Some dogs are more energetic and excitable than others. And, sometimes, your dog is just hyper. A hyperactive dog can certainly be a handful, so it’s good to know a few ways to help calm them down when needed. Here are a few ways to help calm a hyper dog:
1. Give Them More Exercise
Being hyper or overactive is one of the signs your dog isn’t getting enough exercise. If your dog is being hyper because they have built-up energy, let them run it out to help them calm down.
Then, make sure you are giving them plenty of opportunities for exercise throughout the day. They’ll still get excited from time to time, but with enough exercise, they shouldn’t be as overactive.
2. Ignore The Hyper Behavior
Dogs thrive on our attention. Often, even if it’s negative attention, it is still rewarding to the dog. So, when your dog is overexcited and is jumping up on you or nipping to try and get your attention, ignore the hyper behavior.
Cross your arms to keep your hands out of reach if you need to. Don’t talk to them or look at them. By pulling your attention away, you are not rewarding hyperactive behavior and your dog may calm down in response to the lack of reaction from you.
Once they settle down, give them as much attention as you want as this gives them a reward for being calm instead of rewarding them for being hyper. This can be useful for dogs that become hyperactive when you or other people initially come into the house.
3. Keep a Calm Environment
If a dog is hyperactive as a response to a stressful environment, you can help calm them down by creating a calmer environment and keeping things calm. For example, if you are having a party at your house and your dog is hyper because they’re overwhelmed, you can calm your dog down by removing them from the situation and giving them a calmer space where they feel safe.
For some dogs, this could be moving their crate into a back room. In other situations, you may be able to help calm them by being a calm presence near them and speaking to them softly. This may help calm your dog during a storm or in other situations where your dog has become overactive or hyper because they are scared or anxious.
4. Redirect the Behavior to a Job
Dogs can become hyperactive due to a lack of exercise and also due to a lack of mental stimulation. If your dog is bored, your dog might not listen to you, they may start acting out and being hyper, or they might become destructive to entertain themselves. In this case, having a task to do can give them somewhere more constructive to focus their energy. Try giving your dog a job to do to redirect their behavior.
5. Calm Yourself Down
Dogs often mimic their owners and reflect their energy. If your dog is starting to ramp up and become hyper when you’re not trying to make that happen, take a breath and check in with yourself.
If you are getting stressed out or overly excited, your dog is likely picking up on it and matching your energy. If you want your hyper dog to calm down in this situation, calm yourself down first. Take a few deep breaths, take them for a walk with you if you need a walk, or whatever else you need to do to relax. Your dog will likely calm down as you calm down.
6. Visit the Vet
If your dog’s hyperactivity is becoming a nuisance and you’re at a loss of what to do, make an appointment with your vet. They’ll be able to rule out anything health-related and they’ll be able to give you some suggestions on how to better handle whatever is going on with your dog. If a professional trainer might help provide more guidance and tools, they may be able to give you a few names to check out.
If aromatherapy is something you want to try, they might be able to help you with smells and dispersal methods that are safe for your dog. If it’s exercise-related, they can help you with ideas on some new activities to try. A good veterinarian is a good resource for you and your dog, so don’t be afraid to reach out when you have questions or challenges.
These are just a few ways to help calm a hyper dog. Knowing why they’re hyper can be a big help in figuring out the best way to help them direct their energy and calm down.