Physical Exercise for Hyperactive Dogs
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Does your dog have a lot of energy? Many owners conceive this to be a negative trait, since a dog with lots of energy needs ways to channel it; otherwise, it may lead to unbalanced behavior. However, excess energy by itself is not negative. An hyperactive dog simply has certain requirements that the owner needs to be able to meet.
Some dog breeds - such as Boxers, Dalmatians, Beagles and retriever dogs - have lots of energy and require a proper training strategy. If you meet these dogs' specific requirements, though, they will turn into excellent companions.
In this AnimalWised article we will give advice on physical exercise for hyperactive dogs, which will be fundamental to channel your dog's energy in a healthy way.
Why do dogs have so much energy?
Why do some dogs have so much energy?
The reasons for these differences lie in the metabolism of each dog. An accelerated metabolism produces high energy levels, which have traditionally been used to assign these dogs arduous tasks, such as grazing, pulling sleds, hunting or tracking. Therefore hyperactive dogs usually belong to working breeds.
Metabolism can also be affected by endocrine conditions, such as those affecting the thyroid gland - which can also be altered the other way around, with hypothyroidism - and also by external factors such as weather or food.
When you see that a dog is very energetic, it is essential to help it properly manage its energy or you will otherwise end up with a disobedient and destructive dog. Noticing this problem and managing it is your responsibility as an owner, as it's directly related to your dog's health requirements.
The first tip to help an hyperactive dog is to ensure it gets daily physical exercise, since this is one of the healthiest ways to properly utilize an excess of energy.
Go for long walks
An hyperactive dog does not benefit from a 10 or 15 minute long walk: it needs much more physical exercise. It is recommended that it goes on a walk that lasts roughly one hour every day.
Feel free to change the environment. Even if the physical exercise is producing the desired results, if you get the chance there is nothing better than going for a walk in the mountains, as this will allow it to spend more energy. If your dog is not used to walking on this type of terrain, check the pads on its paws when you get home to rule out any injuries. Superficial wounds can be treated at home with aloe vera.
Go running together
If you like going for a run, this is the best kind of physical exercise that you can give a hyperactive dog. Running alongside its owner is an excellent practice for the dog, since it is a very fast and effective way to relieve stress. This will help reduce any negative behavior, such as excessive barking or chewing on furniture and objects.
If you go out running with your dog make sure you do it properly, taking its safety into account and keeping it hydrated during the run. Canicross is a dog sport in which owner and dog run together - do consider it!
Try dog agility
Agility is another dog sport that consists of guiding the dog through an obstacle course, which it should overcome. This is an exceptional practice that improves pet-owner coordination. It can be very difficult to guide a hyperactive dog through an agility circuit, but this sport offers two very important benefits:
- The physical activity allows for adequate energy management and release.
- Owing to the coordination that is required, this is an exceptional strategy for improving obedience in hyperactive dogs.
If you want to learn more about this sport, here are our best tips to start dog agility training.
Play with your dog
A hyperactive dog will respond well to a session of energetic games. You have several options for this, but among the best you can find a classic: throwing an object for your dog to fetch and bring back. This game will help your dog work on its obedience while also managing its energy through physical activity.
It is as important for your dog to play with you as it is for it to play with other dogs, although both your pet and the others should be properly socialized. Nowadays many parks have a designated space for dogs. Not only can you allow your dog to exercise with members of its own species, but you can also walk your dog to these spaces. Upon returning home, your dog will be absolutely calm.
If your dog is hyperactive and brimming with energy, it is relatively normal for you to feel nervous and stressed about your pet's behavior at some point. However, this is very contra-productive, as dogs are empathetic creatures that will pick up on your mood and mirror it.
In order to calm down a hyperactive dog, you need to be calm yourself when working with it. Before starting these exercises, it is essential that you learn to stay patient and remain calm when dealing with your dog while showing it complete affection.
Encourage tranquility at home
Just as you help your dog to relieve stress outdoors through active games and physical exercise, it will be essential for you to provide your dog with a calm and serene home environment. As such, you will teach it when it is play time and when it is time to relax.
If your dog keeps behaving nervously at home, it would be very useful to review some of the dog intelligence games and toys you can use at home, such as the Kong, which is a very useful tool for relieving nervousness. You can also do scatter activities and other games that encourage tracking and the stimulation of other senses.
If you want to read similar articles to Physical Exercise for Hyperactive Dogs, we recommend you visit our Sports category.