3. What did the bigger dog do and how did Emi react?
    – I think the above answers this :)
    – by the end of the night with the big dog and my niece/nephew, Emi started running around SUPER FAST in circles, bumping herself into corners and everything, and she even started digging constantly in our floor
    4. Similarly, what were the interactions like with your niece and nephew?
    – oh my…this is tough to say
    – my nephew would pet her nicely whenever i was looking, but i’d catch him kicking her / poking her eyes whenever I turned away
    – he also threw her toys at her face to make her “fetch,” so i REALLY had to monitor them. at one point, i even had to remove my nephew to a different room
    – my niece is a chunky little girl with a super high pitched voice. she typically screams at the top of her lungs and thinks it’s funny. of course, she was no different when meeting Emi. so her “fun” screams/shrieks really freaked out Emi

    I’ve been reading your blog on puppy obedience. She’s definitely very nippy at my hands and tends to put her paws on my hand when I come in calmly and let her sniff me first. but, she never fails to chew my hand as if it were a toy. i try to redirect her, but she only wants my limbs/clothes. even when i try to leave the pen, she’s jumping on my and attacking my shorts. any suggesitons?

    • shibashake says

      When Sephy was young, I put a drag-lead on him so that I could more easily control him when he jumped on me, tried to do humping, etc. I only use a flat collar or harness and *not* an aversive collar. I also only do this when I am fully supervising him. In this way, I can more easily control him and lead him to timeout if necessary.

      I talk more about what I do to train my dogs not to bite on me here.

      I also try to only expose Sephy to positive interactions with people and other dogs, so that he will associate them with calmness and rewards, and not become reactive or afraid of them. I have found that bad social experiences can cause Sephy to learn the wrong things, which may then lead to undesirable behaviors down the road that are harder to fix. Prevention seems to work best with a Shiba. πŸ˜€
      More on dog socialization.

  14. New mom says

    Hello, Shibashake!

    I’ve been a huge fan for a while now…before I even got my pup, Emi!

    My babygirl Emi is only 10 weeks old. When I first brought her home (at 8 weeks) she was absolutely wonderful. Slept through the night. Called whenever she had to potty. Was suuuuper sweet and affectionate. Stopped biting as soon as I said “No.” Etc. Etc. Etc. Soon after being over stimulated by a bigger dog and my crazy 1 and 3 year old niece and nephew, Emi became really hyperactive and skittish. She started bearing her teeth, attacking me, digging into the floor, running around in circles, wouldn’t let anyone hold her, etc. First I thought she was traumatized. So instead of disciplining her, I tried to comfort her. I felt horrible for putting her in danger with my parents’ bigger dog and my terrorizing niece/nephew! After a day or two, she went back to being the sweet girl I first knew.

    I don’t know if this is just normal puppyhood, but she seems to be a bit of a terror again. There are times when she’s super obedient and will do all the commands I ask of her. She seldom likes to snuggle. But, for the most part, she gets extremely high energy during lunch and after dinner. She also decided to stop pooping and peeing outside. She’s extremely curious and whines a lot when we’re outside trying to get her to do her business. She ends up having a couple accidents in the house as a result.

    She’s also been really snippy and will not stop biting my shirts, legs, arms, etc. I can’t tell if she’s playful or aggressive. Please help!

  15. Kaitlyn says

    Thank You so much! I have been looking for a clear solution to this problem and this is very clear to me. Again thank you for all of your help. Now my dog is way more calm and active. I owe you one!!!

    • shibashake says

      Thank you so much for letting me know. A happy dog is the best reward. πŸ˜€

      Big hugs to your furry family member.

  16. NaomiG says

    I have a Labrador who 1 and he is very very hyper. I love to take him on long walks at the park sometimes I take off the leash and he goes and plays with other dogs . But when I try to train him he doesn’t listing, he gets really excited for the treats. He knows how to sit, stay, give paw,come,and do hooray. But he only listens when there is food involved.

    • shibashake says

      Different dogs are motivated by different things. Food motivated dogs are actually one of the best, because food is pretty easy to carry around and to have on hand.
      More on how dogs learn.

      I also follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with my dogs. It teaches them that they have to work for the things that they want most, that good things come from me, and that following rules or doing commands is fun and very rewarding.

    • Kaitlyn says

      I see your problem. what I did was I slowly started to reduce the amount of food I gave my dog smaller and smaller amounts of food treats every time so now I don’t need to give her treats when we train.

  17. Gail Frank says

    We have had our huskie/sheltie dog for 5 years — since he was 9 months old. We live in a suburb of Chicago and this winter has been extremely cold and snowy. So, we have been unable to walk Doc as much as we usually can. Because of this, every evening after he has finished 3 stuffed kongs in record time we have a horrible period until about 9:15 p.m. when he finally calms down. His inner clock seems to tell him it’s 9:15 and time to settle down.

    He is a totally different dog in the morning. I joke that the huskie is here in the a.m. and the sheltie in the p.m. (or visa versa)

    His attention span is minimal. He will only play fetch, “find me” (hide and seek), and dog train for a short period of time. He will not let us brush him or pet him and barks at us constantly. Everything has to be on his terms and he will only do something when he wants to do it.

    He does not run the house and this behavior only started when the weather got bad. But, it is hard for us to keep our “cool” and can only hope that spring will be here soon (wishful thinking).

    • shibashake says

      Does he like playing with other dogs? My Shiba Inu loves playing with other dogs, and that was a good way to release some of his energy. We did one-on-one or very small playgroups in a playroom inside the house. I made sure to pick compatible dogs, set up play-rules, and supervised them the whole time. It was a lot of fun to watch them play.

      Sephy’s best friend was this goofy, playful dog who lived across the street, so it was really convenient.

    • Marina says

      I’m am going through the same exact situation with my 8 month old German shepherd, it has been hell to say the least all she does is bark and bite and I can’t control here I am hoping the spring weather changes this as well! Good luck!

  18. Namaiki Na says

    Any thoughts on medication? My puppy is SUPER HYPER ALL THE TIME. He also thinks he is boss and tries to run the show. He won’t walk on a leash no matter what I try or even potty out side. I think he may have puppy ADHD or something…That may sound silly, but this isn’t my first time owning a puppy, let alone a dog. This is however, my first dog bought from an actual store. Since nothing I do seems to work, I was thinking I might talk to his vet about getting him on medication to help calm him down a bit. I know most puppies are usually hyper, but he’s on his own level that’s set WAAAY higher than most other puppies…If you have any thoughts on this or other ideas on things I might be able to do to help him be more obedient and less hyperactive without the medication, please let me know! It’s defintely a challange for me!

  19. Donna says

    Hello. I just wanted to say thank you for your site. I think this is just what I’m looking for. I have a very hard-headed 1-year-old German shepherd. Such a delight she is, but we have a few issues we need to turn around. All my years of dog mothering have taught me nothing when it comes to this gal. I’m reading through some of your experiences and suggestions, and I feel a little more in control. Again, thanks! It’s all a process.

    • shibashake says

      “Hard-headed and delightful” sounds a lot like my Shiba too! πŸ˜€

      Big hugs to your girl. She is lucky to have such a good mom.

  20. Wilson says

    Hi ShibaShake!

    I recently got a Shiba puppy named Ammy. Boy is she a handful! I take her out to the backyard sometimes to walk around and she smells the plants and then proceeds to eat it. Same goes for rocks and bugs! She drags me everywhere and walks in front of me all the time. Most of the time pulling me. Sometimes she bites the leash too when I give her a quick tug or not following her.

  21. Lexi says

    Hi! I just got an 8 month old terrier mix (I don’t know what he is mixed with, I got him from a shelter). He is very hyperactive. Is it possible that he will relax as he gets a little older?

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, terriers can be handful. πŸ˜€ One of my neighbors has a terrier-mix and she tells me that her pup requires a lot of structured activity, supervision, and training.

      People familiar with this Group invariably comment on the distinctive terrier personality. These are feisty, energetic dogs
      Terriers typically have little tolerance for other animals, including other dogs. Their ancestors were bred to hunt and kill vermin. Many continue to project the attitude that they’re always eager for a spirited argument.

      In general, they make engaging pets, but require owners with the determination to match their dogs’ lively characters.

      A terrier is a dog of any one of many breeds or landraces of terrier type, which are typically small, wiry, very active and fearless dogs.

  22. Rachel says

    If you out your dog on a short leed when meeting another dog it can cause your dog to attack because your dog will think that you are uneasy or nervous about the other dog and causes your og to attack because your dog is gonna try and protect you x

  23. Mary says

    I recently took in an older dog (female Sheltie) who is completely hyper. We go for walks, try to play with toys, practice obedience, you name it and she is so hyper she can’t do any of it. On a walk she darts in front, behind, between my legs and the only way to prevent this is to hold her so short she can’t. She has no interest in a toy–she will grab a chew but immediately spits it out and takes off pacing around the house/yard. She is loving, loyal and wants to please so bad but she honestly can’t stand still when you are sitting on the floor with her holding her leash. I think she is losing her hearing though she does hear–doesn’t always seem to know where the sound is coming from. Also, her sight is bad on and off. She relies heavily on her head to search you out and tries to keep her head on my leg. I think her years of confinement and life style have probably left unrecoverable scars but as I said she is so kind and loyal and I just want her time left to be quality and know we love her. She adjusted to our other dogs well and occasionally she will play with one of them but for the most part she just paces back and forth in the yard when out there. She does the same in the house and never stops. Do you know of anything “natural” that might slow her down or maybe even a script we could try and then try to wean her down slow at the same time working with her? It’s so sad to see her so worked up all the time. She is quiet when in a crate for the night.
    Thanks for any help you might have.

    • shibashake says

      she will play with one of them but for the most part she just paces back and forth in the yard when out there. She does the same in the house and never stops.

      Hmmm, it sounds like perhaps it could be anxiety. Given her hearing and vision issues, it is likely stressful to have a big change in her environment and routine. Does she show other signs of stress in addition to the pacing? What is her body posture like?

      The last time we moved, our Shiba got a bit stressed so I set up a fixed routine for him right away, I set up very consistent rules for at home, and I also made sure that he had a peaceful place that he could go to rest, where he won’t be disturbed by my other dogs or by people. I also led him all around our house and backyard (on leash) together with me, so that he can get accustomed to the layout, in a calm manner, with me there to redirect and offer encouragement as necessary. I make sure the other dogs don’t bother us during this time.

      I played his favorite games with him so he had an outlet for his stressful energy, and we went on longer walks, just the two of us, in quiet hiking trails where there are very few people and very few dogs.

      Here is a bit more on dog anxiety.

      It may also be helpful to see what a vet says about her hearing and vision, as well as overall physical condition. With my dogs, I have found that their physical condition can greatly affect their behavior, and sometimes in unexpected ways. My Husky Shania, for example, really does not like showing weakness or pain, so it comes out in other changes in behavior. I know her well, so I can usually tell when she is not feeling her best.

      Big hugs to your pack. Let us know how it goes.

  24. Kelsey Wharton says

    My Australian Mix 2 year old is still jumping and is way to hyper to have inside. We also have a 4 year old Lab mix. My mom said we could have our lab inside but my auzzie is too hyper. So I have them both outside. At night they sleep in the kennels at night. I am trying to find ways to calm my auzzie down so she can be inside also so I don’t have to give her away. she jumps way to much and hurts my little brothers sometimes. I told everyone to ignore her when she jumps but when she jumps towards my mom, my mom scolds at her saying no over and over. Do you have any tips or anything that I could try?

  25. Teresa says

    Hi, I have an eight month old neutered male Bichon Frise. He is extremely hyperactive and is still biting and pulling at clothes. He is also constantly chewing the furniture despite having access to rawhide chew bones. An elderly member of the household is constantly roaring at him and whacking him with a newspaper. I think this is making his behaviour worse as he defies them and stands barking at them. I am at my wits end. He can be a really sweet dog most of the time but seems to be especially hyper in the morning and evening. I give him a half hour walk every day, because I read if you walk them too much they get arthritis.

    • shibashake says

      I think this is making his behaviour worse as he defies them and stands barking at them.

      Yeah, I think you are right. My dog picks up on my energy, so if I get angry or frustrated, he will pick up on my unbalanced energy and act out even more. To calm him down, I need to stay calm myself and teach him how to behave.

      This is what I do to teach my dog not to bite on me.

      Here are more puppy biting tips that I use.

      As for arthritis, it is best to ask your vet about it. This UCDavis article on arthritis may also have some relevant information. I like UCDavis because they have some good articles on dog health, and they are ranked highly for Veterinary Medicine. Some excerpts from the article –

      Maintaining an active lifestyle is essential to enjoying a good quality of life for many dogs and cats.

      Trauma, obesity and aging are important contributing factors in the development and progression of osteoarthritis in dogs and cats

      Weight control and exercise are essential in managing osteoarthritis. Regular, low-impact exercise is beneficial in maintaining range of motion and muscle mass, thus improving limb function.

  26. Nancy says

    Excellent suggestions! All of these ideas sound like they will help keep my very rambunctious puppy happy and more occupied!! Thanks for taking the time to put these ideas together.

  27. Sara says

    I have a lab Shepard mix who is 1 year old. Whenever I take her on a walk she seems to become very hyper when she sees other people and/or dogs. She is never aggressive but she will whine and lunge at them and it is difficult to get her back under control and continue our walk. She also becomes very hyper when we have people come to our door (jumping, whining,etc). We have another puppy who is 5 months and we thought having a friend would calm her down but nothing yet. I just need her to be a little more relaxed or at least respond better to training commands we’ve taught her.

  28. Mike says

    Hello. I have a seven month old Boxer and Australian Shepherd (mamma was a pure bred boxer and daddy was an Aussie Shepherd. gotta love it when breeders live right next door to each other lol) mix puppy.

    I’ve been keeping him for about a month now. My family wants him gone because he’s always whining or extremely hyper.
    I usually walk him 2 or 3 times a day, but I’ve been sick for the last week so haven’t been able to. I still play with him, though I’m not as active with it as I was.
    For the last week he has been tearing things up, digging, and barking at the neighbor dog. I have 2 other dogs that he is fine with, but they are older and can’t keep up.
    I was walking and playing with him pretty regular but as I said, I’ve been sick with walking pneumonia. I can’t really punish him for the digging because no one sees him doing it to catch him and let him know it’s wrong( he’s not the only one digging, just the one with lots and lots of evidence, the other dogs just have dirt covered noses…Zeus is covered in dirt and his paws are caked with it.) We never catch him destroying anything either, but he is always there caught with the evidence when he was the only one outside.
    So I think it’s mainly due to my not being able to take him on his after meal walks and I haven’t been able to take him to the park for a really good long walk (dogs must be on a leash at all times so there is no free run and play there which really suck)
    His whining has gotten a little better, but not much.
    My family wants me to take him to the shelter, but they are pretty much a 3 days and your done place out here.
    I need to be able to curb his behavior while I’m sick or I’m gonna lose my dog.
    Any idea on how to get this excess energy siphoned off without being able to be as physically active as I really should be?
    I’ve had him since he was 5 weeks old and He is not going to be neutered because I don’t hold with that after having several dogs who were, they just weren’t the same after. When I take him for walks and things, he is not as bad, still tears things up when he’s left alone, but the digging stops.
    Could a lot of this be him going through puberty?
    I know at least some of this is because I can’t take him out and play with him as much as I should.
    I don’t know what to do right now.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Mike,

      I am so sorry you have walking pneumonia. I am currently fighting off a bad flu and it really sucks. Luckily my other half is taking good care of the dogs and making sure everything runs smoothly.

      Puppies need a lot of exercise, supervision, and direction. It sucks that nobody in the family is willing to step in. Other possibilities are to –
      1. Send him temporarily to dog daycare.
      2. Hire someone to help for the interim (pet sitter, dog walker).
      3. Get a neighbor or friend to help out.

      Fetch can be a lower people energy game, but that still requires that we be outside, and the dog needs to be taught how to do Fetch.

      Hope you get better soon.

  29. Kelly says

    I have two young dogs, a 2-year-old French bulldog, and a 11 month old pit terrier mix. The Frenchie is and always has been hell on wheels. He is not mean or very destructive, but he has endless energy and is sort of anxious and very excitable and whines for attention constantly. I simply cannot drain through mental or physical exertion. I have resorted to benedryl on quite a few occasions just to get him to calm down sometimes, and have taken him to daycare on a weekly basis for over a year now. He just comes home from the daycare like it was nothing and actually wants to play more. It’s ridiculous. And recently we adopted that pit puppy as a playmate for him too, she isn’t high energy like him but is able to keep up since she’s a puppy. But even now after having her for 3 months, I notice he is still surpassing her energy levels and wearing her down even.

    Recently we went on vacation to the seashore and rented a house with others. We had many distraction and smart toys for them like kongs and puzzles, and we took them for SEVEN WALKS a day, 45 minutes to an hour each at least. We wanted to make sure they were good tired house guests. But as soon as they would go back to the rental house, they’d get zoomies and want to wrestle and chase each other, fight and tug over toys, etc. Or the Frenchie would walk around whining because the puppy wanted a nap, and/or all the vacationers were just sitting around relaxing.

    The dogs play roughly and loudly when they do play. At home I don’t mind this so much usually, but I could tell that the other people at the house were very irritated by it. We had to leave vacation early because of this behavior, I was so upset. I feel imprisoned by them, I cannot take them anywhere, especially the Frenchie. What is going on and what can I do about it? I have talked to my vet about it and he doesn’t believe me that the Frenchie is this crazy. No one believes me. It’s like he is CONSTANTLY BORED no matter how many walks, games of tug, flirt poles, clicker training, puzzles toys, etc we do with him. My husband and I are at our wits end, our lives literally exist around tiring this dog out every single day or else he makes our lives a living hell. A girl at my work has a husky and it just like “wow” when I tell her all the activities and things we have to do with him.

    • Kelly says

      Basically, this is like a behavior thing, right? Does this sound like a condition or something mental with him? I know you cannot diagnose, but I need to start somewhere. He is not bi-polar, but almost neurotic/obsessed with playing. Does this sound like something you know of or have heard of? I have never had a high energy dog before. I know french bulldog isn’t a high energy breed at all, but for whatever reason that is his personality. I have had dogs before but none like this, so I am just not sure what is normal for hyperactivity versus a real problem, versus just being a young dog.

    • shibashake says

      With Sephy, having strict rules and a fixed routine helped a lot during his younger crazy puppy days. I make sure his routine includes enough exercise, games, training, etc., but we stick to the routine. I also introduce a lot of structure into each activity (i.e. consistent rules) so that he knows exactly what I expect from him and what he can expect from me in return.

      All these things help to reduce stress and help him to calm down because then he *knows* what to expect from his environment and the people around him.

      I also make sure *never* to reward him when he whines – with play, attention, or anything else. I usually ignore whining and just tune him out. If he whines outside, he loses his backyard privileges and has to come inside the house. If he starts getting destructive, then he temporarily loses his freedom and goes to timeout. At the same time, I make sure to reward him *very well* for following house rules and for calmness.

      I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs.

      During play-time, I supervise my dogs closely and manage their excitement level. I make sure to have clear play-rules and I throw in many play breaks so that they do not play too rough or get over-excited.

      Getting help from a professional trainer can also help with troubleshooting specific problems. The trainers we met first start by doing an evaluation session with Sephy. Here, they observe his behavior, environment, temperament, etc., while engaging him in various test exercises. Then they talk to us about what they think the issue is and how we should proceed.

  30. Mackenna says

    My dog is a 1 and 7 month old Shepard lab mix. She is very hyper and she tries to test her dominance on me. How do I get her to know that I’m the boss

  31. Emily says

    We have a German shepherd puppy that is almost 7 weeks old she wakes my family up through out the night. Is there a way I could calm her down before she wakes them up?

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new puppy.

      Where does she sleep? Does she bark during the night and that wakes people up? What does she do that wakes people up? What is her daily routine like?

      Here are some things that I do to train my puppy.

  32. Pearl says

    I have a 10 month old samoyed. She is extremely hyper and love to eat.
    I have ADD when I grew up, so I understand and have patience with her.
    As soon as she is spayed, she will be enrolled in social classes for dog,
    Ruby is very naughty, so I have to be firm with her at all times!

  33. karim gamal says

    i have two german shepherd puppies…90 days now…and i put them in the bathroom with their water bowel and their wiwi pad…
    and i train them everyday for obedience….but as soon as they r out of the bathroom..they start to play with eachother in a very hyperactive way…i just want them to relax with me in the living room and enjoy the TV time with me without them running and jumping on eachother…they r very well trained for basic obedience commands sit , down and stay…
    any ideas for them to relax….???

    • shibashake says

      Some things that help with my dogs in terms of managing their excitement during play –
      1. I supervise them during play time.
      2. I throw in many play breaks, so that they refocus on me, and calm down some before going back to playing.
      3. I teach them clear play rules, so that they learn good social behaviors.

      However, all dogs are going to need daily exercise to drain their energy. Some dogs, especially younger dogs and puppies will be more energetic and will need more structured exercise.

      A well exercised dog will be happy to sit with us and enjoy tv time. I talk about some of the activities I do with my dogs in the article above.

  34. Jo says

    Hi, I have a very hyperactive silky terrier pup that won’t listen to a word I/my family says. She’s too active, she won’t even sit still for a minute. She’s constantly nipping and scratching, and she jumps up on everyone everytime. She also has an aggression problem when it comes to grooming sessions – she always snarls everytime she sees a brush or comb. Other than that, she’s a sweet little dog, but simply a bit out of control most of the time. I want her to know who’s boss before she grows any older and thinks she’s in control of the house. Any advice besides the tips you have given here? :)

    • shibashake says

      Hello Jo,

      Here are some things that work well with my hyper Huskies-
      1. I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program. I make my dogs work for their food and for anything else that they really want. This greatly motivates them to follow house rules and helps me to become pack leader through the control of resources.

      2. I redirect their hyper energy into positive sanctioned activities, like the ones I talk about above. I also set up a fixed routine and a consistent set of rules.

      3. I do bite inhibition training. This trains them to control the force of their bites while interacting with people.

      Here is a bit more on –
      How I trained my Husky puppies.
      How I stop my dog from jumping.
      Touch exercises and grooming..

      With grooming, I start small, go very slowly, and reward my dogs very well. In this way, they associate it with positive experiences and grow to at least tolerate me touching them all over, or putting my fingers and a toothbrush into their mouth.

      They are giving me a lot of trust by allowing me to do these things, and sometimes, grooming is uncomfortable or scary for them. After all, I am invading their personal space, tugging at their hair, and using a lot of grooming implements that they are unfamiliar with. Therefore, I make sure to go at a pace that they are comfortable with, make the experience short, and very very rewarding.

      Here is an article on how I go about brushing my dog’s teeth. I use a similar process for other grooming tasks as well. The key is to slowly build trust through repeated positive sessions.

  35. Gabrielle says

    I recently got a new puppy, she was stray found while on a trip. We assume she’s a shepard mix but we’re not certain. We brought her back home to our (almost) year old male chihuahua who is very calm and settled. But Penny, our new pup, is very hyper and playful and often over powers him, like when their eating for instance, she won’t let him get to either bowl. At first he was playful with her and very welcoming, but its been a little over a week and he’s not listening to commands, cowards down, and even staying isolated when company is around. We think he may feel bullied or jealous, and we don’t know how to handle it. Should we train her and get her to how his accommodation or should we work to him to accept her?
    I would really appreciate some advise, I don’t know what to do!
    Thank you.

    • shibashake says

      Some things that help my dogs get along –
      1. Clear dog-to-dog interaction rules. I teach all my dogs what is acceptable and what is not, while interacting with each other. In this way, Puppy knows what to expect from my other dogs and vice versa. If there are any issues, I step in and manage them. I make sure to be fair and consistent about enforcing the rules.

      2. A place to rest. My young Husky, Lara, has a lot of energy and wants to play all the time. I make sure she does not bother my other dogs when they want to rest. I also set up a very fixed routine and schedule for Lara so that she knows when it is time to play, walk, eat, and most importantly sleep. πŸ˜€

      3. Close supervision during play-time. I supervise very closely during play-time and do not allow humping, stealing, or any other anti-social behaviors. I also throw in many play-breaks to calm my dogs down, get them to refocus on me, and manage their excitement level. I stop play if I notice anyone getting overwhelmed.

      4. Group obedience training. I reward my dogs extremely well when they are all calm, and working cooperatively together for me.

      This is more on my experiences with introducing a new dog into the family.

  36. Nikola says

    Hi! I have a 5 mo old shiba (Luke) who is soo hyper..all the time. He would do this mad dash across the living room at the couch toward your face! I tried your Kong suggestion: I soaked some of his dry dog food for 5 min, and smashed it into a Kong; problem solved!!! Thank you so much!

    • shibashake says

      Heh yeah, frozen Kongs are helpful with Sephy, but Kongs alone are not enough to contain his great Shiba powers. πŸ˜€ Some things that help with Sephy –
      1. I follow the Nothing in Life is Free (NILIF) program and make him work for all the things that he wants, including attention, affection, access to the backyard, etc.

      2. I set up a very consistent set of rules and a fixed routine. Sephy is a lot more calm when he knows exactly what to expect from me, and what I expect from him. I also established a consistent way of communicating with him.

      3. When Sephy was young, I put a drag-lead on him (only with a flat collar, and only under supervision). The drag-lead gives me better control and allows me to more easily catch him when he tries to run away.

      Here is a bit more on my early training experiences with Sephy-

      Hugs to Luke!

  37. Alex says

    I have a 7-month old swiss shepherd/husky mix, who takes a three hour nap in the afternoon, and wakes up around 7am after maybe 8hrs of restless sleep. I’m going to try out your Husky methods, because despite the walks, once a week obedience training, and random obedience sessions at home & games meant to drain his energy, he still manages to get into trouble that may lead us to trying to rehome him. He’s beautiful, smart, affectionate & we all absolutely love him, but we feel at the end of our rope. Any advice, or ways we can keep him quiet at night? When he’s alone at night he howls and somehow manages to move the baby gate before making a mess downstairs.

    • shibashake says

      It sounds like it could be an anxiety issue. Does he only howl when he is alone? Does he howl during the day when he is alone?

      My Shiba Inu, Sephy, used to howl at night when he was young. As soon as we moved his crate into the bedroom, he stopped howling. I think he was anxious, and did not want to be on his own during the night.

      Now that he is older, he will sometimes prefer to be on his own, even during the night. We let him out if he wants to, but he does not get to come back into the bedroom once he chooses to leave.

      Here is a bit more on dog anxiety problems.

  38. Nancy Alvarado says

    Hi, im not certain what breed my dog is she’s half chihuahua and the other half unknown, i got her from a friend’s friend and she’s a year old but she’s too hyper. i lose patience to much and I try really hard but no matter what, whenever I come home or step foot in the yard she jumps on me like crazy and runs around me I’m just not in the mood for that at times. sh’es just too much. HELP!!! I don’t want to give her away but if i have to I will.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Nancy,

      Some things that help with my dogs in terms of jumping-
      1. When they jump, I no-mark (Ack-ack).
      2. Then, I give them an alternate pre-trained command, e.g. Sit.
      3. As soon as they Sit, I calmly praise, and give them some calm affection.
      4. If they continue to jump, then I turn away, fold-up my arms, and ignore them. This teaches them that jumping and not listening = no affection, but Sitting and listening = Attention and affection.
      5. If they escalate their behavior and start biting on hands or clothing, then they go for a brief timeout. This teaches them that if they bite on people then they do not get to be with people.

      Here is a bit more on why dogs jump.

  39. snix says

    i have a very hyper lab..he gets plenty of exercise, he jogs with me and my dad every morning two hours macimum which is kind of hard since we also can’t get him to stop pulling on the leash..

    he takes naps in the middle of the day..we also go to dog parks om weekends..we give him plenty of bones to chew..

    at night when i gey home from work, i play fetch or other games like hide and seek with him for an hour or two.. we can’t teach him anything ecen if i get a bag of treats..

    he’s one year old already and still we can’t work him and he doesn’t even know basic obedience even though we practice it with him everyday

    what i don’t get is that he gets plwnty if exercise and he’s still so disobedieny and hyper.. i’ve just about resorted to trying everything. i’d love for him to get trained by a professional but i can’t afford thatξŒ₯

    • shibashake says

      My Shiba Inu, Sephy, is also challenging to train. It was difficult to hold his attention for any length of time, when he was young. He is also aloof and not very motivated by attention or food. He likes new things though, so he will work for something new, e.g. new toy or new food. He also likes his freedom, so he will work for access to the backyard. He loves chasing games, so that also works well as a reward. Training success depended a lot on identifying what motivated Sephy most.

      With Sephy, I started with very simple commands. The first one that I did was “Look”. I would just bring my hand up to my eye level and say “Look”. If he looks at me, even just briefly, I would mark the behavior (Yes), and play his favorite game with him as a reward. Then, I just keep repeating.

      I also follow the NILIF program with Sephy. Through NILIF, he learns that in order to get what he wants, he first has to do something simple for me.

      Here is a bit more on our early training experiences-

  40. Bobbi says

    We have a 10-week-old Beagador (Beagle/Lab mix), and we saw the game you call flirt pole on Dog Whisperer and he called it furball. Whatever you call it, you can make a great pole from a lunge whip that’s used for horses. Any horse supply has them and I think places like TSC do too. We just tie a stuffed dog toy to the end of the whip and it has a long reach so we can make our little guy run like crazy without wearing us out. It’s also flexible so we can make the toy bounce really easily. Make sure you get a whip that’s rigid enough to hold the toy on the end without bending too much, some of the cheap ones wouldn’t hold up very well. We’ve found this game to be a great opportunity to practice making our puppy give up his toy. We started out using his favorite treats to distract him as we said, “Drop it”, and he’s picking it up quickly! He also sits if he sees your hand go in the treat bag. :)

    • shibashake says

      We’ve found this game to be a great opportunity to practice making our puppy give up his toy. We started out using his favorite treats to distract him as we said, β€œDrop it”, and he’s picking it up quickly!

      Great idea!

      Play time is fun and can be a great teaching opportunity as well.

      Big hugs to your new puppy!

  41. Alyson says


    I recently rescued a one and a half year old pug. She’s my first small dog and she’s a fluffy ball of energy. We go on two walks a day that are an hour or longer. She has plenty of toys and I give her a lot of attention. She’s still SUPER hyper. She’s constantly tormenting my other animals and I don’t know what to do. I would love to let her run around in the yard but she’s an escape artist! When its time for bed all

    ssslshe wants to do is play.

    • shibashake says

      Heh – yeah I hear that Pugs calm down after around 3 years old.

      Does she get along with other dogs? Play sessions with other dogs helped my Sibe puppy drain a lot of energy. Pugs have short noses though, so make sure they do not over-exercise especially in hot or humid weather.

      I also make my dogs work for all of their food. Frozen Kongs were helpful in keeping my Sibe puppy busy and helping her calm down before bed. Couple of hours before bed, we have quiet time so that she gets to calm down. If she is active right before bedtime, she gets too excited to go to bed.

  42. Sarah says

    i have 10 week old male puppy he was given to us at 7 weeks old. He is very super hyperactive. He bites whenever i put a leash on him and bites the bottom leg which is getting to hard. when taken for a walk he pulls so hard, likes to jump on people i had to restrain him. I need help up to my wits now. i have try putting a dog toy on his mouth, no luck on that either.

    thank you

  43. Sarah and Maggie says

    Shibashake- Hi I have my dog going to the science fair. I want her to be calm. What should i do???

    • shibashake says

      Heh, my Sibe puppy Lara also gets really excited when going to people or dog events. The more of them I take her to though, the better she is. I usually start with places that have lower people density, e.g. the park during off hours. That way, she gets used to a smaller number of people, then I slowly make my way up.

      If she misbehaves, I just take her away a certain distance until she can calm down. Then I try bringing her back slowly. If she starts getting over-excited again, we move away again and just repeat. I did this at a Husky event that we went to, and after a bit of this, she was able to calm down.

      What kind of dog do you have? How is she when on neighborhood and park walks?

      Good luck at the fair! Let us know how it goes. πŸ˜€

  44. LeAnn says

    I have a 10 week old siberian husky his name is Gage. He bites constantly, he follows behind everyone and bites their pants. He’s even broken a tooth by doing so. He also goes for fingers and toes alot. We have also tried to potty train him, he wouldn’t use it outside, so we started using puppy pads. He would potty around it, but not on it. This is the first time ever owning a siberian, so I’m not sure what to do. Help? :)

  45. Rebel says

    Hello! I have a 10 month old German Shepherd and he is SUPER hyper. My husband and I leave him in his crate and whenever we let him out he will run in circles for an hour nonstop and grab his toys and beg us to play. We will lay on the couch watching TV and he’ll try to jump on the couch and shove his toys in our face. We have tried to calm him down but all he does is get even more excited. It’s been like this for months and we don’t know what to do. We have tried everything! The calm energy vibe, the food toys, taking him for walks(he is very out of control when we walk him), etc.

    • shibashake says

      Heh – yeah sounds like my Sibe puppy Lara. She is always on the go and always ready to play. πŸ˜€

      Some things that I do with Lara-
      1. When she was younger, I fed most of her food to her using frozen Kongs. That keeps her busy for a while doing something calm, and she is usually ready to rest for a bit after that.

      2. I walk her over 1.5 hours every day and we have several play sessions. Here are some things that helped me with leash training –

      3. We do commands every day – throughout the day.

      4. She plays a bunch with my other dogs – supervised.

      5. We reserve a place at the back of our backyard where she gets to dig.

  46. Karen says

    Hi my dog does very well when we are “alone” I used to have a roomate that did the oppposite of what I tried to practice, Calm behavior being a main one (this person was more hyper than my dog) now my roomie is gone and Im doing the obedience training over again, but when he sees the former roomie again he goes bonkers wild bananas!!! He literally runs in circles and slams into the walls repeatedly. How can I stop this? Xroomie has been warned that i will come down like a samurai if he continues to hype up my dog but even if he’s just standing there quietly my dog engages in this crazy desperate behavior. =( I want control here and I want my dog to be calm no matter who is present.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Karen,

      People desensitization exercises may help.

      The key is to use distance to weaken the strength of the excitement stimulus and only expose a dog to little amounts of it at a time. This allows us to set our dog up for success and slowly teach him to stay calm.

  47. alex says

    Hi I have a 2 year old rottweiler cross husky he is generally well behaved and calm in the house but when we walk him he is a bad puller we have recently started doing lead training (stopping when he pulls and not moving until the lead is slack) which is going well however when ever he see’s another dog he gets so excitable and pulls so badly he doesnt hear anything we say! He isnt aggressive just over excited! We walk him for at least an hour a day so dont think its not enough excercise we dont know what to do to calm him down with other dogs??
    Thank you xxx

    • shibashake says

      Hello Alex,
      My Shiba Inu also used to be really reactive to other dogs. Some things that helped with him-

      1. Being calm. If I get anxious or nervous, he picks up on my energy and gets even more excited.
      2. Neutral experiences. I create space, ignore the other dogs, and make seeing dogs as calm and boring as possible.
      3. Desensitization exercises with other dogs.

  48. CAMILLE says

    hi!, our dog is 10 months old, she’s so very hyper and she always eat and chew everything, when we had a dog walking she’s so very innocence and when she see other people she’s afraid. what will i do?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Camille,
      Yeah puppies think that everything is interesting so they try to put everything into their mouth. When my pup chews on something bad or dangerous, I give her a no-mark (e.g. Ack-ack). This lets her know that the behavior is undesirable. Then I redirect her to chew on a toy. If she redirects, then I praise her and reward her with a game. Very quickly she learned that certain objects are more fun than others because she gets rewarded for chewing on them.

      In terms of people, here are some things that can help dog meetings be less stressful-

      Desensitization exercises can also be helpful-

  49. Hannah says

    Hi i have a problem with my puppy shes only a few months old about 6 or 5 we have taken her for walks and everytime we take her shes getting out of her lead and ot coming back we’ve tried a sorts of leads but its not working someone help please :( im worried that maybe one time shes going to get run over please reply!!!!!!

    • shibashake says

      Do you mean she is escaping from her collar? I use the Premier martingale no-slip collar. It is great at preventing collar escapes. I size it so that at its tightest, it is the size of a regular flat collar. For sizing a flat collar, I just use the 2 finger rule. Make sure to resize as puppy grows.

      Many flat collars slip with use, and therefore may have to be continuously readjusted to make sure that it does not slip over and out of the dog’s head.

      What kind of dog do you have? For smaller dogs, a harness may be more appropriate.

      I also use a 6 foot leather leash during walks. It gives me good control and is great for leash training. Here is more on Dog Leash Training Equipment.

  50. summer says

    I need help with my 13 week yr old puppy.she doesn’t. Play with toys she chewed my socks and she eats everything she had time to grab without me seeing and she is so hiper I dnt know what to do please reply back

  51. Mari's Family says

    hello! Our family has a 10 month old shiba puppy named Mari. She’s a very good girl most of the time, but sometimes she does some destructive things while we aren’t looking (chewing walls, getting things that aren’t hers, etc). We are almost always there to watch her, but sometimes its inevitable (such as needing to do something in another room). We have a kong toy (which uses dry food) but she’s never interested in it. We have tried some of these “puzzle toys”….but she only enjoys them when we’re around-of course :). Do you have any ideas for some puzzles or quiet activities she would enjoy on her own? Thanks so much-and we’re really enjoying this site…it has so many wonderful ideas that we’re working on adding into our everyday routine with Mari. Thanks so much.
    -Mari’s Family

    • shibashake says

      Do you have any ideas for some puzzles or quiet activities she would enjoy on her own?

      Yeah, it is not easy finding quiet activities for a Shiba. Mostly, Shiba Sephy likes chasing games and wrestling with other dogs.

      One thing that Sephy likes doing on his own is chewing. The problem is that it is not always easy to get interesting and safe chew toys. Several years ago, Sephy found a deer antler while out walking and he totally loved it. Seeing this, we bought him some processed deer antler, which turned out to be a bad idea because he cracked one of his teeth on it.

      Now I am a lot more careful about chew toys.

      My two Sibes love bully sticks. Sephy likes them as well, but he only works on smaller pieces. When he gets a large piece, he cannot finish it in one sitting, and gets stressed about finding a good hiding spot for it. πŸ˜€

      Have you tried frozen Kongs? Sephy is not really into those, but my Sibes love them.

      Shiba Sephy also likes shredding things. The issue here is making sure he does not eat the bits and pieces of stuff that he shreds. Sometimes, I let him shred the cardboard stick that you find in wrapping paper. Other times, I put things in cardboard boxes or wrap some pieces of chicken in cardboard and let him work at getting it out. In the beginning I supervised him carefully to make sure he doesn’t eat any cardboard. He seems to be only interested in shredding and not in eating.

      NOTE – Cardboard is not good for a dog’s digestive system so these shredding games would not be appropriate for a dog that likes eating paper or cardboard.

      Another thing I have noticed about Sephy is that he will work on interactive toys by himself if he is hungry. I make him work for all of his food. He gets some for doing grooming and obedience exercises. They rest he only gets through his interactive food toys. A half hungry Shiba is an industrious Shiba. πŸ˜€

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you find other alternative quiet activities. I am always looking for new things for Sephy to do.

      Big hugs to Mari!

    • Mari's Family says

      Thank you! I think we’ll start making her work for some of her food as well. And she also loves bully bars, but she doesn’t always chew on them. She also enjoys shredding too, and doesn’t seem interested in eating it! :) Thanks so much!

      -Mari’s family

  52. Rachael says

    Hi i have a 8month old male lab and i am finding it hard to want to let him off lead when we go to parks or dog beaches because as soon as i let him off leash he will bolt in the direction to the closest dog, and wont stop or come back, i have to chase after him. i dont mind him socializing but i just hate that he runs off. i feel bad not letting him off leash because i know he just wants to play… any suggestions? Thanks :)
    also he goes to obedience training twice a week, but wont listent to any comands when he sees another dog he wants to play with..

    • shibashake says

      Hello Rachael,
      Well, I have a Shiba and two Sibes so I may not be the best person to talk about recall training. Both these breeds are extremely independent, and not really well-known for their recall abilities. πŸ˜€

      I usually start recall training (Come) at home, where there are few distractions. There are a variety of methods that can be used to get a dog to come when called. This article from the ASPCA gives a good overview of all the methods-

      Once recall is very reliable at home, then I tried it in an unfamiliar but quiet enclosed space, e.g. enclosed exercise space at a nearby SPCA, enclosed soccer field. The key to recall training is to start small, and set our dog up for success. Then we can very slowly increase the level of distraction.

      After recall is reliable there, I tried it with a long line in the quiet hiking trails close to my house. There are more distractions there, but I go at off times so that we are alone. After a few times, I decided that it was too dangerous for my Sibe. She has high prey drive, and she bolted after prey. She came back to me after a short time and I also have the long line, but it was enough to convince me that off-leash time for her should only be in an enclosed space.

  53. Brian says

    I am a proud owner of a Boston Terrier/Pug mix named Frankenstein. He just turned 1 and he has always had the problem of not being able to hold in his excitement/energy. If hes home with me and my girlfriend hes relaxed. On the other hand he goes nuts when I arrive home from work until about 30 minutes then settles down. When guests come by, he never eventually calms down. I also get texts from my girlfriend about him acting aggressive when it is just her and Frankenstein. I am very close to taking him to training classes, but money is tight and if we can get him to be calm then we can avoid the expense. Should I invest in the classes? Is it something that a vet can control. I love my pup and just want to have him contain his energy. What do you think about bringing in another puppy into the house? Thank you.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Brian,

      When I arrive home, I usually try to keep things calm. I walk in calmly and go about my own business for a short time. Then, if my Sibe puppy Lara is behaving well and not jumping, I ask her for a Sit. If she does this, I praise her well and give her attention, affection, and treats.

      If she jumps, I no-mark her, fold up my arms, turn away and ignore her. If she tries to bite me or my clothes, she goes into a brief timeout.

      In this way, she learns –
      Being calm & Sitting = Attention, Affection, Treats
      Jumping = Get ignored
      Biting = Lose freedom

      I put a drag-lead on Lara when people come over to visit. I only use it with a normal flat collar and *not* an aversive collar. If she is too crazy in her greeting, I lead her away and she does not get to be with the guests for a short duration. Then, I walk her slowly back on-leash. If she pulls, we move back. If she is calm, we move forward.

      I also instruct guests to ignore her (this also means no eye contact) and only give her attention when she is calm.

      Should I invest in the classes?

      In terms of classes, I found individual sessions to be more useful than group sessions. Group classes were useful for socialization, but I learned a lot more about controlling my dog from individual training sessions.

      Is it something that a vet can control


      What do you think about bringing in another puppy into the house?

      In my experience, getting a second dog only adds a lot more work, and further increases the excitement level. πŸ˜€ I only got my second dog after I had solved most of the issues with my first dog.

  54. Scott says

    I just got my 7 week old Siberian Husky puppy, Anya. I keep her inside, because one dog is enough for me, and I know she needs constant company — I work from home, so I’m always here, I take her for 20-30 minute ‘walks’ every two or three hours to drain off some of her energy. My only problem? She’s very, very hyper. And it’s not quiet hyper — She barks like crazy, almost nonstop, unless she’s in my lap. I can deal with this when I’m on my off time, but when I’m working? Not so much. I don’t mind petting her when I’m busy, or playing with her a little, but I just can’t make her be quiet for any small period of time unless she’s physically in contact with me.

    Is this just separation anxiety, or hyperness? I’d love to take her for real walks, but she hates being on a leash more than anything; She only goes where she wants to go, and I won’t drag her around. That’s mean. But then again, she might be too young to understand ‘walktime’.

    Help? D:

    • shibashake says

      Hello Scott,
      Congratulations on your new Sibe puppy. I love the name Anya.

      In terms of the barking, do you go to her when she starts to vocalize? That is a natural reaction, but doing so rewards puppy for vocalizing, which reinforces the barking behavior.

      With my Sibe puppy Lara, I make sure not do go to her when she is noisy, or to give her any attention. I wait until she stops making noise for a short duration, before rewarding her with my attention. In this way, she learns that being quiet = attention, being noisy = gets ignored. Then as she starts to learn, I slowly lengthen the time that she has to stay quiet.

      Another thing that really helped with puppy Lara is to make her work for all of her food. Frozen Kongs were really awesome when she was a puppy. It kept her occupied, and she would usually drop off to sleep after working on it.

      She also liked playing chasing games like the flirt pole. Sibes really love to run. πŸ˜€

      Here is a bit more on dog barking-

      In terms of leash-training, what seemed to work well with Lara is the red-light-green-light technique. I just stop when she pulls, and only walk when the leash is loose. Sometimes, I turn around and walk in the opposite direction, but most of the time the start-stop works well with her.

      Hugs to Anya.

  55. McKenna says

    I have a two year old husky (we were told by the breeder that her sire was halfwolf). She is very very hyper. I think I’ve seen her exhausted only once in the two years we’ve had her with us. She’s also extremely skittish.
    Now, we’re in the process of finding another dog to be her companion, but do you have any suggestions for what we could do? (we have tried food rewards, she won’t have anything to do with treats or even dog food)

    • shibashake says

      Hello McKenna,
      Some of the things that my Sibes, Shania and Lara enjoy doing-
      1. Digging for earth critters. They really love to dig and are good hunters. I leave a large section of my backyard un-landscaped and they have fun digging there.
      2. Going for walks, meeting people, looking at people, and exploring along the hiking trails. Shania likes going where there are more people, and Lara prefers going on more quiet hiking trails. I take them out for about 1.5 hours each day. When it is hot, they are less energetic.
      3. Playing with each other and other dogs. They also expend a lot of energy playing, wrestling, and chasing each other.
      4. Working for all their food. They get all their food through obedience, grooming, or interactive toys. Sometimes, I also spread some of their kibble in the backyard, and they have fun looking for food under bushes, in the grass, etc.

      Sometimes, I also play games with them. They all seem to enjoy playing chase games such as the flirt pole. I play tug-of-war with Lara, but only with very strict tug rules. Games together with strict game rules, can be a good way to teach them obedience, as well as exercise them physically and mentally.

      Each dog is a bit different in terms of what they enjoy doing most, so I try to identify what they enjoy and then construct fun activities around it.

  56. Katherine says

    I have a 4 1/2 month old Pomapoo. We have had her for 2 months and have gotten her pretty well trained at home. We do obedience daily with ‘sit’ ‘shake’ and ‘lay down’- which she does very well at. Its when we go out in public that she acts like a maniac. Every time she sees another person or another dog she runs after them on her leash and is pulling so hard that she gets herself standing up. She usually doesn’t bark, but rather whines a lot. We have tried since day 1 to have her sit, tell her ‘leave it’ and hold one hand on her back to try to keep her calm. We have also tried picking her up, but have stopped because she wiggles so much and always gets loose. We have also socialized her A LOT since the very first day we brought her home. We have a doggie park that she goes to regularly as well as taking her with us on trips where she has interacted with many other people and dogs. We also just had her spayed 4 days ago and she is already back to her crazy self. We are just running out of ideas and methods for keeping her calm in public. Thank you!

  57. Brittany says

    I have a Golden Retriever/Beagle mix. She is 3 1/2 years old and her name is Tempest. She is very hyper still and jumps up on people. Over her 3 years she has gotten better but still jumps up when someone (friends, family or strangers) shows her affection or enters our home. I have a friend whom is pregnant that is coming to live with me and I am afraid that Tempest will hurt my friend or her unborn baby. What are some good techniques to use to get her to not jump? We have tried the ignore her until she calms but that just makes her angry so she does it more.
    Also, along with Tempest we have an almost 6 year old Terrier mix named Eli. We have recently (4 months ago) moved to Japan due to my husband being in the military. Eli has not adjusted well to our move with his failing eye sight. I was wondering what I can do to help him adjust? He used to be very outgoing and friendly to strangers and a big little lover of children and now he wants nothing to do with anyone outside of our home. He gets so scared when other people are around that he shakes and will either freeze or will tug and pull to get back to our apartment.

    • shibashake says

      What are some good techniques to use to get her to not jump? We have tried the ignore her until she calms but that just makes her angry so she does it more.

      I usually put my dogs in a short time-out if they continue to jump after I have turned away from them. Here is more on my experiences with dog jumping.

      He gets so scared when other people are around that he shakes and will either freeze or will tug and pull to get back to our apartment.

      Yeah, my 3 legged Sibe Shania is also more wary of new dogs and new environments because she feels more vulnerable. What has worked best for her is to quickly establish a fixed routine. In this way she knows exactly what to expect every day, which will help to reduce stress.

      I also did desensitization exercises with her, to help her with things that she is most fearful of.

      Here are a couple of articles on dog anxiety and desensitization.

      Big hugs to your dogs. Love the name Tempest! πŸ˜€

  58. Brittany says

    Hi, I have an eigthh month old pug who seems to not be socialzed, whenever people come around our home, or she hears nosies or voices…when we’re out walking…or in the car nad she sees people or other dogs she starts bbarking. How can I get her to stop barking so I can addressed her fear or the problem, resulting in getting her better aquainted with people and other dogs in a more calm enviroment to get her socialized?

  59. Melissa says

    I have a lab/golden retriever mix. He is extremely hyper and will not stop barking, day or night. He will sit still long enough for you to pet him, but the second you go to walk away he is trying to jump on you and snapping at your hand. He is starting to get very large and frankly, scares me at times. He is so strong and so hyper that it is hard for me to take him on a walk and I’m scared to out of fear that if we see another animal he will go crazy and I won’t be able to control him. My neighbor has already started mentioning him barking so much and I’m worried that they will start complaining before long. My husband wants to get rid of him, but I don’t. I would like to keep him and figure out a solution to make it better. Any tips?

  60. Anonymous says

    Okay, it is now 11:47 PM at night & my wild mixed=breed dog is up & about & not ready to calm down. She’s been going strong since 8:30 AM this morning. She’s chewed just about everything in the house, destroyed expensive cell phones, a large air-cleaning machine, carpet, kitchen tiles, even the flagstone patio which she loves to eat. She’s eaten a chunck out of the leather seat in my old 1985 Jag, chewed up the drain pipes in my back yard, working on my window blinds as I speak, & chases every small animal that comes to my backyard from the woods. She chews off her leash & takes off to parts unknown, thru the woods, running like a gazelle over every neighbor’s yard & can’t catch her. Thought about having her vet get her on medication to calm her down, but hate to have a druggie dog. Yes, I’ve spent a fortune on personal dog training that didn’t work & yes, we take her to the dog park everyday & still, she doesn’t calm down. It’s never ending & driving me crazy. Any suggestions from any of you out there who may have experienced a dog (from the shelter) who acts like this. I’d welcome anything you could offer. Don’t want to take her back to a shelter as I know that was why she was in the shelter to start with, but…………

    • shibashake says


      Engaging her in a dog sport may help because that would exercise her both physically and mentally, as well as get her focused on doing a common task with you. What dog sport works best would depend on her temperament and natural instincts.

      Agility is always fun because there are a variety of different obstacles which makes things more interesting. The only issue I had with agility was that some of the better quality equipment can be pretty expensive to buy.

    • Bryan Nowlin says

      You may want to try taking her out with other dogs and go on long walks that will get her tired. Huskies don’t do well alone and need another dog to work out the energy. We have 2 huskies and they go non stop but don’t damage anything other than their toys. If you can do it I would go on a hike for the day and let her pull you up the hills, by the way you will need a harnes if you don’t have one. One more thing, try not to yell at her. Huskies pick up on voice tone and will go into overdrive so remain calm and you will see a better response. If you have to give her up then try to send her to a Huskie shelter. Good luck.

  61. James Richardson says

    Hi we have a 6 year old Labrador retriever bitch Who is very hyper she is well exercised plays ball gets long walks but in the house is in your face all the time and is terrible round food,we got her a special food bowl because she would make her self sick with eating too quick,she is well trained. Ut can hardly stay at peace for long we have 3 other dogs who are all well enough behaved 2 Border Collies and a collie Cross

    • shibashake says

      Some things that helped with my hyper Sibe pup –
      1. Making her work for her food. She also just inhales her kibble. To control eating speed, she gets her food as frozen Kongs, in Kibble balls and other interactive toys, as part of a Find-It game in the backyard, or as rewards for doing obedience commands.

      2. Follow the NILIF program – I only give her something (food, access to backyard, affection, scratches, etc.) after she does something for me first (Sit, Down, etc.).

      3. She has rules in the house, when she is walking, when she is in the backyard, etc. If she gets in my face, I usually turn away and get her to do a Down. If she is good and does a Down, then I reward her with some kibble and affection. If she continues, then she gets tethered in the kitchen. If she starts to whine, then she goes to timeout.

      In this way, she learns that to get affection, she should do a Down. If she does not do that, and continues to harass people, then she loses her access to people.

  62. Anonymous says

    i have a rhodesian ridgeback/labrador retriever/beagle mix and even though he is a puppy almost an adult he jumps bites barkes chews scratches sprints and snaps at everything

    • shibashake says

      What helped with my dogs is to communicate clearly and consistently to them as to what are desirable behaviors and what are undesirable behaviors.

      I use a mark (Good Boy) for good behaviors and a no-mark (Ack-ack) for bad behaviors. A mark is usually followed up by giving them a reward, and a no-mark is usually followed up by taking something away from them.

      Usually when dogs jump, bite, and bark, they get more attention from us. This is a reward for them, which causes them to jump, bite, and bark even more.

      Here is an article on why dogs jump and some of the things I tried to discourage jumping.

      Here are a couple of articles on mouthing –

  63. Miranda says

    I have an 11 month old fiest/terrier mix who is hyper 24/7. Even if we are running around all day he is still bouncing around at bed time. Any advice on how to calm this ball of energy?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Miranda,
      Some things that really helped with my current Sibe puppy –
      1. Frozen Kongs –
      I just put some wet food in a Bubble Kong and freeze them in the refrigerator. In the beginning, it took about 1 hour for puppy to finish which was pretty awesome. Now she finishes it in 15 minutes, but I tether her while she is working on it and after that she is happy to take a nap for a couple of hours.

      Another Food game that is great is “Find-It”. I throw kibble all over the backyard and puppy loves going around looking for buried kibble. πŸ˜€

      2. Puppy Play Groups –
      After a play-group session puppy Lara is pretty conked out for the rest of the day. We go to supervised playgroups in a dog daycare place nearby which organizes them for free. Another possibility is to invite friendly neighborhood dogs over for one-on-one play sessions.

      3. Hiking at the Park –
      Hiking at the park also drains a lot of energy from puppy. I think it is because there are so many scents, so many people, dogs, a new environment, squirrels, and much more.

      4. Keep things calm before sleep –
      Puppy Lara has a few high energy play sessions with my other dogs in the evening. However, at least an hour before sleep-time I make sure she is in a quiet place and resting.This ensures that she is calm and ready for bed when the time comes. In the beginning I played with her before bed thinking that this would get her more tired, but it usually got her so excited that she couldn’t settle down. Now I give her some time to settle down before bed.

  64. kathrine hedrick says

    hi, i have a 3 year old bosten terrer named kc. he loves people ,but sometims he hurts them on accedent. He is really hyper. i’m not sure what to do about it. I just want to make him calm around peolpe and animals.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Kathrine,
      What has worked well with my Siberian is to keep greetings as low key as possible. Get your guests to follow the no talk, no touch, no eye-contact rule. No eye-contact is especially important because dogs often take that as an invitation to interact.

      When my Sibe was a puppy I also kept a leash on her when people were visiting (only with a flat collar). If she got too hyper, I would use the leash and remove her from the room where the people are. This teaches her that –
      Hyper behavior = Don’t get to be with people.
      Calm behavior = Get rewarded with people affection and interaction.

      Here is an article on how to stop a dog from jumping on people. It has a lot of relevant information on how to make greetings more low-key.

  65. Chelsey says

    Hi, I have a 2 yr old Aussie, we adopted her about 5 months ago. I knew what I was getting when I adopted her, I just never expected her to be this hyper! I walk her daily, and then let her out on a lead 5 or 6 times a day. She has been to a trainer and does very well with obediance training, and we practice it with her everyday. She has a Kong ball, and another one of those balls you can put food in, we have given her bones, and she will be interested in them for maybe and hour or so, and then she is no longer interested. She is constantly on the go! 24/7 she never stops! Her trainer mentioned agility training, but she is over an hour away from where we live and we wouldn’t have the time to take her as much as she would need to go for that exercise. We are really at our wits ends, we don’t know what to do with her anymore! Our trainer has no more ideas. We do have 2 other dogs, including a Pug, which stays in the house with us also, and a Husky, but he stays outside (he prefers it that way, not my choice). She does very well with both of them, her and my Pug play constantly. But it still isn’t enough. Help!

    • shibashake says

      Hi Chelsey,
      One of my trainers at the SPCA has an Aussie and a B.Collie- she says that she spends all her time at home throwing tennis balls for them πŸ˜€

      I don’t know what more I can add – you already know a lot about dogs and are already doing all the right things.

      If you have a large backyard you could get some agility equipment and train her at home. I am sure she will love it. I was thinking of getting some agility stuff for my Shiba at one time, but they can get to be very expensive.

      Another possibility is dog sports. Disc dog comes to mind. It can be a lot of fun and an Aussie would be great at it.

      Flyball could also be fun, and it is something that can be combined with an agility course.

      Biking is another possibility.

      “a Husky, but he stays outside (he prefers it that way, not my choice).”

      My Husky is the same way! She comes in occasionally for food and attention but loves being outside the rest of the time – even in the rain. We have voles in the backyard so she has a lot of fun digging and hunting for them.

      Please keep us updated – would definitely like to hear which activities work best.

    • Chelsey says

      Yes, she plays with tennis balls, we don’t even have to throw them she does it herself. ha ha She’s a nut. :) I did look at some of the agility equpiment, and you are right it’s pretty expensive. I will try some of your suggestions, it’s just like she still needs some other kind of stimulation, but we’re just not sure what that is. It’s funny you mentioned that about your Husky, ours is 4 and we tried to keep him in for about the first 7 months and he hated it! I guess it’s just that Husky attitude he has, ‘it’s my way or the highway’! I’m sure you know what I mean. We live in KY, and during the winter is the only time he even cares about being in the house, during the day he loves playing in the snow, but as soon as it gets dark he’s at the steps begging to get in, but as soon as it becomes light out he’s begging to get back out in it! They are hilarious dogs, and such a joy! Thanks for your input, I will let you know how it works out.

  66. ChrisandLevi says

    Awesome suggestions! I have a hyperactive dog, Levi. Levi is almost 10 months and he is a mix between a German Shorthaired pointer and a rat terrier! He loves every person, dog, cat, you name it that we come in contact with, which makes it hard to walk but with practice he has gotten a lot better.

    Question, Levi loves to fetch inside but I can’t get him to fetch inside. Any suggestions on teaching him how to fetch outside as well.

    Something that has worked for Levi is that I have a friend come over and she stands at the top of the stairs and I stand at the bottom and we have him run back and forth between us. Not only does he enjoy it and release a ton of energy but he is learning to come when someone calls his name. Sometimes I even run them with him and he really likes that!

    I live in a really small town so I had to get creative! :)

    • shibashake says

      Thanks ChrisandLevi.

      That is a great suggestion with the back-and-forth recall. I will often do the same thing with my Siberian! My Shiba is a lazy bum and often will just look at me as if to say – no thanks – lol.

      “Any suggestions on teaching him how to fetch outside as well. “

      Hmmm, what does Levi do when you do fetch outside? Does he just ignore the toy? Run to it but not come back? Get the toy and run around with it?

      Dogs don’t usually generalize commands over different locations, so I try starting from the beginning as if I were teaching him fetch for the first time. Start by throwing just a short distance away and encouraging him to get the toy. Sometimes, I put a bit of peanut butter on it – to get my dogs interested. :)

      Another possibility is to run with the toy a certain distance. When my dog comes to me, I give him the toy, walk a couple of steps away, and call him to me.

      “I live in a really small town so I had to get creative!”

      Levi is a lucky boy! Creative dog owners are totally awesome because their dogs are always learning new things and exploring new things.

      Hugs to Levi!

  67. gsidhu says

    my puppy is 6 months and extra hyper. we take him on walk 15 30 min and play but he still seems to have so much energy. i like the energy but its when he bites and tugs because he wants to play more. he rips tons of clothes and furniture and my parents are thinking of finding a different home for him. BTW hes a lab collie mix

    • shibashake says

      Hello gsidhu,
      Labs and collies are both work dogs so a mix of the two will be pretty high energy. These breeds are usually happiest when they have a job and are mentally engaged.

      After my puppy had all his shots, I started going on longer walks (about 45 mins). I try walking him twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening.

      Obedience exercises are also a great way to exercise a puppy’s mind. I keep each session short (10 mins) but I do many sessions during the day.

      Interactive food toys are also a great way to keep a puppy busy.

      Here are some things that helped me with my puppy –

  68. Lauren says

    I Have a Jack Russel NOT Terrier.

    He is called Stanley and he`s 5 months old.

    I try and train him but he just runs off, barks

    or sometimes bites and scratches.My famiily and I train him propley but he is just to hyper. What should I do to calm him down?

    • shibashake says

      What really helped with my Shiba puppy is to establish some rules and routine for him right away. Consistency is very important when trying to stop undesirable behaviors.

      Every time my Shiba did something inappropriate, e.g. mouths on me – I no-marked him (ack-ack), and redirected him to bite on a toy. If he redirects onto the toy, I praise him and reward him. In this way he learns that biting on the toy is ok but biting on people is not.

      Here are more things that really helped me when my Shiba was a puppy –

      Also young puppies need a lot of exercise- both mental and physical exercise. It would be great to get everyone in the family to participate. Doing joint activities together will help to get rid of all that crazy energy as well as start building a strong bond.

      The methods above helped me with my hyperactive Shiba.

  69. ashley says

    hi ive read your site and im sure that would work but i have a few problems i have to work with you see i have a fawn red nose pitbull that is so sweet and just wants to be with you but i am only with my mom half the time amd my mom works a lot while we are gone so i want to be able to take her to my dads house but she is very hyper in new places and for a while right after we get home.we also have no fence at our moms and our condo is not big enough to play a good game of fetch in also she has to be on a leash outside othrwise she doesnt listen and runs away from u . and at our dads we have a cat and sophie has a huge obsession overcats and i dont know how to control it do you think you can hel me?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Ashley,
      My Shiba was crazy hyper like that as well – except he was not very sweet :) At the time I did not have a backyard and Shiba really did not have a good recall, so I had a similar situation. It is tough because as you say off-leash time helps a lot.
      Some things that helped –
      1. I walked him a lot – 3-5 times a day.
      2. My neighbors had cats so I also practiced cat desensitization exercises with him every time we went out for a walk.
      3. What really helped was some off-leash time especially with other social dogs. My nearby SPCA had a really nice fenced in area and I would take him there and play lots of games with him. Sometimes, he would get to play with the social SPCA dogs.
      4. My neighbor had a really social dog, so I cleared out one of the rooms in my house and made that into his play room. I would go pick up my neighbor’s dog very often and let them play in the empty room.
      5. I also explored doing dog daycare and dog walking. These are great if you have a social dog. My Shiba was very stubborn and did not like being away from his people so it did not work out very well for him. However my Siberian really enjoys going to daycare and getting to meet lots of new dogs and people.
      Hope this helps – let me know how it goes.

  70. Conshy says

    Hi, i have a 3 month year old Siberian Huskey and he is bitin everythin that he can get his teeth in to. He likes to Chew ure hand if u have been petting him. I’m scared incase some child goes to pet him and he bites there hand. He is also very hyper runnin around the house n jumpin on the couches. You got any ideas how i can control this?

    • shibashake says

      Puppies and young dogs especially energetic breeds like the Siberian will use their mouth a lot to explore the environment. What we do with our hands, dogs do with their mouths. It is a way of learning their environment.

      It is up to us to teach our dogs what behaviors are desirable and which are undesirable so that as you say, we can keep them safe.

      What helped most with my dogs is to be clear and consistent when communicating with them. I first establish a mark (e.g. Yes, Good) for when my Husky does something desirable and a no-mark (e.g. Ack-ack, No) for when my Husky does something undesirable. Every time she does something I do not want, I no-mark and get her to do something else.

      A fun exercise that I used to do with my Shiba was I would play with him. When he started biting on my hand, I would Yelp and stop play. The Yelp usually startles him which makes him stop. Then I would just stand, fold my arms, and turn away from him. If he kept biting, I would either leave him alone in his enclosure (if he is in an enclosure), or I would put him on time-out.

      I do something similar for when he gets on the couch. I no-mark him, and give him an alternate command, e.g. off. If he does not comply then I remove him from the couch by body blocking or with a drag lead. If he escalates his behavior and starts biting me, then put I him in time-out. Here are some puppy techniques that helped a lot with my Shiba puppy when I first got him –

      Here is more on puppy biting techniques –

      Also Sibes are extremely energetic dogs. My Sibe is now 2 years old and she is still a go,go,go girl. I take her out hiking for about 2 hrs every day, and she still has lots of energy to burn when she gets home.
      Apart from walking and dog games, interactive food toys are a great way to keep your dog busy and exercise him mentally.


  71. Moose says

    Hey there, so I have this problem with my 9 month old blue heeler/corder collie mix. He is a good dog but my only problem with him is when I take him outside on walks or to play or whatever and when he see’s another dog he will start whining and raise his hackles and pretty much ignore me completely. It almost looks like he is being aggressive but if I were to let him go he would just run over there tail wagging and and try to play with the dog ( I have yet to see him be aggressive towards any other dogs). He just wants to play so bad and see the other dog he goes crazy and will even start combining his whines with barks.
    Now I have trained him and he will sit,lay down, stay and come on command that is of course as long as there isn’t another dog around. Also I don’t think this is an exercise issue because in the summer I would take him hiking with me and it would be 90+ degree’s and he is slowly trotting along from shade to shade barely going faster than a brisk walk and after a hour of that he seems tired, but if a dog was to show up he would instantly have all of his energy show up and take off after it.
    Don’t know if this helps but when we got him from the animal shelter he was 4 month’s old and the people brought him out and a few other dogs to get some exercise and all he did was follow around this older dog and tried licking his mouth (being submissive the whole time) while the other dog just tried to play fetch and snap at our soon to be pup every minute or so because of how annoying he was being, yet our dog still kept on following him like he was the only thing in the world.
    Also a side note we just got a puppy last week and they get along great and I can give him commands and he will listen without a problem. And usually after 20 minutes of playing with a new dog he will listen, it is just when I walk him and he wants to see every dog behind the fence and play with them and if he can’t get to them he goes crazy.
    So anyways my question is how can I get my dog to not spaz out and completely ignore me every time he sees a new dog?

    • shibashake says

      Hi Moose,
      My Shiba Inu is very dog focused as well. It may be partly genetic, but I speculate that it was also partly because he did not have too much human attention when he was a really young puppy.

      My Husky came from a really good breeder who spent a lot of time socializing her when she was young and she is very people focused.
      In terms of meeting other dogs while walking you want to create as many neutral experiences as possible. It is also important to stay very calm throughout the whole thing.
      With my Shiba I would always get a bit stressed when I saw another dog and that only made him go even more crazy. Once I controlled my own energy, things improved significantly with his behavior as well.

      Then I would just move him along. In this way he learns that when he sees other dogs, it is boring and nothing happens. Holding the leash close to the collar will give you much better control to just move him along. The more meetings you have where nothing happens and he just moves along, the less excited he will get in the next meeting.

      I also take note of houses with really reactive dogs and make sure I cross the road to create more space between them and my Shiba. I will also cross the road when we meet excited dogs on the street.
      At the same time, you can do desensitization exercises with him with other dogs in a controlled situation. This will slowly teach him to focus on you even when there are other dogs around.
      Here are some of the techniques I used on my Shiba for meeting dogs on the street –


  72. jdavismp says

    I have a one and a half year old German Shepard dog. I have found that just walking and obediance is not enough, often I would get more tired than him. One thing I have tried that really tired him out and not me was to use a bicycle to tire him out. Basically I had to make sure I could easily get him on a heel and spent a little time acclimating him to the bike. After that I would go at a light pace, enough to get him to a light trot. So far he is so tired he has very little energy and I am not worn out. One thing to always keep in mind is start slow and always make sure to keep an eye on your dog to avoid injuring him/her. This is a good idea for those who do not have alot of time and energy to invest in walking.

    • shibashake says

      That is a great suggestion jdavismp.
      You should write an article about how you trained your dog to run with your bike. I think many people would find something like that to be very useful – including me! :)

  73. Charlotte says


    i have a 91/2 week old male bichon frise

    he has about a 3 hour hyper phase which usually starts at 5.30am!

    in addition to chewing wires/cables, and getting friendly with my brothers leg!! and barking!

    any advice?

    he isnt lead trained yet, so walks are out of the question as he doesnt move! he starts training classes nect sunday but this only hafl an hour evry sunday.


    • shibashake says

      Hi Charlotte,
      I would definitely stop the leg-humping. When my dog does that, I no-mark him (Ack-ack), and move him off. It may be easier to do using a drag lead with a flat collar.
      Then, engage him in doing something else -obedience commands is usually a good exercise. If he goes back to humping, then put him in a brief time-out. With consistency and repetition, he quickly learned that humping will get him into a boring room with nothing to do.

      For chewing, I get my dog some safe chew toys. When he chews on something he should not, I no-mark him (ack ack) and redirect him onto a sanctioned chew toy. If he starts playing with the chew toy, then I praise him and play with him. I sometimes put a bit of food on the chew toy to attract his interest.

      In general, we want to give our dog some structure, and teach him what are acceptable behaviors and what are not acceptable behaviors.
      Here are some things that helped me when my Shiba was a puppy –


      I also make him work for all of his food. This will help him expend some physical and mental energy –


      Hope this helps. Let me know how it goes.

  74. troubled canine at play time says

    I have a lab mix that is just full of energy. due to my husband recent allergies to hime, the dog has to stay outside. I have a very large yard but no fence, so Sam has to stay on a chain, because he likes to run away. When people come to my house, they avoid getting near him because, he jumps, scratches, and mouths a lot. And it’s dangerous, for small children, because he will nock them down, and get scratched by him tryinng to play with the kids. I try everyday ( though I have not had him long) to go outside and give him some attention, and try to pet and play with him, and come back with bleeding scratches, and ripped shirts from him tugging on the bottom of my shirt or pant leg. I also try to relieve him of some of his energy by walking him. But he pulls so hard it’s nearly impossible for a woman my size to walk him. I just don’t have the strenth. He is not aggressive, but people are scared of him. I have been told to put him in obedience classes, but I live in a house that is about 30 mins. away, from the city. What should I do?

    • shibashake says

      I definitely second the obedience class suggestion. That will help to teach Sam what are good behaviors and what are undesirable behaviors. It will also give you the tools to control him inside and outside the house.

      The chaining is also not ideal as he doesn’t get any exercise and has a very small space to explore. It would be great to fence up the backyard so that he can have free rein. That will allow him to run, and help him get rid of some of his energy.

      It is boring to stay in a single place all day with nothing to do. I make my dog work for his food, and I get him some high quality interactive toys and good chew toys. Make sure the chew toys are safe and durable – i.e. he can’t hurt his teeth chewing them and he can’t swallow large pieces of them.

      I also do training exercises with my dog every day. First I establish a consistent mark (e.g. Good) and a no-mark (No or Ack-ack). When he jumps, no-mark him (ack-ack) fold up my arms, and turn away from him. If he continues, I walk away from him (this assumes that he is on-leash and can’t follow me – I get a friend’s help if necessary). As soon as he is calm and not jumping, I say Good, and start walking towards him. As soon as he starts jumping, I no-mark again and and turn away. This teaches him that not-jumping gets him my attention, and jumping gets no-attention. With consistency and repetition, he will quickly learned not to jump.

      Walking him every day will also helped. A head-halti can help keep large dogs from pulling with very little force.

      I also teach my dog the “sit” command. Sit is useful because when he jumps, I can just give him an alternate command, i.e. Sit. Once he does it, I can praise him and treat him. This refocuses the undesirable behavior into something positive. I usually combine teaching obedience commands with treats and bite-inhibition exercises.

      For a mouthy dog, bite inhibition really helps. To teach bite inhibition, I hand feed my dog his food. I hold the food in a fist and feed him little bits slowly, if he grabs too hard, I yelp ‘Ouch’ and stop feeding him temporarily. After waiting a bit, I try again. If he uses a soft mouth, I praise him and keep feeding him. We can also start by using a metal spoon to feed a dog if he bites too hard on our hand. It is uncomfortable to bite hard on a metal spoon so that can help to teach a dog to reduce the force of his bite. Once he starts to learn, we can switch to hand-feeding.

      Sam sounds like a really sweet dog who just needs to learn what are our human rules, e.g. when meeting people, etc. There are many more things that they will teach in obedience class, and it will help with control and bonding. Plus it will be fun for both you and Sam.

      Labs are work dogs so they are highly trainable. πŸ˜€

  75. Gloria says

    Well I Have a Male australian shepeard and he really has a biting problem and also he is overly hyper and we dont know what top do with him at nights

    • shibashake says

      Hello Gloria,
      Australian Shepherds are wicked smart and they can do really well with obedience. They do have a tendency to nip though, being a herding dog.
      Some of my experiences with nipping –

      Being a work dog, he also needs a lot of exercise during the day. I make my dog work for all of his food, walk him at least once every day, and do multiple short obedience sessions with him. I also follow the NILIF program so that obedience becomes a way of life.

      Good luck!

  76. HKBarbie says

    Thank you for this article! It’s very helpful!

    I have a 7 month old extremely hyper border collie/golden retriever mix. I’ve had him for about 3 weeks now. He lives in the backyard because my mother is allergic to animals, but I’m out there working/playing with him several times for several minutes a day.

    When I try to transfer him off the chain to the leash to walk him, he starts to take off running extremely fast. When he’s on the leash, he’ll start jumping up and nipping at my arms and hands. He does this at the beginning of every walk, and it makes it hard for me to walk him. If he sees another dog or person during the walk, he’ll get excited and start jumping on them or on me again.

    He weighs about 45 pounds now and is too big and too strong to be nipping and jumping. It seems like his previous owners didn’t train him at all.

    He learns very quickly, and after ten minutes he already understands “sit”, but when he’s hyper and jumping up, it’s like he doesn’t hear the command and completely ignores it. I’m planning on taking him to a friend’s house soon to let him run around freely and play with their dog (they have a huge yard that’s not fenced in), but I’m afraid he’s going to run off so fast that I’ll never find him.

    I’m getting him fixed next month in hopes it will calm him down some and not make him run too far away from me. Do you have any suggestions for letting him loose at my friends’ house? Anything else to make him calm down?

    • shibashake says

      My Shiba used to do leash biting as well. This usually happens when he gets overly excited, and then redirects his excitement or frustration onto the leash.
      More exercise, both mental and physical, helped a lot. I started doing short but frequent obedience sessions with my Shiba every day. Make sure to do an obedience session right before the walk so that you get him used to listening and focusing on you, then take him out.

      The article above has more on the things I tried with my Shiba for leash-biting.

      As for playing with your friend’s dog, that sounds like a good idea. Introduce them slowly and make sure to always keep things safe. Some dogs may get protective over their home territory, so that is something to look out for.
      Also, you may want to keep your dog on a really long lead at first to make sure he doesn’t run off. They have 30 foot or even longer leads that people use to train their dogs on recall and such. Make sure to only use a flat collar and *NOT* an aversive collar.

  77. Lass says

    I have a staffy who is nearly one years old now he is very hyper when people visit the home and alsovery hyper outside on walks i cannot let him off the lead and he pulls almost all the time. ive tryed almost everything i can think of to stop this behaviour as i have owned dogs before but he is the most differecult one i have owned so far he also crys alot in the home and seeks constant attention he is the same when outside with people always jumping up and generally doesnt listen to anything i say. Please help!!!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Lass,
      Some things that help with my dog –

      1. Train him to give polite greetings.

      When he jumps on people, I instruct them to turn away from him (don’t move away- just turn) and totally ignore him (no talk, no touch, no eye-contact). I also no-mark him (No, ack-ack), and move him away from the people as soon as he jumps. When he calms down and gives me a Sit – I move him back to the person and let him try meeting again. By repeating this exercise, he learns that jumping means don’t get to greet people, but paws on the ground means affection and attention.

      2. In terms of pulling check out –

      Draining some of his energy before the walk will also help.

  78. Firestorm says

    I have raised quite a few dogs in my life, including a wolf-hybrid (wolf-dog, depending what your view is), but I have never had as much trouble that I do now with my one year old male lab mix.
    From the time he was seven weeks old, he ran and pulled, jumped from high heights, and ran and ran. I would give him two walks per day, two hours long each as often as I could.
    During the winter months as he grew older this was quite dangerous as there was much ice and he would pull and pull. Nothing I did worked. Not the heel command. Not wearing him out by playing with him prior to the walk.
    I would let my wolf hybrid play with him, and eventually she would even get exhausted from him. I would spend time playing with him, and I would provide him with activities, such as the Kong ball, fetch, jump for it. I’ve trained him to sit, lay down, stay, and come. But it takes me three times of repeating the command to get him to listen. Yes, I’ve used treats and rewards for praising. This was how I trained my wolf hybrid, and all of my other dogs. So, I know how to train a dog. In fact, my previous retriever mix was so well trained even the city police were impressed with him. But the one I have now is more than a handful.
    I had him neutered at three months based on the Vet’s recommendation. We believed it would calm him down, but even after a year old, he is still as hyper. I had to get a head halter to walk him on an easier method, but he still manages to pull and jerk. I’ve tried tips and advice from people just like you. I’ve tried the alpha command recommended to me (That was how I actually trained my wolf hybrid, but she was much different of course). I’ve tried the sit and stay, which works a little bit, but not for long.
    It got to the point where the vet prescribed him medicine to calm him down. It worked for a while, but it soon became apparent one pill wasn’t enough, not even combined with long walks, wrestling, training, playing, etc. But I cannot keep giving my dog medicine. He is on a high protein diet, as he eats the same food as my wolf-hybrid, and he has been on this diet since he was given to me as a gift after my retriever mixed passed away last year.
    This really baffles me as to his behavior. The vet asked me what his breed was. He is part black Lab, part Poodle, and part Golden Retriever. I was then told these breeds were the worst to breed together at the same time, because it caused deep behavioral problems.
    Now my question is this. What advice can you give to me that will tire my dog out and keep him behaving on his walks and in the home? Because I’ve tried every advice I’ve been given.
    Although tonight I did try something new. I filled his Kong with some dog food, and stuck peanut butter on the top with some more dog food stuck to the kibble.
    He was busy for about ten minutes with it, then busily bouncing and chewing the Kong around the large room, and now he’s just rolling it around while he licks at it. But there must be more I can do. I may have to try out that fishing lure game with him and see if that works.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Firestorm,
      You seem to have done a lot of research in this area already. Some other things that may help –
      1. Finding him a good daycare and putting him there once or twice a week. This will give you a break and if you find a good daycare, they will tire him out by providing him with many play sessions with other dogs.
      2. Picking up the pace during walks. You could try jogging with him, doing roller-blading, or cycling with him. Only do this under the direction of a professional trainer so that you keep things safe for you and your dog.
      3. Let him carry his own water during walks. Give him a dog backpack during walks and let him work by carrying his own water, and your water. Only do this if he is totally healthy and does not have any joint issues. Make sure not to overload him.
      4. Make him work for *all* of his food. Use more challenging interactive food toys. The Buster Cube is good as well as the Omega Ball.

      5. Maybe enroll him in an agility class. An agility course is great because it gives both mental and physical stimulation.
      Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes.

  79. hiditi says

    What do you suggest for a super hyper dog (when it comes to inside the house or the backyard), totally anti-social dog (when it comes to just about anywhere that’s not inside the house or the backyard), and completly agressive dog (when it comes to strangers in the house or the backyard). Thanks.

    • shibashake says

      Hello hiditi,

      My Shiba is also somewhat dog reactive so I understand some of the difficulties that you are going through. Some things that helped me with my Shiba include –

      1. Desensitization exercises

      I slowly desensitize my dog to people first and then to other dogs. In general I try to help my dog to re-associate people and other dogs with positive experiences. This article has more on desensitizing a dog to other dogs.

      The process is similar wrt. a human. I make sure to keep things safe. I always have my dog on a lead and and not within bite range of the human. With desensitization to people, we can also have the person toss our dog some good food from a distance. This will help him associate new people with yummy food.

      2. Obedience exercises
      I do several short sessions of obedience exercises with my dog every day. This helps to drain some of his energy and help me with control inside and outside the house.

      3. Make him work for all of his food.

      4. Shorter but more frequent walks

      I take him out for shorter but more frequent walks around the house. This allows me to bring him home quickly and do a time-out if he acts out (e.g. leash bites etc) during the walk. However, he can still get his much needed exercise.

      The more I can drain his energy, the more receptive he will be to the desensitization and obedience exercises.

      I also highly recommend getting some help from a positive reinforcement professional trainer. A trainer will be able to observe your dog’s behavior in real time, and come up with a training plan that is safe and suited to your dog’s needs.

  80. clair says

    my friend has a very hyper rottwieler she takes it for walks every day but its hard o socialize because everybody things the dog is mean because its a rottwieler its annoying when you walk ur dog and if a kid comes up to pet her the parents rush over and say dont touch that dog its mean

    • shibashake says

      Hello Clair,
      I know what you mean. I have a Siberian Husky, and some people think she is a wolf hybrid and are afraid of her. It is best to just move on with a smile :) Some people are also just afraid of dogs in general because they may have had bad experiences before.

      The good way to socialize my dog is to first introduce him to all my friends, and acquaintances. People I know will more likely to listen to my instructions on the right way to meet a dog. Sometimes strangers will do crazy, unexpected things. One time I met a lady who tried to pick up my dog without asking and without any warning.

      Doing obedience commands when people are around can also be very helpful. When people see my Husky sitting and being calm, they are more likely to approach.
      Hope this helps.

  81. Roisin says

    I have a 9 week old Springer spaniel and she is always hyper for about 3 hours non stop, is there anyway to calm her down? also, do you have any tips on how to get her to respect the older dog in the house? im also getting an 8 week old springer tomorrow, do you think she will react? Thank you πŸ˜€

  82. Anonymous says

    I have a black lab, and i take her on walks, but I’m getting a tad bit bored of daily walks, and “play with the stick” or my dog getting very muddy in our stream/cattails. I wish i had a simple way to exercise my dog, that doesnt bore me or my dog.

  83. shibashake says

    Hello Roisin,
    Hope things are going well with your two puppies.
    My Shiba was really hyper too when I first got him. Some things that really helped –
    1. Making him work of all of this food.
    2. Plenty of exercise – off-leash play-time with other puppies really tired him out. Walks are also important after they get fully immunized.
    3. Puppy class – training was fun for me and really good mental exercise for my dog.
    As for the older dog, make sure you give him as much alone time as he wants. He should have a safe area, e.g. kitchen or crate where he gets to rest away from the young’uns :)
    Share some pictures of your puppies with us. Would love to see them.

  84. Sunny Robinson says

    We have a spastic and energetic red merle Australian Shepherd who is always happy to see everyone. I’m pretty sure the tongue she whips everyone with (even in a passing hello lick) is linked to her hyperactive compulsion. If you snap your finger to tell her to stop doing something, she licks herself on the side or leg once or twice for comfort before darting off. She can’t stop wiggling or licking or running. It never ends! Lol.
    I think all of these tips you give will be very useful for her! Thank you for the hub.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Sunny,

      I love the look of Australian Shepherds. And red merle is such a unique coat. I have seen blue merle Shepherds, but never a red merle one.

      And yeah Autralian Shepherds are very high energy – although someone told me that the Border Collie is even higher than that. I just can’t imagine – lol.

      Do you have any pictures of your girl in your hubs? Would love to see her.

      Let me know how it goes :)

    • Sunny Robinson says

      That’s a great idea. I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll put together a hub all about my Aussie girls. Thank you! :)

  85. Prajesh says

    I have a golden retriever and he never stops being hyper, i tried kong but he still is hyper and he gives up after. It is almost impossible to take him for a walk, what should i do?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Prajesh,

      Hyper is most often due to too much energy and not enough activity to release that energy. How old is your dog? What activity does he do every day?

      Does he pull on the walk? When does he pull – all the time or just when he sees something interesting? Does he bite the leash?

      For pulling – a possible short-term solution is the Gentle Leader head-halti. It allows us to control large dogs with very little force. This allows us to take our dog on longer walks for energy release. However, I still keep up with some regular leash training with a flat collar.

      Some of the things I do with my dogs every day –
      1. Walks.
      2. Obedience training.
      3. They work for all of their food.
      4. Play games (For a retriever – Fetch would be a great game to play with your dog)

    • shibashake says

      Thanks Tiger,

      Oh she will so love to play Fetch :) What is her name btw?

      I wish my dogs liked playing Fetch more. Usually they will Fetch once – and then they just look at me as if to say – “I got it the first time, you get it the second time” – lol

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