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Tips to train your hyperactive dog

Virginia Chavez is a Phoenix-based freelance writer covering pets and lifestyle in the Southwest. In addition to regular contributions both online and in-print, Virginia locally owns and operates two pet care and supply businesses. For t...

How to train high- energy dogs

Hyperactivity in dogs can derive from a variety of different causes. Some breeds do tend to be naturally more active than others, but the underlying problem is the same regardless of breed and size of dog.
Hyper puppy running

Just like humans, dogs need mental and physical stimulation for a happy life, but dogs that have that extra surge of energy on a regular basis require a little more stimulation than the average pup. Don’t give up on training your hyper pooch; there are plenty of ways you and your energetic dog can find harmony by working as a team.

1

Play a game

What do hyper dogs love most? Play time! By playing a game that also builds his mental muscles, you and your pet will benefit from training that seems more like a game than a lesson. A great game to try with your hyper dog is the "shell game." Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Three small ceramic cups
  2. Healthy treats or kibble
  3. Patience

Fill one cup with treats or kibble and place each cup face down (brim on floor). The trick will be for your pup to sniff out the cup that has the treats or kibble inside. Let your pooch sniff out the snacks by moving the cups around. Encourage him to flip the cups over to discover the treats and praise him for a job well done once the treats are uncovered.

Games like the shell game help keep your pet's interest piqued as well as calm him down to focus on the task at hand.

2

Go for a run

dog leash

A tired dog is a well-behaved dog. Start the day off with lots of physical exercise. Before you even think about cuddling or feeding your pet, start with a long walk or run. Once your pup is tired out, practice training basics like "sit" and "stay" before feeding him. Reward these good behaviors by showing your dog he gets to work for his meal.

3

Pick your battles

When it comes to training your hyperactive dog, less is more. Focus on training commands that promote good manners. Commands like "sit," "stay," "leave it" and "drop it" help your dog see you as the pack leader and foster a healthy dog/master relationship. Meanwhile, your household will be a much more pleasant environment for friends, guests and family members.

4

Brain power

Hyperactive pups tend to get bored easily and must have constant brain stimulation in addition to physical exercise to remain consistently well-behaved. Toys that encourage a little thought for reward provide the best of both worlds. Try toys like canine puzzles or dog memory games that require a "hide and seek" method to finding treats. These games allow your dog to utilize his brain and senses to discover rewards.

More on training your dog

Cesar Millan answers SheKnows readers' questions
How to stop nuisance barking
10 Healthy tricks for your dog's body and mind

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