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. 😀
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.
I have an approximately 1.5 yr old rescue who is a Shiba mix. He is very chatty and an expert in the Shiba scream.
Since he is a rescue, we know nothing about his background other than that he was found running at large. He has many scars, one that looks like it was a serious abdominal injury. He is missing bits of his ears and tongue. He was very thin and covered in fleas and fly strike and had a serious upper respiratoelry infection when we got him.
Here are the problems. He is terrified of any human besides my 20 yr old daughter and myself. Especially men. Even hearing them or seeing them thru a window. Oddly, even at the shelter, he did not fear us.He is terrified being outside, tho when he manages to avoid his fear he enjoys being outside. He is terrified of loud noises like an ambulance, motorcycle or even loud cars. He is terrified of other animals including dogs, squirrels, birds and even tiny lizards.
Obedience classes are out of the question at this time. We’ve had him 5 weeks and he has been neutered and his body weight is now normal and he jas had all his shots and is very healthy. We are slowly working on basic commands. So far he knows sit and off. He doesn’t respond to either when overly excited and he usually does fairly well about going out to eliminate tho he has wee accidents usually first thing in the morning. Our highest day count without an accident is 3.
Inside, he is quite affectionate and loving and an absolute tasmanian devil. He wants to nonstop play interactively and when he gets excited he bites and chews on arms, feet and even faces. The more excited, the harder he bites. He does understand no bite and if you go limp he stops but the minute you move he bites again. Its playful, not mean. We try redirecting with toys but the minute you become slightly distracted, he bites again. He’s a young dog and full of energy but we have no good way to burn it off. Advice would be gratefully accepted.
My son recently went on a coastal hike where there were many wild dogs roaming. A particular dog latched onto him and his mates and remained with the group walking for 5 days. On his return home, my son brought the dog with him as the dog was now way out of its natural territory. This appears to have been a huge mistake as the dog clearly has an abundance of pent up energy and is very frustrated. We have spent a fortune on fencing to stop him getting off our large property. The dog presents with 2 opposite personalities…… He displays wild behavior during the day but at night is the cuddliest happiest docile chap. He shows huge aggression towards any other dog without being provoked in any way.
We clearly have messed with nature and should never have brought him out of his enviroment.
We are considering driving him back to where he joined up with the group and releasing him.
Do you think he will revert to his natural instinctive ways and survive, or would it be kinder to have him put to sleep.
First and foremost why should putting the animal to sleep even be an option. It’s not his fault this all happened so why should he die.. Thats horrible.. He’s a living breathing animal.. not a tissue to be thrown away when done with.
If you’re going to keep him, you need to spend the time and effort in training him and taking him to obedience classes and work with him.
Or if thats not an option, talk to a vet about what they think is best for the dog, you can call and ask for advice, it’s free if you don’t want to spend the money. Ask if he could he go back to the wild or would he be better off being rehomed to someone with more experience and a more suitable home life situation.
Failing that… try contacting an animal conservation for wild dogs, or someone who deals with high energy dogs or feral dogs and explain that you removed an animal from his pack and home to bring him into your family and then decided he was too much work so you’re debating if you should release him or kill him.
Hopefully someone will help and either take him off you and give him a better home or rehabilitate him to the wild so he can survive back in his natural habitat.
Either way hopefully you and your son have learned a valuable lesson. However I’m still baffled how having him put down was even an option.
hi we just got a 2yr 10 month old shiz su . he has been to 3 homes befor us . he use to live with 4 kids so he is realy hyper and jumps up at people and humps people . he barks when my nanna leaves the house and dosnt obay simple comands . it panics me when he barcks or scraches the door because we live in a elderly peoples home . what can i do ?
(sorry about spellings )
Living in an elderly person’s home should not matter at all, although it does make me wonder why you have a dog in the first place if you’re worried about the elders. If you just wanted a dog, try one which is at least 3 yrs or more and a breed known for being friendly and calm. Corgis, English Bulldog, Brittany’s, Labs once they’re older. You want a low energy dog.
You need to train your dog, spend time with him and if able take him to obedience classes. If you don’t have the time to commit find someone who does. Trainers will train your pet while you’re out at work or away. There are Doggy Daycares which offer all manner of services.
Of if you don’t have the time, money or will to do any of that, take him to a no kill shelter say you’re sorry you bit off more than you can chew and hopefully someone more equipped will take him on. Or find someone who wants him and has the time, money and energy to put the effort into working with him.
is it neutered it really helps and get one thing it really likes so when she goes out it has the smell of her so can sit or play with it till back
There are places ,if you can afford it where you can take your dog and leave him, to be trained to basics , money well spent in the long run.
check out on the internet for place near you . two week camps.
OR you can start basic training your self ,
SIT , WAIT ,LEAVE , COME , DROP.
Weigh out his daily food and use it for training so he is working for his food , check out a book by DIMMER , AMAZON. ANY FOOD LEFT OVER HE GETS AT THE END OF THE DAY.
If he likes to play ball , great get him running twice a day then fun time then do training in between , read as many dog training books as you can. watch , tv, its me or the dog all good ideas.
working with a dog is persistants and kindness.
The dog knows persistant works so you have to be more persistant or the dog will train you ! GOOD LUCK. JUST SOME IDEAS
We have a 6month old Amstaff Tyson, i potty trained him by 3months old. He asks to go out. We do treat finding exercises, 10-15 min obedience training couple of times a day, he has couple of friends he plays with, he gets nice long walks and hikes. and on top of that he plays with our cat quite a lot. He is not very food orientated when excited though. And as i live in the country where people don`t really care about dog training it is difficult to find a doggy friend which knows the basic commands and has almost zero discipline. When Tyson sees another dog, person he wants to go and play and if he cant get it he starts communicating (whining in all different sounds). the same is with ppl coming over. I have to train our friends when they come over – no touch, no look etc and I have to admit it is the most difficult part. It is usually easier just to put him in his crate until he calms down. After that it depends on the people`s energy how he treats hem (he also is trying with everyone how rough he can play and usually I am the babysitter who has to stop the people acting wrong) He is not into playing fetch but tug – war. I will try frozen Kong toy if it works for him. Been thinking to start agility when he is old enough. I am hoping that with age and consistency we will work through the excitement issue. You have any extra ideas?
I have five dogs 1.giant snauzher, Sophie, 10 2.bashan Maltese, Boo, 10 3.english setter, Davy, 10 4.bashan frisée, 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.
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!!!
Your vet may not have mentioned this, so I am drawn to write. 20 yrs in Bulldogs, rescue and have a vet tech background.
Some. (Not all) Vets hesitate to tell some owners WHY their dog has breathing problems. A well bred bulldog from a reputable breeder will have had its trachea size checked and health clearances done. However some less than reputable breeders do not do clearances, and breed unhealthy dogs.
Have your vet (and if hey don’t do it, ask for a referral) check your dogs soft palate, tonsils, and see if it has pinched nostrils). Your dog may need a surgery to remove all this tissue so he/she can BREATHE. Does your dog vomit frothy foam? Vomit after eating? Signs of a surgery needed. If not checked, surely a dog with breathing difficulties will live a much shorter life and succumb to pure exhaustion, pneumonia, etc. if you cannot afford surgery, there are financing options available through your vet, go fund me accounts, or surrender your dog to bulldog club of America rescue if you absolutely are at a loss. http://Www.rescuebulldogs.com.
Then, after the treatment and healing, sign up with a great trainer and learn with your dog. Bulldogs in general are so very smart, and wanting to please, that they are a true pleasure to train with and work with. A treadmill on low ((walk)for short periods (10min)is always a great way to do a quick exercise session if you can’t go outdoors(too hot or too cold out) but nothing beats the mental and physical stimulation of a great walk outdoors around the block. A “bully stick”(never rawhide”)or stuffed Kong is great for training”settle” on a mat or wherever your dog should go to rest and quiet down.
Best wishes to you and your pup
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!
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.
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!
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?
This article from the ASPCA has more on how to introduce a new dog to existing cats.
In terms of biting, I do-
1. Bite inhibition training.
2. No-bite conditioning.
3. Structure and control.
More on how I deal with puppy biting.
More on how I train my puppy.
I had the same problem when introducing a new kitten to my three dogs. My vet said to let them go and work it out themselves as long as they are not hurting each other. Mine did work it out and now love each other. As for being hyper, I can’t help you with that. I’m still working on that with one of my dogs. Good luck!
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.