Many people assume that a dog that is jumping up and down and spinning all around and barking must be expressing happiness. Actually, the opposite may be true. What the dog may be trying to show you is that it has an excess amount of energy that it needs to burn off. A calm dog is a happy one. Here is what to do to help your hyperactive dog calm down.
Watch Your Reaction
If your dog approaches you and begins to jump, speak, or show an excessive amount of excitement in any other fashion, the worst thing that you can do is encourage them to continue. Giving your dog attention or affection when they are excited only lets them know that they are doing the right thing in your eyes. Giving your dogs love when they are excited is equal to rewarding them, so they will continue to do it.
Instead, ignore them by not talking, not touching, and not even giving them eye contact. A jumping dog can be discouraged by turning the other way or pushing the dog down from you.
Reinforce Calm Behavior
When your dog is acting cool and calm, now is the time to give them love and attention. Reinforce this behavior by giving them their favorite treats. By ignoring excited behavior and encouraging calm, they should begin to get the right idea.
Wear Out Your Dog
Your dog won’t likely have the energy to be hyperactive in the first place if they have already expended their energy through exercise. Taking your dog on a daily walk works to channel your dog’s pent-up energy levels. Just letting your dog outside run around and pee is not enough.
Taking your dog out on a walk for the purposes of exploration and getting their heart pumping will help them to be calmer later. When it’s time to return home, calm time becomes their reward.
Stimulate Your Dog’s Mind
Now that you have helped to drain their physical energy, it is time to make sure they are not getting bored. Playtime is useful for this purpose. Think of different ways to entertain your pup. Play fetch, find the treat, or set up an obstacle course, perhaps. If your dog begins to become too excited, playtime is over.
Since a dog’s sense of smell is so keen, why not take advantage of this fact? Using scents near your pet such as lavender and vanilla may have a naturally calming effect. With that being said, if your dog has any medical conditions, be sure to discuss aromatherapy with your veterinarian before trying it near your pet.
Dogs often mirror the energy of the people that are near them. If your dog misbehaves, do you shout “no” at them repeatedly, only to find that it makes them more excitable? In other words, don’t expect your dog to be calm if you are a nervous wreck. Be the example that you want your pet to be.