Calming A Hyper Dog
The other day my 4-year-old Beagle (from a rescue shelter) stood on his hind legs (which he’s very very good at) and helped himself to part of a muffin with chocolate chips that was near the edge of a table. The gobble was gone in less than 60 seconds. By now, I was thinking about candy, because this Beagle didn’t like cookies, as far as I knew. I was kicking myself for putting that muffin too close to the edge of the table, and was on the phone to the local vet emergency line to check to see if there was anything I needed to immediately do.
My Beagle, Jesse, did become a bit hyper, running around the living room, giving off some Beagle barks and howls – all as if there was something to get really excited about. But his heart rate was normal, which the vet told me to check. And everything seemed normal in the rest of his behavior and responses. So, as the vet said, the type of chocolate in the muffin wasn’t effecting Jesse too much. And he was all calmed down within 45 minutes or so.
My dog is not normally hyper, which is defined below. He gets excited, raring to go, and can do dog-talk to get attention, pull on his leash, sniffs everything – but that is Beagle normalcy.
And the chocolate muffin episode which scared me and reminded me about food placement on the table (and we never give him human food from the table or elsewhere) showed that my Beagle is not hyper.
However, hyper dogs do have loving pet parents and here are ways to work with hyper dogs.
Symptoms of a Hyper Dog
Here are the symptoms of a clinically hyper dog, which according to vets is very rare:
- Frenetic activity
- Impulsive behavior, such as running out into traffic
- Inability to relax completely, especially in familiar environments like the home
- Being overly reactive to regular stimuli, such as food, noises, or people
- An inability to focus on any task and an especially short attention span
- Physiological symptoms like elevated heart rate and heavy breathing, even when not active
Some dogs can just be hyper as part of their nature, but are not clinically hyperkinetic.
5 Ways to Calm Your Dog
- Exercise – Yes, exercise is number one as it releases energy and pent-up activity impulses. The minimum is 30-60 minutes in the morning, and 15-30 minutes in the late afternoon or evening.
- Alpha Structure – alpha is the pack leader in the hierarchy of dog packs, so you have to work to establish yourself as the alpha to your dog. Not a tyrant, but a firm leader in behavior. There are many books and online discussions on this.
- Obedience Training – perhaps the alpha position needs to be inculcated in your dog through an obedience trainer who works with your dog and you.
- Toys As A Calming Device – dogs in general love toys or puzzles and they can be effectively used as a calming device in times of hyper activity or toward an overall more calm dog.
- Supplements That Calm Hyper Activity in Dogs – supplement treats that have the CBD (cannabidiol) extract from hemp are the most potent supplement for calming dogs across a range of symptoms or behavior displays.