If your dog suddenly becomes hyper, it’s likely because of a trigger such as a new person in the home, the smell of delicious food, or they heard a particular word such as “walk”. To prevent sudden hyperactivity, make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
All dogs have different energy levels and personalities. As dog’s age, their energy decreases as their bodies change. But regardless of age or personality, you may find your dog has sudden spurts of energy that make them extremely hyper.
This may cause some safety concerns depending on what behaviors your dog exhibits during these spurts.
If you’re wondering why your dog gets hyper out of nowhere, keep reading. We will cover why this happens and what you can do to prevent it from happening in the future.
What is Hyperactivity in Dogs?
Hyperactivity is an impulsive behavior with spurts of energy that prevent your dog from being able to focus on a single task or calm themselves. Though dogs can become excited, this is not to be confused with hyperactivity.
Finding Their Baseline Energy
Before you figure out how to slow down your dog’s hyperactivity, you first need to get a baseline of their energy level.
Some breeds are naturally more energetic than other breeds. Breeds like boxers may require a lot of exercise to prevent a buildup of energy, while other breeds such as bulldogs require less because of a low energy level.
The best way to identify hyperactivity in your dog is to understand what their normal energy level looks like.
Notice how they react to their environment and any changes in their surroundings. Observe the endurance they have when you do activities such as playing or going for walks.
Signs of Hyperactivity
I’m sure you know what your dog looks like when hyper, but just in case, here’s a few signs. A hyper dog typically displays behavior of not being able to sit still, getting into anything they can (even if they know they aren’t supposed to), sprinting around the house or yard (the zoomies), nipping at your feet for attention, slapping their tail on the floor, and being vocal with you. Your dog may also exhibit a hard time focusing on the task or command you have asked of them.
Causes for Hyperactivity
A number of things can trigger hyperactivity in your dog. When your dog suddenly becomes hyper, it’s important to observe what’s going on.
One of the most common triggers of hyperactivity in dogs is the presence of new people in the home or the presence of someone after a long separation.
A trigger can also include your dog hearing one of their favorite words, such as “treat” or “walk”.
Several things can trigger hyperactivity in dogs. It’s your job to see if you can find a “common theme” each time your dog becomes hyper.
Boredom – Seeking Attention
If most of your day is spent away from your dog or didn’t involve much engagement with them, your dog may be bored. Boredom can cause dogs to display hyperactive behavior.
Like children, dogs will display undesirable behavior if they know it’s the only thing that will grab your attention.
When you notice your dog displaying this type of behavior for attention, redirect and praise them for positive behavior. By giving attention only to bad behavior, your dog will continue to display those behaviors over positive ones.
Exercise throughout the day is important to prevent random bursts of energy. A lack of exercise can leave your dog with built-up energy that causes hyperactive behavior in the home.
Though 30 minutes of daily walking is recommended for dogs, high energy breeds may require more.
Make sure you are not just walking your dog, but engaging with them. Provide them with a safe place to run and engage with you along with other pups you may have in the home. Exercise is vital if you want to prevent sudden hyperactivity. Not to mention the fact that it’s great for their health!
Should You See The Vet?
If you’re certain that nothing is triggering the hyperactivity, you’ve spent time engaging with your dog, and you’ve provided them with plenty of exercise, it’s time to speak with your vet.
Hyperactivity can be medically diagnosed in dogs. Treatment typically consists of medication to calm the dog. Any medication provided to your dog should be under the guidance of your veterinarian.
Your vet may also encourage you to provide a structure for your dog in the home, on walks, and in environments outside of the home.
Ways to Help Hyperactivity
Being in the presence of other dogs can provide a lot of stimulation to your dog. If a dog is displaying a particular behavior, such as being overly energetic when around other dogs, an owner may be hesitant to take their dog to a local dog park.
However, by taking your dog and finding training opportunities in their encounters, you are helping them improve their social skills.
If you aren’t comfortable taking your dog to a dog park, you can set up doggie play dates with other dog owners you know.
As previously discussed, you may need to increase your dogs daily exercise and physical activity.
For high-energy dogs, walking alone isn’t enough. Provide them with a safe place to run freely to release energy. It’s also a good idea to purchase some engaging toys that will force them to work for a treat, a Kong Toy is the perfect example.
Work on off-leash walking as well. Leash walking is an excellent way for dogs to be active in a safe manner. However, off-leash walking with a trained dog allows your dog to be more active without restraint.
This requires a strong bond with your dog and months of training. Continue working with your dog with treats and praise, gradually increasing the time they spend off the leash in a safe space.
Use Hyperactivity as a Training Opportunity
Although hyperactivity can be difficult to deal with, use this opportunity to teach your dog what behaviors are acceptable.
When your dog gets hit with energy out of nowhere, try redirecting
By redirecting the negative behavior to something positive, you are reinforcing what behavior your dog should display in the home instead of punishing for negative behaviors they may engage in.
For example, if your dog suddenly becomes hyper, don’t punish them for being hyper. Instead, try to grab their attention and make them sit and stay, then give them a treat. Dogs respond much better to positive reinforcement than punishment.
Dogs Will Be Dogs
Hyperactivity is completely normal for dogs. Just about all dogs get a case of the “zoomies” every once in a while. However, if sudden hyperness is becoming an issue, make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
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