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.
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.