Owning and loving a dog with extremely high energy can be both a blessing and a curse. Not only are they always on the go- it means you are too! If you’re struggling to come up with new ways to tackle this issue then you have come to the right place! The good new is that exercise is not the only option!
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you and your family find a happy balance between your routine and your dog's energetic life! Before we begin, allow your mind to let go of the idea that the only way to curb your dogs energy is running! Just like humans there are several actions allow our minds and bodies to ‘relax’.
Keep Calm And Talk Softy
Our dogs feed off the energy we put out. If we, as their family, act over excited, so will they! Understanding and managing our dog’s behaviour is a key aspect to a long and happy bonded relationship.
"High energy dogs can become very excited by high pitched voices and sudden, jerky or random movements. Even though it can be difficult at the time, the calmer and more relaxed we are the easier it will be for our hyperactive dogs to calm down.” - Positive Pets, 2018
To encourage this method we suggest ensuring you start using different tones for different occasions.
When you enter the home (hoping to avoid the jumping, high energy behaviour) you talk slowly and calmly In a monotone voice. This encourages your dog to understand that affection and excitement can be shown in alternative ways instead of ‘full speed ahead’. When needing your dog to begin to listen and understand commands, speak assertively. No sudden tone changes or spike in pitch. When starting your walk or play, ease your voice and energy from ‘0 - 100’ over a period of time. This helps your dog to realise they have time and do not need to rush around to make the most of their time out of the house.
When wanting your dog to sleep or rest, repeat your words and say them gently in a soft tone.
Offer Your Dog Mental Training
Mental training otherwise known as ‘Mental Stimulation’ can come in many forms, and have proven to be most successful when treats or food are involved! The added element of reward kicks your dogs mind into gear as the end goal is now desirable for them as well.
“Right up there with reinforcing calm behaviour is mental exercise. Think back to a time when you were studying for an exam. On those days you may not have been physically active yet you probably felt very tired after studying. Mental exercise can be just as or more tiring than physical exercise.” - Positive Pets, 2018
Although it may sound like a foreign topic, you have probably already begun this style of dog training. Mental training can include learning sit, stay, drop, roll etc.. the key has been getting your dog to use their mind to successfully complete tasks. This is no different when introducing interactive puzzles, clickers, lick matts or responsive toys.
Here at eDog we have so many on offer to begin this chapter of your dog training! Take the Nina Ottosson Interactive Puzzles for example, with 3 intensity levels they completely engulf your dogs mind and get them working hard to not only find the treat though engage their sensory system to win! Follow the link to view our range!
The Kong is also another great mental stimulation tool. With the option for your dog to hold, lick and chew the Kong is a global success! It wins the hearts of dogs and dog lovers over and over again.
Reward Calm Behaviour
It may sound strange however… IT WORKS!
Dogs love attention however we seem to always give it to them at the wrong times. When they are calm we leave them be and when they are over-excited or in our faces we spend the time touching them and talking to them. 99% of the time they cannot comprehend the difference between receiving good or bad attention. Next time your dog is sitting quietly or in a generally calm mood, reward them.
“One of the best things we can do to make living with a hyperactive dog easier is to reward our dog for calm behaviour. For example, if your hyperactive dog is actually laying down, reward her calmly. This reward may be in the form of calm verbal praise, in some cases a low value treats or short calm massaging touch.” - Positive Pets 2018
If your pet dog follows you for more, simply turn your head the other way! This method of dog training is all about rewarding calm behaviour, not friendly treat hunting behaviour.
Rather than letting our dogs run wild through the park, try purposeful exercise! This gets not only your dogs legs moving through mind working. Choose a park with play equipment and run your dog through with a treat in your hand! The more times your dog needs to balance, assess and work hard to make its way through a playground the more stimulation your dog gets!
If you do not have play equipment near you, run your own training course! It saves you kilometers as well as strengths the bond between you and your dog. Encourage things like sit, stay whilst you walk away with the treat. Its the thought of the game that tires your dog out!