06 Mag HYPER DOGS
Dogs seek attention from you. By paying attention to the hyper dog during outbursts, you’re reinforcing the very dog problem behavior that you’re trying to eliminate. The next time your dog is jumping or nipping at you in an overexcited way, give it a try — no touch, no talk, no eye contact — and see how you fare. You might be surprised how quickly the dog settles down.
Work the body.If you have a high-drive dog from the sporting or herding groups (picture a Border Collie), or even a mixed breed dog who seems to exhibit those same “can’t slow down” tendencies, your dog is going to need a new workout plan and a coach to go with it—that’s you!There is no universal canine exercise standard, but it’s a safe assumption that if your dog is in constant motion and unable to settle down even at the end of the day, he probably needs more exercise than he’s getting. You can vent some of that excess energy by playing focused games with your dog, like tug and fetch. Both games are excellent energy burners, and when they are played with rules they are transformed into mini training exercises.
Work the brain.Taxing your dog’s body will help to calm him down, but there’s an equally important body part that needs to be exercised: your dog’s brain.Games that incorporate nose work, like “find it,” also force a dog to tap into his senses in a new and challenging way. Finally, treat dispensing puzzle games that make your dog work for his food will turn meal times into brain-teaser times.
Instill Manners.A dog who jumps all over you when you try to clip on his leash at walk time, constantly nose bops you for attention, and barks at you when he wants his dinner might seem hyperactive, but these inappropriate behaviors actually signal a lack of manners rather than a problem with hyperactivity. Manners training will teach your dog how to engage with you so that he gets what he wants— whether that’s food, attention, play, or access to the outdoors—in a way that incorporates impulse control, which is often the missing link in seemingly hyperactive dogs.
Reward for Calm Behavior.Taking the time to connect positively with your dog when he’s calm, like when he’s resting in his bed or hanging out quietly near you, will encourage him to perform that behavior more often. Remember, behavior that is rewarded will be repeated! Acknowledging your dog’s appropriate behavior with quiet praise and a gentle pat will help him understand that when he settles down he receives positive attention from you. This small change in your daily interactions with your dog can reap surprisingly big rewards.