Dogs are just naturally boisterous, excitable characters. However, if your dog is an out of control dynamo, it probably comes down to one of 3 things – not enough exercise, anxiety or leadership issues.
I hope you’ve noticed the common thread here. All of these are things you control.
Helping A Bored Dog
A common factor for many over-excitable dogs is that they are simply bored. The dog gets no regular physical or mental stimulation. He lays around all day waiting for your return, and when you arrive he explodes into action.
Fortunately, the solution is simple – your dog needs to be exercised. All dogs, regardless of size need it, but very few get enough.
How much exercise do they need? That depends on breed, age and physical condition. If you have a Bulldog, you’ll probably get away with a leisurely half-hour walk around the block daily, if you own a Husky, be prepared for 2-3 hours of high intensity work (at least!).
Dealing with Separation Anxiety
A common cause for over-excited behavior is separation anxiety. This is particularly true of dogs that are left home while the owner goes to work. Here are some things you can do to address the behavior;
*Stop Rewarding Your Dog – By this I mean stop giving attention, whether positive or negative, while the dog is running around, jumping up and barking. Once the dog has calmed down, give attention and maybe a treat to re-enforce the desired behavior.
*Mix-up Your Routine – Dogs pay a lot of attention to your habits. Your dog will know in great detail, the drill you go through each time you leave the house. You may not even be aware of it, but your dog is, and every time he notices it, his separation anxiety is triggered.
*Limit Access – Don’t give your dog the run of the house when you’re away, restrict him to a smaller area. You may even want to consider training your dog to stay in a dog crate when you’re not around.*Provide a Distraction – Keeping your dog occupied while your away will significantly reduce his anxiety. Something to chew on or a puzzle to solve, like a Kong toy, should work well.
Be the Leader
A dog that is uncertain of his place in the pack hierarchy will always be anxious, because he’s not sure how to behave. What can you do about it? Give him some basic obedience training like “sit”, “stay” and “down”.
Training provides discipline and mental stimulation. It also establishes your leadership. Once your dog accepts this, he’ll naturally calm down.
Applying these 3 principles will have a noticeable effect on your dog’s hyper-active behavior. Keep in mind that not all dogs were created equal. Some dogs (and some breeds) are just by nature more boisterous than others.