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Hyperactive Dogs: Causes and Tips for Calming Your Energetic Pup

Dog playing with tennis ball


Just like humans, each dog possesses their own unique personality and habits. Some pups tend to be more relaxed and low-key, and on the other side of the fence, you find hyperactive dogs. And, of course, many dogs fall somewhere in between these two extremes. But if your canine companion resembles a tornado with fur, it can become a problem, especially if you're not expecting it.

What Makes A Dog Hyperactive?

If your pup seems to have boundless energy, gets into mischief, and jumps about, you might assume they're hyperactive. However, the more likely scenario is that your dog isn't genuinely hyperactive; but instead, they may lack certain things they need. These needs are primarily adequate exercise, stimulation, proper diet, and positive social interaction.

Actual hyperactivity shows itself in several ways, including a short attention span and anxiety in familiar surroundings.  Also, your dog would likely exhibit increased baseline respiration and heart rate. 

Therefore, before assuming your dog is genuinely hyperactive, consider if they have the necessary means to satisfy all of their needs. Keep in mind, while some breeds are more relaxed and content to chill, others need a lot more activity and stimulation.

9 Of The Most Hyperactive Dogs

As you look at this list of hyperactive dog breeds, consider the previously mentioned insights. These breeds aren't necessarily hyperactive as much as they're more prone to hyperactive behavior since they are such high-energy breeds. If dogs require a lot of exercise and have a strong drive for social engagement and mental stimulation, they'll act out if they don't get their needs met. 

The following breeds require ample opportunities for both physical and mental exercises. But, when owners don't provide these pups with these necessary opportunities, it will lead to things like destructive behavior and wild antics. When a dog starts acting out in these ways, it can appear as if they're hyperactive, which is why these breeds tend to get this label. 

Here are ten breeds with high activity levels and desire a lot of mental stimulation; they’d also prefer not to be alone. Consequently, you'll often find these breeds on lists for the most hyperactive dogs.

Siberian Husky
Border Collie
Labrador Retriever 
Australian Shepherd
German Shepherd

Will a Hyperactive Dog Calm Down With Age?

Due to physical limitations, an older dog will become less active. However, your dog will still need some sort of stimulation.

Your older pup can still benefit from engaging toys like the Rolly Cannoli or puzzle-style interactive toys. Barring any physical restraints, a senior dog still benefits from a walk, albeit a shorter and slower one than in their youth.

Dog catching frisbee

Tips For Calming Hyperactive Dogs

Take a moment to think about things you might do when you get bored or antsy. Maybe you pace around the room, grab a bag of cookies, or even attempt silly stunts and challenges (hello, TikTok). The point is, you do things you might not otherwise do if you had a positive way to channel your energy.

It can be similar for your dog, and letting hyperactive behavior go unchecked will lead to various issues. Your dog will not only be unhappy but can get destructive, snippy, even aggressive. So,  try these tips to help redirect your pal’s hyperactive behavior.

Give Your Dog Something To Do

So, the best thing you can do for a hyperactive dog is to give them something to do. Many dogs were initially bred to do specific jobs, and over the years, those jobs might have disappeared for some pups. So, giving your pup special tasks or providing them with some challenges can work wonders.

If your pup seems anxious, spread some tasty peanut butter on the Neat-Lik Mat and let your dog enjoy some calm-inducing licking action. Items like this, along with interactive toys, are also a great way to provide mental stimulation for your dog.

Provide Lots Of Exercise

In addition to giving your pal something to do, make sure to schedule enough time throughout the day to take your pup on walks. If your dog needs lots of exercise, consider a jog or hike. If your pup likes a challenge, set up an obstacle course or agility course for them or enroll them in local canine events. There are all sorts of fun ways to ensure your canine companion gets the proper form of physical activity. 

Teach Your Dog Some Fun Tricks

If it’s a challenge your dog wants, then give them a challenge. Basic training is essential for any pup, but beyond the basics, what if your dog wants a little something more? Teach your dog some fun tricks like shake, rollover, and even how to dance. You can also work with your pal on more advanced behaviors like retrieving certain items or opening and closing doors. Just make sure you are ready and willing to stay consistent and positive with the training experience.

Ignore Hyperactivity

Yes, you want to address hyperactivity and help your pup, but don’t react to the undesirable behavior. If you give your pal attention when they’re hyperactive, you’ll only reinforce the very behavior you’re trying to thwart.

Consider Helpful Products

You can try certain products to lend a helping hand, like calming sprays and diffusers. There are also calming collars that emit pheromones that can assist your dog in staying calm. But, don’t rely solely on these items. 

It’s essential to make lifestyle adjustments and behavioral changes to truly help your dog live a healthier and happier life. Calming products should be used as a supplement to these changes, not in place of them.

Choose Your Dog Wisely

It’s important to consider your lifestyle and schedule when choosing the right dog for your family. It’s also wise to thoroughly research your dog’s breed as much as possible. If you don’t have the necessary time and energy to devote to a high-energy dog that requires a lot of mental stimulation, then you would probably do better with a calmer, more laid-back dog. 

Of course, if you hardly have any time in your schedule, you should also consider if now is the best time to get a dog. Remember, no matter what kind of dog you get, they still need at least some of your time and attention, plus a whole lot of love.

See Your Vet

If you attempt these different ways to help ease your dog’s hyperactivity, but the behavior persists, schedule a vet visit. There could be more at play with your furry friend’s behavior, and your vet can help uncover possible underlying issues.

Can A Dog Have ADHD?

It is possible for a dog to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Dogs with ADHD get very restless, easily startled, have high energy levels, and can seem like they have no control. 

However, these pups exhibit these behaviors despite having adequate exercise as well as mental and social stimulation. Your dog might even struggle with sleeping and focusing on various tasks. Therefore, it’s important to consult with your vet if your pal’s hyperactivity persists after you’ve exhausted all of your options. 

Looking for more helpful tips on how to improve your pet parenting skills? Then, check out the rest of our blog for valuable resources and insight into your furry family members.

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