September 30, 2021 4 min read
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes with a range of personalities as unique and varied as humans. However, some dogs have a great amount of energy constantly running around, trying to grab their owners attention….
….. and potentially leaving a tiny trail of destruction after them.
"Not everyone likes teddy bears I guess"
Antics that can leave even the most patient of owners frustrated.
And because we don’t like seeing your beautiful furniture destroyed - or your favourite pair of shoes chewed on, here are 7 tricks to help keep your four-legged friend calm and happy.
Dogs are generally empathic creatures and are extremely attentive to your actions and reactions. For example, if you expect that your dog is about to freak out and this stresses you, then I guarantee he will pick up on your stress and freak out too. Your dog sees you as its leader and if the leader feels stressed, your dogs will sense that and go into protective mode.
A human state of mind carries over to the dog. Distract yourself, think of something nice that makes you feel confident and don’t be on edge waiting for the first “woof.” When it comes to the behaviour of dogs it is good to remind yourself that they are intelligent creatures. With the right training and bonding they’ll let you know when something is wrong.
Everyone’s patience breaks sometimes, especially when the dog barks like crazy or goes into a frenzy to the point of exhaustion. This is more than understandable and, in the end, we are all human, right? However, dogs are more attentive to your tone of voice, rather than the word that is being said. If youshout ‘QUIET’ it reinforces their loud behaviour because they want to follow their master and they will want to ‘yell back.’
And if you own multiple dogs? They’re going to join in too.
Secondly, when you yell at your dog it doesn’t pay attention to the command which means that your furry friend will likely ignore it. Furthermore, every punishment leads to more distrust or even shyness towards you, but does not stop the hyperactivity.
You can get your hyper dog to calm down if they are distracted enough.
So, do something unusual, jump in the air, run, play with his favourite ball by yourself, lure him away with a delicious treat – the main thing is that you get his attention.
You can then divert this attention for small, calm exercises, for which your four-legged friend is praised and rewarded.
'Winston with his favourite healthy dog treat!'
Learning immediate termination of the play isn’t beneficial for sport dogs and those who bark obsessively on the leash or in the car. Quitting when it’s fun hits a hyperactive dog particularly hard and he will look for alternatives to release his extra energy.
If you have a hyperactive dog, one way to spend all their energy is to take them to the local dog park and let them play until they become tired. Then, you can use the time on the way back to the car to let them wind down with a gentle walk.
Just like humans do with exercise, gently winding down after a period of increased activity and playtime will help them calm down and get into a routine.
Kennel training lets the dog know when he is safe to switch off physically and rest. Send him into a kennel or on his bed and make him lay down. Sit patiently in front of it and be silent. If he wants to get up, repeat your ‘lay down’ command until he breathes more calmly and his head becomes heavier.
When your restless furbaby begins to enjoy the quiet, reward him verbally with a calm and positive voice, give him a pet or his favourite treats.
Make sure to practice this first at home without distraction before moving slowly to an outside setting.
Just like humans, our fur babies also need some tender-loving care. A massage is a great way to bond with your dog while also helping to stimulate circulation and relax their muscles.
Sit down next to your dog and slowly pet him with one hand that never leaves the dog’s body: forward, sideways, gently backwards, from neck to tail. Before you end the massage, feel how your dog relaxes and give him some positive reinforcement.
Impulse control is difficult to teach to an overactive dog, but with the right amount of care (and patience!) it can be done.
The magic words are “stop!” and “go”. Throw a ball and hold the dog tight at first when they want to run. After the "go," let them grab the ball and give him praise when they follow the command.
Later, teach your dog to stop from the run (you can use a drag line to help at the start). Finally you can teach them these commands in the middle of an exciting tug-of-war game.
We taught our dogs Winston & Jett to let go of everything when we say 'thank you'.
For those of us who have fur babies who have an endless amount of energy, it can be challenging getting them to calm down. With the right tactics you can, over time, teach them self-regulate their behaviour depending on the situation and help them to relax.
We taught our dogs Winston & Jett to let go of everything when we say, ‘thank you’.
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