… is a question I get asked by many dog owners. The common belief is that a hyperactive dog behaves the way it does because it isn’t being stimulated or exercised enough. Frequently the reverse is true. The dog is often being stimulated or exercised too much, giving it far too much to feel stressed about, and the stress is the cause of the hyperactivity.
Now you are probably thinking, “Hang on a minute, exercise makes a dog feel stressed???” No, exercise doesn’t, but feelings of responsibility do. So if your dog thinks it is responsible for you when you go for a walk and sees it as being a scary thing to do (because of the other dogs, and all the different things that they don’t understand) then they will come back from the walk pumped up, with adrenalin going through their bodies. In some cases they might come back temporarily exhausted, but the more you exercise them, the fitter they become, so the more energy they have for charging around at home. So further exercise or stimulation is not the answer. Allowing them to relax is…
Let me give you a human comparison. If you hosted a party at your house, you would spend the entire event wanting to check that everyone was okay, that they were having a good time, had something to drink etc etc, and wouldn’t relax until they had all gone home. When you go to someone elses party, your sit back and relax and enjoy yourself, and let the host worry about making sure everyone is okay… When a dog thinks it is in charge it will dash around like the party host, checking everyone is okay, bouncing from person to person, then checking the house is okay and so on. If your dog knows that YOU are in charge, it can spend more time doing this:
Ahhh! This is what relaxed dogs look like (he picked the sun spot too, bless him). So if you want to know how to make your hyperactive dog lie about instead, then get in touch. I can help with all sorts of dog behaviour problems in one consultation, and provide a life time of back up by phone and email for FREE!!! Give me a call now and let me explain how I can help you with your situation. Vicky Kelly Dog Behaviourist in Essex, London, Kent and Suffolk.