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I know that you have seen those hyperactive dogs around. They always seem to be barking, jumping, panting, or running around. They never lay still for more than a few seconds and they seem to be ready to pounce at any moment. If your dog is exhibiting this type of behavior, we need to nip it in the bud. Being around a dog that is hyper all of the time is not a comfortable environment to live in.
First, you should always take your dog to the vet. We always want to be informed on whether a condition is medical or behavioral. Occasionally very hyper behavior can be caused by seizures in dogs. This is not seen often, but it should be considered and your vet can help you to rule out that possibility, or treat your dog if necessary.
If your dog is diagnosed with ADHD, then they will be put on Ritalin, Adderall or Dexedrine and their behavior will be monitored as well as they heart and respiratory rate.
If it is not a medical issue, your dog may be hyperactive because of lack of exercise. If you work and your puppy is in his crate all day, then he may have energy to burn and a lot of it. Make sure to take him on long walks, or allow him to run around the backyard when you are home. Play fetch with him and let him chase after his favorite ball or toy. If possible, hire a dog walker to come in the middle of the day to take your dog out and let him run around for a while.
A neighborhood high school student is perfect for this job. Offer to pay them $25 if they will come over for 30 minutes Monday through Friday when they get home from school. Most high schools let out around 2 p.m.
Your puppy may be exhibiting hyperactivity because of the attention that you are giving him when he is being hyper. Some dogs are huge attention seekers, whether they are receiving positive or negative attention. If every time your dog starts jumping, you go over to them and say “no” that is paying attention to your dog. In these instances, I would first like you to use your obedience training commands on your dog. The simple command “sit” should stop the hyper behavior if they are well trained.
If your dog has not been through training, try ignoring him and leaving the room when he begins to be hyper. This will often times work if the dog is being hyper to seek out attention. Once they realize that they will not be getting attention from that type of behavior, the hyper behavior stops.
Another common cause of hyperactivity is separation anxiety. I would make the same recommendation in this case, as I did with lack of exercise. Try to get someone home with your dog in the middle of the day. If it can’t be you, then hire someone local. If you work close to home, consider going home for your lunch hour instead of out to eat. Your dog may be looking for a little security. Once you can bring down his stress level, his behavior will start to improve.
Remember, that if you are concerned about hyper behavior in a young puppy, this may be normal puppy behavior. Puppies are known for being wild, and some hyper behavior is normal. When it is constant and almost seems distressing to the dog, this is when there is a problem that needs to be looked at more carefully.
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