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.

Hyperactive Dog Tip 1

The best medicine for a hyper dog is calm energy.

One of the most important things to remember if we have a hyper dog, is that we should always try to remain calm.

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.

Hyperactive Dog Tip 2



Make our dog work for his food.

A great way to exercise our dog mentally, is through the use of interactive food toys. Some good ones include the Buster Cube, Premier Busy Buddy Collection, and of course Kongs.

Frozen Kongs are great for when I have to leave my dog home alone. I just put some wet food into a classic Kong and freeze it. My dog has fun licking and chewing at it, and it helps to keep his mind occupied.

I also try to figure out new ways to make my dog work for his food. For example, sometimes, I will put his food on some paper, and then bunch up the paper into a ball. Then, I push the paper ball into a Holl-ee Roller toy. My dog usually has a fun time figuring out this food puzzle!

Another thing that works pretty well is the Egg Babies dog 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.

Sephy and Shania have lots of fun trying to get food out of the Egg Babies toy. The Egg Baby is a soft-toy though, so some dogs may just chew and 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.

Hyperactive Dog Tip 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 on the handle and tied some rope through it. Finally I just attached the other end of the rope to the 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 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 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.

Hyperactive Dog Tip 4

Do obedience training with our dog 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 a 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.

Hyperactive Dog Tip 5

Walk with our dog around the neighborhood, or go on a fun hiking trip.

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.

Hyperactive Dog Tip 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 have more social dogs. In addition, the dog playgroups are well-supervised, and therefore much 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.

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Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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! :D

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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. :D 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.
      ~~[AKC]

      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.
      ~~[Wikipedia]

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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.
      http://shibashake.com/dog/how-i-trained-my-husky-puppy#bite-training

      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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.
      http://shibashake.com/dog/second-dog-introducing-a-second-dog#play-time

      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.
      http://www.apdt.com/petowners/choose/

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. karim gamal says

    hello,
    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. :D

      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.

  20. 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. :D 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-
      http://shibashake.com/dog/shiba-inu-training-secrets

      Hugs to Luke!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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 that

    • 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-
      http://shibashake.com/dog/how-i-trained-my-husky-puppy
      http://shibashake.com/dog/how-dogs-learn-how-dogs-think

  24. 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, “Drop 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!

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