How to Tame a Hyper Dogby Tammy Dray
All that bouncing can drive you crazy.
Doggie bouncing off the walls and driving you crazy? Living with a hyper dog can be fun -- but also a bit nuts. The good news is that many puppies will slow down as they get older. The bad news? Some breeds are naturally hyper and will retain their bouncy craziness throughout life. If you're afraid you'll go crazy, you can intervene and make sure all that energy is channeled the right way.
Move more. Sure, that sounds exactly the opposite of what you want to achieve, but in order for your hyper doggie to calm down, he first needs to spend his energy on something. If morning walks are not enough, Rover might benefit from going hiking, trying agility obstacle courses -- call a local dog training facility to see what they have available -- and having play dates with another hyper doggie at the local park. Can't afford the time and expense to take him out on long trips every day? Head to your own backyard and play catch until he's exhausted.
Calm down yourself. Hyper dogs sometimes pick up on the excitement and stress that their owners are projecting. So resist the temptation to yell at Rover -- no matter how much he's getting on your nerves. And no jumping, screaming or anything of that nature unless it's play time and you're trying to get Rover to join you to burn some excess energy.
Try alternative medicine and natural calming methods to bring down his energy. Lavender and chamomile are both calming scents. Light a scented candle or add a few drops of essential oils to Rover's bed. Pet stores and health food stores sell aroma diffusers you can plug into the wall to keep the aroma flowing throughout the room. Valerian and skullcap are two calming herbs that are available as capsules or tincture, but talk to your vet before trying them.
Train, train, train. Just teaching your doggie basic commands like sit, stay or roll can help channel his energy more effectively. If he mastered the basics already, work on teaching him tricks. This not only gives him a way to focus his energy on something useful, but it can also help relieve boredom, which could be partially responsible for the hyperactivity.
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