When you frequently spend hours playing fetch in the park or going on lots of long walks during the day, but your dog is still running around in circles, you might recognize what it is like to live with a high-energy dog. These apparently tireless dogs are a delight to be around, but training that wriggly giggly dog is not easy. High energy dogs are treasured for their big personalities and joyful characters, but dog shelters are usually full of former high energy dogs that were considered too much to handle.
Many owners are quick to label their high-energy dogs as problematically hyperactive. but is that a reasonable assessment of your pet dog’s actions? Many owners are left wondering whether or not excessive energy is actually abnormal in a dog. The truth is that owners can contribute to helping use up their dogs energy by organizing lots of life-changing activities for your dog. Read on to discover some effective ways to handle high energy dogs.
What High Energy Looks Like?
Hyperactive dogs are really rare. If your dog has the inability to completely relax even in familiar surroundings, a really short attention span, and physical signs such as a high heart rate, they are possibly the typical high energy dog. So, when there is no medical reason for your dog’s high energy, then perhaps there are things that you can do to calm your dog down.
Owners frequently make mistakes with their high energy dogs. The worst of these mistakes is giving up. Quitting on your high energy dogs comes in a lot of guises including:
- Taking no action to break the energy cycle and simple allowing your dog’s behavior to continue;
- Physical punishment which is always harmful to your dog. Trying to stop bad behavior with a physical action just keeps your high energy dog moving;
- Taking time out from your dog and leaving them in the back yard.
It is most likely that your high energy dog is not getting some of their physical, psychological, or social requirements met each and every day if they can not stop moving. High energy dogs who have difficulty settling down might be working under the influence of numerous things such as your dogs breed, an absence of the right sort of stimulus, or even a poor diet. Caring for this kind of high energy dog can sometimes seem like a full-time job, nevertheless, there is optimism for your family if you learn some effective ways to handle high energy dogs.
Related Post: Dog Toys
If you have a dog who jumps all the time, pulls you everywhere on their leash, continually nose bumps you for your attention, and barks at you all the time, these unsuitable behaviors may, in fact, be a sign that they have a gap in their basic training rather than a problem with high energy. By reintroducing basic training, you will be teaching your dog how to participate with you appropriately so that they get what they need such as food or attention, in a way is better suited to both of you.
The central concept in basic training is teaching your dog to behave in a way where they have to be sitting still in order to get anything that they want. Before you throw that ball for your dog, pop on their leash to go outside, or place their food bowl down, first teach your dog to sit and wait. As soon as your dog sits, reward them with what they need, with no additional treat required. Your dog will quickly appreciate that by sitting patiently, it makes great things happen. With consistency, if you always remember to involve the sit before doing anything for your dog, they will start to offer you the sitting position as an alternative to high energy dog behaviors. If you are looking for more options, check out our guide on the best dog leashes.
The first thing to reflect on is your dog’s exercise needs set against what they are really getting on a daily basis. When you own a high energy dog from the herding groups or a mixed breed dog who appears to display an inability to sit still for long, then your dog will need you to think about making up a workout plan that packs in lots more exercise.
Every dog is different and there are no official suggestions for what dog exercise levels are normal, but it is a safe guess that when your dog is in relentless motion and is incapable of snuggling down at the end of the day, then they perhaps require more exercise than they are currently getting. You can exhaust some of that surplus energy by playing intensive games with your dog such as fetch. Playing games with your dog is an exceptional energy burner, and they can be turned into small training exercises.
There are other ways to upgrade the quality of the play. Contemplate getting your dog involved in some sort of dog-related sports like agility training. Organized sports are more likely to exhaust even the most untiring dogs. If your dog relishes the positive company of other dogs, you can also call into a busy dog park for some positive and playful social interaction to burn off all that boundless energy.
Get Your Dog Thinking
Getting your dog to move more will help them to calm down, but there is a correspondingly significant body part that wants to be regularly exercised too- that is your dog’s brain. Psychological exercise is a remarkable way to wear out your high energy dog so that they stop demanding an all-day commitment from you. Most dogs are energetic athletes, meaning that it is not always simple to exercise them so much that they become exhausted, but it is however unexpectedly easy to exercise their brains until they are worn out.
Try something as unassuming as a hide and seek game with the clicker, which inspires your dog to think creatively and to try out new ways of doing things. You could also try teaching your dog a new trick on a weekly basis which will involve your dog in thinking hard to focus on getting it right. A busy mind is not always easy for busy dogs to keep up with the tricks as it tires them out. Games that include nose work, such as sniff and find also make your dog tap into their natural senses in a novel and thought-provoking way. Lastly, give treat dispensing games to your dog that will make your dog work hard for their food treats and act as a real brain-teaser.
Rewards for Still Behaviors
It can be appealing to sneak around when a high energy dog finally chooses to take a time out by themselves, nonetheless, it is vital to recognize those instants when they are acting suitably and taking life easy. Many dogs learn that we only cooperate with them when they are engaging in wayward behaviors, so they learn to do the bad things in order to get your attention, this is even when it is annoyed attention.
Take the time to show positive attention to your dog when they are being calm. This positive attention, like a gentle pat when resting they are resting in their bed, will inspire them to do that behavior more often. It is the case that behavior that is positively rewarded will usually be repeated. Recognizing your dog’s appropriate behavior with silent praise and a gentle pat will assist them to understand that when they settle down, they obtain positive attention from their owner. This minor change in your day-to-day interactions with your dog can earn astonishingly big rewards.
Related Post: Dog Treats
Consider the Food
It can be appealing to just grab a huge bag of cheap dog food at your local store without giving it to much thought, but what your dog is given to eat will have a direct impact on your dog’s high energy behavior. Low-cost dog foods are characteristically loaded with ingredients that your healthy dog does not want like additives and coloring. Just like eating junk food will affect human moods, feeding your dog a low-value diet can influence their behavior.
Recent research has drawn correlations between high energy dogs and certain types of dog food ingredients. Subsequently, it makes lots of sense to feed your dog a high-quality diet. Even better, natural food with easy to recognize ingredients, without meat by-products and minimal preservatives is best for your high energy dog.
Overall, if you are in any way concerned about your dog’s energy levels, or if you have observed an unexpected change in their behavior, then it is important to talk to your veterinarian who will also be able to advise you on some more effective ways to handle high energy dogs. Training a high-energy dog will need persistence and commitment from you. It will not always be easy for you to remain calm, but it will all be worth all the effort in the end. Never let small set-backs dishearten you, and do not give up on your high energy dog.