Crazy Canines: Hyper Dogs and How to Handle Them
Having a dog is a rewarding experience. Schertz Animal Hospital appreciates how much (wo)man’s best friend does for our soul. There is even scientific research supporting the value of the human-animal bond!
As wonderful as they are, dogs can have some frustrating tendencies. Hyper dogs fall into the category of ‘hard-to-love’ at times. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have just as great a bond with them as with their more demure counterparts, though. Learning to live with a hyper dog is possible, and you may just find them the most endearing of all.
Why High-Energy Pets Happen
While many dogs get labeled as hyper, true hyperactivity disorders in dogs are actually pretty uncommon. Most of what we see touted as hyperactivity is actually just a normal dog with a high energy drive.
Some pets are more prone to having higher energy than others. Hyper dogs tend to be those who are:
- Fall into certain breeds, especially herding breeds
- Lack proper stimulation
- Lack exercise
- Have a subpar diet
While having a hyper dog can be a frustrating problem that can manifest as behavioral issues, with a little work it is often very possible to live together in harmony.
Hyper Dogs and How to Live With Them
Before bringing a dog into your home, it is helpful to do a little research. You can’t always predict which dogs will be high energy, but you can often determine which ones are more likely to be. For instance, if you have a full time job, a new baby, and like to travel, a Border Collie puppy may not be your best choice.
If you already have a dog who is too high energy for you, though, all is not lost. There are some simple things that you can start right away to help.
Get physical — Many dogs lack the appropriate amount of physical activity each day. Engage your pet in games like fetch, chasing laser pointer or other toys, or going for a job. If you are up for it, doggy sports like agility are also great fun.
Blow their mind — It is just as important to tire your dog’s brain as it is to tire their muscles. Working on learning new tricks, introducing nose work, and using puzzle toys for feeding and treats can help keep your pet’s brain fresh.
Back to the basics — Basic obedience can help to work your pet’s brain and instill some manners that can help make hyper dogs more tolerable. Enroll in a local class or even just take a few minutes a day at home to work on these basic skills.
Reward, reward, reward — Positive reinforcement, or rewarding your pet for the behaviors that you want, can be powerful. Only pet your pooch when she is sitting calming. Offer a treat for not barking. Start a play session when your dog has been patiently waiting for you to finish your work.
Of course there are some medical problems like neurological conditions, anxiety disorders, and thyroid issues that can look a lot like a hyper pet. Be sure to call us if you pet is exhibiting concerning behavior. We are here to help you enjoy your dog as much as possible, no matter his demeanor.