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Handling Your Dog’s Excessive Excitement

We’ve all been there – you’re enjoying a nice, leisurely walk with your furry friend when out of nowhere, he spots another dog or a person. Suddenly, your tranquil stroll turns into a mad dash, with you at the end of a leash, trying to keep up with a furball that’s practically vibrating with excitement. Sounds familiar? Well, you’re not alone! The purpose of this article is to help dog owners like you better understand and manage your dog’s hyperactive behaviour. So, let’s buckle in and get started, shall we?

Understanding Hyperactive Behavior in Dogs

Hyperactivity in dogs, sometimes referred to as hyperkinesis in severe cases, involves more than just an energetic dog. It’s an excessive amount of energy frequently paired with a lack of focus. Hyperactive behavior in dogs can be a result of a variety of factors, and understanding these can help in managing and even reducing unwanted behaviors.
  • Breed Predisposition

    Some breeds are more energetic than others. For instance, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, and many hunting breeds are naturally more active. These dogs were bred for jobs that required high endurance, intelligence, and activity.

  • Lack of Exercise

    Dogs, especially younger ones, require regular exercise. When they don’t get it, they can become restless and may exhibit destructive behaviors.

  • Poor Diet

    Dogs fed a diet high in sugars and fillers might become hyper. Always feed your dog high-quality dog food and be wary of treats that may contain sugar.

  • Lack of Trainings

    Without training and structure, dogs can become confused about their role and what’s expected of them..

  • Medical Conditions

    Conditions like hyperthyroidism can cause hyperactivity. Always consult a vet if there’s a sudden change in your dog’s behavior.

  • Environment

    A chaotic environment or one with constant stimuli (like a house next to a busy street) might lead to an overstimulated and hyperactive dog.

  • Age

    Puppies are naturally more energetic and excitable. They usually calm down as they age, although this isn’t a rule. Some dogs remain highly energetic throughout their lives.

  • Anxiety or Behavioral Disorders

    Sometimes, hyperactivity can be linked to anxiety or behavioral issues. Dogs that are anxious or fearful may show signs of restlessness, which can be mistaken for hyperactivity

Remember, while hyperactivity can be challenging, understanding its root causes and applying consistent management techniques can make a big difference in your dog’s behavior.
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Signs That Your Dog Is Hyperactive

Hyperactivity in dogs is more than just high energy; it’s characterized by an excessive amount of energy and a consistent inability to settle, even in calm environments. It’s essential to differentiate between a genuinely hyperactive dog and a dog that is just energetic or bored.
  • Inability to Relax:

    Hyperactive dogs often find it challenging to wind down. Unlike typical dogs that might rest after a play session, these dogs remain on high alert. Their bodies seem to be in a constant state of readiness, and their minds don’t switch off. This perpetual state of alertness means they seldom experience the relaxation and deep rest that most dogs enjoy after exercise or stimulation. It’s like their internal off-switch doesn’t work efficiently.

  • Constant Movement:

    Such dogs exhibit an incessant need to move. Their behavior isn’t driven by curiosity alone but by an uncontrollable urge to be on the go. This constant movement isn’t always purposeful. They might pace the same route in the house or yard without any discernible goal. This kind of continuous motion can be exhausting for the owner to watch, as the dog doesn’t seem to find any contentment or purpose in its actions.

  • Short Attention Span:

    Hyperactivity often brings along a diminished attention span. These dogs may start with one toy, only to abandon it seconds later for something else. Training sessions can be particularly challenging, as they get distracted by the slightest sound or movement. Their minds flit from one thing to another, making consistency and focus a significant challenge.

  • Impulsivity:

    This isn’t just about being playful or cheeky. Hyperactive dogs can be so impulsive that they put themselves in danger. They might suddenly dart into traffic, jump over barriers, or engage in behaviors that can harm them or others around them. Such impulsiveness can be challenging to manage as it’s unpredictable.

  • Over-reactivity:

    Small stimuli, which a regular dog might ignore, can cause a hyperactive dog to react intensely. The sound of a doorbell, for example, could trigger an extended bout of barking or even aggressive behavior. They don’t seem to have the filter that most dogs do, which assesses the actual threat or importance of a stimulus.

  • Excessive Barking:

    While dogs bark for various reasons, hyperactive dogs tend to bark more and longer. The reasons can range from perceived threats to sheer boredom. This excessive barking isn’t just a vocal expression; it’s a sign of their heightened state of arousal.

  • Destructive Behaviors:

    Destructiveness in these dogs isn’t always about mischief or lack of training. Their constant need for stimulation and their inability to relax can lead them to chew, dig, or destroy things around the house. This behavior is their way of channeling their excessive energy and restlessness.

  • Sleep Disturbances:

    A hyperactive dog might find it hard to settle down for a good night’s sleep. They might wake up frequently during the night, be restless, or even engage in activities during typical sleeping hours. Their sleep disturbances can further exacerbate their hyperactivity as they don’t get the required rest.

  • Repetitive Behaviors:

    Actions such as tail-chasing or compulsive licking can become more than just quirks. They can be signs of an underlying inability to control their impulses. These repetitive actions offer them a temporary focus, a break from their scatter-brained norm.

  • Inability to Focus:

    Training a hyperactive dog can be a unique challenge. Their constant distractions and inability to focus for extended periods mean that traditional training methods might not always be effective. Their minds are always racing, making it hard for them to concentrate on the task at hand.

  • Agitated Play:

    While play is an outlet for most dogs, for hyperactive dogs, it can sometimes be a source of heightened arousal. They might play too roughly, not understand when to stop, or even turn aggressive if their excitement levels peak too much.

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How to Manage Hyperactive Behavior in Dogs: Dos and Don’ts

Now, here’s the real meat of the matter – how to handle a hyperactive dog. Remember, it’s about gentle guidance, not harsh control.


  • Stay calm:

    Yep, easier said than done, especially when your dog is acting like they’ve had five cups of coffee. But trust me, staying calm and composed can help your dog settle down, too.

  • Regular exercise:

    If your dog is a bundle of energy, they need an outlet for it. Regular walks, playtime, and mental stimulation through puzzles or training can help keep their energy levels in check.

  • Training:

    Consistent training is a key tool here. Teaching commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “quiet” can give you more control during their hyper moments. Consider a professional trainer if you need a helping hand.


  • Avoid over-excitement:

    It’s natural to match their energy when they’re excited, but this could actually make them more hyper. Try to keep a calm and low energy approach.

  • Don’t reward hyper behavior:

    If your dog jumps or barks when they’re excited, don’t reward them with attention. Wait until they’re calm before you pet them or give them treats.

  • Don’t punish them:

    Remember, they’re not being bad; they’re just excited. Punishing them could lead to anxiety or fear, which we don’t want.

Handling hyperactivity might feel like a Herculean task, but trust me, it’s doable. Just stick with it, be consistent, and remember – progress, not perfection! Next up, let’s talk about some handy products that might help.
How to manage hyper active dogs - petmeetly
ThunderShirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket-petmeetly.com
The Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Jacket is a patented design that applies gentle, constant pressure to calm anxiety, fear, and over-excitement. This easy-to-use wrap is great for everyday use and is very effective in most dogs to reduce symptoms of anxiety and hyperactivity.

Key Features

The patented design applies calming pressure.
Comfortable for your dog with breathable material.
Easy-to-use with adjustable fitting.
Durable and machine-washable fabric.
Reduces and often eliminates symptoms of anxiety and hyperactivity.
Suitable for all types of dog breeds and sizes.


Reduces anxiety and hyperactivity without the use of drugs or medication.
Highly effective for most dogs according to various customer reviews.
Available in different sizes to suit all dog breeds.
Easy to clean with machine-washable materials.


Some dogs may not respond to the pressure applied by the shirt.
It may take time for your dog to get used to wearing it.
May not be comfortable in hotter climates.
The fitting could be challenging for very small or very large dogs.
Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl-petmeetly.com
The Outward Hound Fun Feeder Dog Bowl is a unique bowl designed to make meal times more challenging and thus mentally stimulate your dog, helping to burn off excess energy and reduce hyperactivity.

Key Features

Available in multiple sizes and styles.
BPA, PVC, and phthalate-free materials.
Promotes slower eating which is better for digestion.
The puzzle-like design mentally stimulates dogs.
Dishwasher safe.
Non-slip base to hold the bowl in place.


Offers mental stimulation and reduces boredom.
Promotes healthier eating habits.
Easy to clean with dishwasher-safe design.
Safe materials used, free of harmful chemicals.


Some dogs may become frustrated and not eat.
May not be suitable for dogs with short snouts.
Food may occasionally get stuck in the grooves.
The plastic material may not be as durable as stainless steel bowls.
Adaptil Calm Home Diffuser-petmeetly.com
The Adaptil Calm Home Diffuser is a non-drug solution that helps to soothe stressed dogs. It releases a synthetic copy of the natural comforting pheromone produced by a mother dog to calm her puppies, making it extremely effective in reducing hyperactivity and anxiety.

Key Features

Releases a synthetic copy of the dog appeasing pheromone.
Suitable for all dog breeds.
Covers an area of up to 700 sq ft.
Each refill lasts for one month.
Easy-to-use plug-in diffuser.
Non-intrusive and easy to maintain.


It provides a drug-free solution to calming hyperactive dogs.
The diffuser is easy to use and maintain.
The effect can cover a large area, making it ideal for households with more than one dog.
It offers a continuous calming effect that lasts for 30 days with one refill.


Not effective if the dog is not within the diffuser’s range.
Some dogs may not respond to the synthetic pheromone.
Continuous purchase of refills can be costly.
May not be effective in a large, open environment.
PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness-petmeetly.com
The PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness is designed to gently discourage your dog from pulling while walking on a leash. It’s essential for managing dogs that display clingy behavior during walks. The chest strap rests across your dog’s chest instead of its throat, preventing choking and providing more comfortable walks.

Key Features

Features a front-chest leash attachment to stop pulling.
Made with quick-snap buckles for easy fitting.
The straps are adjustable for maximum comfort.
Constructed with durable and soft nylon material.
Comes in a variety of colors and sizes.
The belly strap is a contrasting color, making it easy to know which strap goes over the shoulders and which goes under the belly.


It prevents dogs from pulling, offering a more relaxed walking experience.
The harness is comfortable and easy to wear.
Adjustable straps ensure a perfect fit for your dog.
Durable materials ensure long-lasting use.


Some dogs might take time to adjust to the harness.
Improper fitting can cause chafing or irritation.
The color of the harness may fade over time.
Not chew-proof and may get damaged if your dog tends to chew on things.
Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Puzzle Toy-petmeetly.com
The Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound Dog Puzzle Toy offers interactive fun that helps your dog reduce hyperactivity by channeling energy into a productive game. This mentally stimulating toy offers varying levels of complexity to challenge your dog.

Key Features

Interactive puzzle toy for mental stimulation.
Various difficulty levels available.
Durable and easy-to-clean plastic construction.
Suitable for all sizes and breeds.
Encourages slower eating when used with treats.
Can be filled with your dog’s favorite treats or kibble.


Provides good mental stimulation reducing hyperactivity.
Can be adapted to suit your dog’s capabilities.
Easy to clean and maintain.
Keeps dogs engaged and reduces boredom.


Some dogs may quickly figure out the puzzles.
More aggressive chewers might damage the plastic material./td>
Some puzzles may be too difficult for certain dogs.
Requires supervision to ensure your dog doesn’t try to chew apart the toy.
Hyper Pet LickiMat Slow Feeder Dog Mat-petmeetly.com
The Hyper Pet LickiMat is a versatile dog mat that helps to reduce anxiety and promote calm behavior. By spreading your dog’s favorite treat across the mat’s textured surface, you create a tasty fun game that keeps them preoccupied and satisfied.

Key Features

Unique texture helps promote fresh breath, healthy teeth, and gums.
Can be used with a variety of food and treats.
Made from non-toxic and safe material.
Microwave and freezer friendly.
Dishwasher safe.
Stimulates saliva to aid digestive health.


Promotes calm behavior by occupying your dog’s attention.
Versatile and can be used with your dog’s preferred treat.
Easy to clean and maintain.
Promotes dental health.


Some dogs might quickly finish the treats.
Aggressive chewers might damage the mat.
Can be messy with certain types of food or treats.
Needs regular supervision to prevent dogs from chewing the mat.
Benebone Real Flavor Wishbone Dog Chew Toy-petmeetly.com
The Benebone Real Flavor Wishbone Dog Chew Toy is a durable chew toy that engages your dog’s natural urge to chew, helping to reduce hyperactivity by keeping them occupied. It comes in different flavors to attract your dog’s interest.

Key Features

Made from durable and safe nylon
Infused with real food ingredients.
Wishbone design allows a good grip for dogs.
Available in three different sizes.
Offers different flavors like chicken, bacon, and peanut.
Made in the USA.


Helps to satisfy the natural urge to chew, keeping your dog occupied.
The wishbone design makes it easy for dogs to hold and chew.
Different flavors attract dogs and keep them interested.
Made with high-quality and safe materials.


Not suitable for extremely aggressive chewers.
The chew toy might become sharp if heavily gnawed.
Some dogs may not be attracted to the flavors.
Needs to be replaced regularly to ensure safety.
Zesty Paws Calming Bites-petmeetly.com
Zesty Paws Calming Bites are natural chewable supplements with ingredients like Sun theanine, Thiamine (Vitamin B1), and Organic Hemp to help dogs feel calm and comfortable. These chews are ideal for hyperactive dogs and can help reduce stress-induced behavior.

Key Features

Features a special blend of natural ingredients known for their calming effects.
Soft, chewable, and palatable bites.
Can be used for dogs of all sizes and breeds.
Contains no artificial flavors or preservatives.
Each container holds 90 bites.
Manufactured in FDA-registered facilities.


Helps to reduce stress and hyperactivity in dogs.
Natural ingredients, making it a safe choice.
Easy to administer due to their palatable taste.
High quantity per container provides good value.


Some dogs might not like the taste.
The effects may not be immediate and can take time to show.
Dogs with specific dietary restrictions may not be able to consume these chews.
In some cases, dogs might experience upset stomachs.
Chuckit! Ultra Ball-petmeetly.com
The Chuckit! Ultra Ball is a durable and high-bounce ball perfect for games of fetch. Regular play with this ball can help expend your hyperactive dog’s energy and keep them entertained, reducing their hyperactivity over time.

Key Features

Made from durable rubber for high bouncing.
Compatible with Chuckit! Ball Launcher.
Floats in water, making it great for playing fetch in different environments.
Bright colors for high visibility.
Available in different sizes.
Easy to clean after playtime.


High bouncing and floating abilities provide various play options.
Durable material withstands aggressive play.
Can help to expend your dog’s energy during playtime.
Easy to spot due to its bright colors.


Dogs that are aggressive chewers may eventually destroy the ball.
The ball may be too bouncy for indoor play.
Some dogs may not be interested in fetch games.
Despite its durability, it’s not a chew toy and must be replaced if damaged.


Managing your dog’s hyperactivity might feel like an uphill battle, but with a little bit of patience, understanding, and the right approach, it’s a battle you can win. Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. So, stay flexible, keep your sense of humor, and don’t be afraid to try different strategies. After all, a calm, enjoyable walk is worth its weight in gold, isn’t it? And so is the bond you’re building with your furry friend. Keep at it, and you’ll soon be enjoying those peaceful walks you’ve always dreamed of.
Phew, that was a lot to take in, wasn’t it? But remember, managing your dog’s hyperactivity isn’t like climbing Everest. It might feel like an uphill battle at times, but with patience, understanding, and the right approach, it’s a battle you’re more than capable of winning.
Every dog is as unique as a snowflake, so what works for one might not be the magic solution for another. The key is to stay flexible and keep your sense of humor. And don’t be shy to try different strategies.
Because at the end of the day, a calm and enjoyable walk with your furry friend is worth its weight in gold, isn’t it? And more than that, it’s about the bond you’re building with your canine companion. So keep going, keep trying, and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying those peaceful, enjoyable walks you’ve always dreamed of. Happy walking!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is hyperactivity in dogs?
Hyperactivity refers to excessive and persistent energy levels, restlessness, and difficulty settling down, even after periods of activity or play.
Are certain dog breeds more prone to hyperactivity?
Yes. Breeds bred for high levels of work or endurance, like Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, and Belgian Malinois, can be more naturally energetic.
How can I tell if my dog is hyperactive or just energetic?
Energetic dogs will usually settle down after exercise, while hyperactive dogs remain restless, have difficulty relaxing, and might show impulsive behaviors.
Can diet influence a dog's hyperactivity?
Yes. Some dogs might react to certain food additives, preservatives, or high-grain diets, exhibiting increased energy or restlessness. It’s essential to consult a vet regarding appropriate diets.
How does a lack of socialization relate to hyperactivity?
Dogs that aren’t well-socialized might display hyperactive behaviors due to excessive excitement or anxiety in unfamiliar situations or around new animals/people.
Is medication recommended for hyperactive dogs?
In extreme cases, when behavioral modifications don’t help, a vet might recommend medication. However, this is typically a last-resort option.
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