5 Ways to Calm a Hyper Dog
1. Give Them Something to Chew On
Even if you take your dog with you on morning jogs before work, it may not be enough to keep them satisfied. They might fall asleep for an hour or two, but by the time you get home they’ve destroyed a couch, an end table, and a pair of shoes. Dogs are natural chewers at any age, but they need to know what’s appropriate and what is off limits.
Instead of trying to stop the behavior completely, redirect your dog to something else! A “beehive” or Kong brand ball works wonders when compared to a flimsy tennis ball. Kong toys also come in varying sizes, shapes, and colors, so you can pick the one that works best for your pet.
Deer chews and elk horns are also extremely durable, and dogs seem to love the taste of them. It takes quite a bit of work, and several weeks for most canines to gnaw them down.
Rawhides are VERY Bad for Dogs.
Although they’re popular and often chosen for their low cost, rawhide bones can seriously hurt your dog. More and more often, rawhide hews are showing up on nightly news for being harmful, and even fatal to canines. Sharp pieces break off from the bone, causing lacerations and tears within their digestive system. Avoid rawhides, no matter how cheap they are!
2. Hide Treats In Toys
Speaking of Kongs, not only are they incredibly strong, but they‘re also multi-purpose. Both the beehive and the ball have hollow centers that can be filled with doggie snacks of all kinds! Buy flavored filling, or just use peanut butter to coat the inside of your dog's Kong. Break up a few treats and add them to the filling to give your pet a satisfying crunch.
Use Puzzle Bowls for Meals
There's no reason that mealtimes should stop you from training your pup to chill out a little. Hyperactive dogs tend to wolf down their food, and eating to fast can lead to severe conditions such as bloating. Puzzle bowls force your dog to slow down, and work a little harder in order to eat their meal. There is nothing wrong with this. Before domestication, wolves had to put a lot of effort into getting a meal.
If anything, they'll be happy for a challenge.
3. Play Soft Music
Believe it or not, music actually makes a huge difference a dog's mood. In fact, many rescues and shelters provide a radio or speaker system in order to keep their homeless population happy.
Shelters are very scary places for most dogs. There is constant commotion, strangers coming and going, very little human contact, and lots of barking. An environment like this creates a lot of anxiety in animal. So if you're used to a noisy home, you might need to slow things down a bit. Put some classical music on, or songs that sound similar to "I'd Rather Go Blind" or "At Last" by Etta James.
4. Dim the Lights
It might sound like a romantic Lady and the Tramp story, but dimming the lights in your home could make a huge difference in their behavior. Now, this doesn't mean keep your pet locked up all day long in a room with no light. No one wants to live like that!
However, once you've gone for your daily morning exercise, set up their toys, and leave for work, you want your pet to be calm. Just like humans, a dog's body tells them to wake up when the sun starts to shine through the window. By giving them a dark, relaxing place to lie down will hopefully keep them settled.
On the other hand, you should also give them another room, or a window that does provide plenty of light should they need some stimulation. The key is to provide a healthy balance.
5. Create a Solid Daily Routine
In addition to exercise, daily challenges, training, and affection, dogs need a regular schedule to live by. This means that aside from your shifting work week, the most important of your dog's day should be scheduled. This means going to the bathroom in the morning, and the evening at the same time. Feedings should work the same way.
As an example, you get up at 8 a.m., walk your dog at 8:30 a.m., feed them at 9:00 a.m., then head off to work. Do the same thing before you go to bed, and make sure you do it every single day.
When your dog knows the routine, they're far less likely to be so hyperactive and anxious.