How to Calm Down a Hyperactive or Anxious Dog

While there's information available about some shelter pets, some may have mysterious pasts, so try to be aware of what may have happened to your pet.

Hyperactive Dog - Excited dog leaning on its owner

Specific breeds often need more exercise to stay happy and healthy.

Dogs are full of energy and love to run around and play. But that energy can sometimes get out of hand and become too much for us humans to handle! If you're looking for ways to help your highly energetic pup calm down, Hartz has some tips on how to manage your pup's energy and anxiety, so you can keep them happy and relaxed.

Why is Your Dog So Energetic?

There can be several reasons why your dog is energetic or overactive. It could be as simple as knowing what their breed requires for exercise and play, or it could be something more complex like lack of exercise, fear or anxiety, or a reaction to certain types of food.

High-Energy Dog Breeds

Certain dog groups have more energy than others – and specific breeds within these groups often need more exercise to stay happy and healthy. These groups include:

  • Sporting breeds, such as spaniels, setters and pointers
  • Working breeds, including shepherds, retrievers and terriers
  • Herding breeds, like collies and sheepdogs
  • Toy dogs, such as Chihuahuas or poodles

If your dog falls into one of these groups, giving them plenty of exercise and playtime each day can play a big role in their health and happiness.

Dog Personality and Stress

In addition to your dog’s breed, their personality can also contribute to their energy and stress levels. A few common personality traits that lead to high energy and anxiety in dogs include:

  • Fearfulness and reactivity: Dogs who are fearful or reactive may become more excitable and overactive when they feel threatened or anxious.
  • Intelligence: If your dog is very smart, they may be more prone to boredom and become overstimulated easily.
  • Sensitivity: Some dogs have sensitive personalities and may quickly become overwhelmed or stressed by loud noises, new people or environments, sudden changes in routine, or other triggers.

Calming Techniques for Dogs

Hyperactive Dog - Dog running with orange Duraplay ball in mouth.

Playing fetch is a great way to burn energy and keep your pup focused.

Dogs are known for their high energy levels and love of play. But if it’s too much to handle, there are different strategies you can try to help your pup manage their energy, depending on the reason behind their behavior.

Try Calming Activities

Training sessions are a great way to get your pup’s attention and keep their mind focused. During an average training session, your pet will have to focus on you and obey your commands, which can become a calming routine as you practice day to day. Playing fetch or tug-of-war are great ways to burn energy and keep your pup focused. And if all else fails, cuddling usually works!

Give Them Plenty of Exercise

A tired dog is often a good dog, so make sure your pup is getting enough exercise every day. A good way to tire out your dog is by taking them on long walks or runs, playing fetch with them, or even going swimming if they're up for it. Just make sure they're getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.

Feed Them a Healthy Diet

What your dog eats plays a big role in their overall health and energy levels. Dogs that eat processed foods or foods that are high in sugar tend to have more energy and be more hyperactive than those that eat a balanced, healthy diet. So, if you're looking to calm down your dog, be sure to feed them healthy meals and dog treats throughout the day.

Provide Ample Mental Stimulation

In addition to physical activity, dogs also need mental stimulation to stay happy and well-behaved. Highly active dogs tend to benefit from activities that challenge their minds, such as puzzle toys or training exercises. If your dog is constantly bored, they may start acting out to get your attention, so be sure to give them plenty of things to do.

Spend Quality Time Together

Sometimes, all an overactive dog needs is some quality time with their favorite person. This could be snuggling on the couch, going for a leisurely walk around the block, or just sitting in the backyard soaking up some sun together. No matter what you do, spending some one-on-one time with your furry friend will help them feel loved and secure, which will go a long way toward calming them down.

Sign Them Up for Basic Manner Training

If your dog's high energy and lack of focus are getting out of control, you may want to consider enrolling them in basic manners training. These classes will help teach them how to behave appropriately both inside and outside the home and can be a great bonding experience for you both.

Join a Canine Sports Community

Hyperactive Dog - Dock diving, yellow Lab dog catching a toy during an event after jumping off a dock

Canine sports, such as dock diving, can get the blood pumping and provide mental stimulation.

If your dog is a hyperactive breed, or if you just want to channel their energy into something productive, joining a canine sports community can be an excellent option. There are many different types of dog sports out there, including agility, flyball and dock diving. These activities will help get your pup's blood pumping while providing it with some much-needed mental stimulation. Plus, they're a lot of fun for both you and your dog!

If you have an overactive dog, don't worry! Lots of pet owners experience this and there are plenty of things you can do to help calm them down. By following these tips, you can help your furry friend lead a happier and healthier life.

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