Puppies are bundles of frenetic energy that you hope they will soon outgrow. But if your dog is a herding, hunting, or working dog, energy is in their DNA. These dogs were bred to have boundless energy so that they could keep up with all their required tasks.
This endless energy doesn’t always translate well into domestic living, however. If you find yourself with a dog who just won’t settle down, don’t worry.
There are some great methods out there to burn off that excess energy. Here are three ways to handle an energetic and hyperactive dog.
Let Them Run
For most hyperactive or energetic dogs, the best solution is frequent exercise. A dog who doesn’t get enough exercise might be jittery, unable to focus, and unable to settle down and relax.
Remember that the kind of exercise you’re doing and the breed of your dog matter. A long walk after a day in the kennel might be the perfect amount of exercise for a schnauzer but not for a border collie. A working breed like a border collie might need to run and play ball in the backyard before they can settle down for the night.
If you don’t have the time or energy to run your dog each night, consider sending them to doggy daycare while you’re at work. They’ll get all their energy out during the day and be tired and ready to cuddle when you get home.
Teach Them Basic Commands
Once you’ve ensured your pup gets the proper amount of exercise, you can begin teaching them practical commands. These will help with your dog’s behavior on a day-to-day basis. Start with the basics, like “sit,” “down,” and “stay.” Use “place” to teach them to sit and stay in their dog bed.
Using these commands regularly will help your dog understand when it is time to settle down.
Related: Puppy Training Basics
Give Them Jobs
Working breeds love to work! Find small “jobs” for your dog to do and practice them regularly throughout the day. The mental stimulation will help siphon off some of their boundless energy.
“Jobs” can include small tasks like “touch”—your dog touches your hand with their nose—or sequences of commands— “sit,” “down,” “stay,” “roll over.” Some breeds also do well with performance events, such as fieldwork, agility training, and herding.
These three ways to handle energetic and hyperactive dogs should give you a great start to getting a handle on your wiggly dog’s behavior. However, every dog is different, so modify these techniques for your dog and lifestyle.
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