How to Calm a Hyper Overactive Dog

If your dog becomes so excited when you return home that he can't settle down, all the while jumping, licking, barking or even urinating from excitement, you have a hyper overactive dog. Other signs of a hyper dog include lunging while walking on a leash, tail chasing and needing constant attention and activity. Hyper behavior isn't good for your dog; it signals boredom and lack of stimulation, says Cesar Millan on his website Cesar'sWay. This behavior can wear you out, but you can take steps to calm a hyper overactive dog.

Young woman throwing a plastic disc and her dog running to catch it
Overactive dogs need a fun outlet.
credit: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Treat Any Medical Causes

Your dog might be hyperactive because of a medical reason. You should first take your overactive dog to a veterinarian to rule out any medical reasons, especially if this behavior is new. If your dog has a medical condition, you would need to treat it instead of trying a behavioral approach. Some medical conditions that cause a dog to be hyper include anxiety disorder, hyperthyroidism, allergies or cognitive decline, says veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker in The Huffington Post.

Provide Outlets

Some breeds, such as the Jack Russell terrier, are bundles of energy. Whether you have a naturally hyperactive breed or you just have an overactive dog, provide outlets for your dog to expend some of his energy. You can engage in vigorous daily interactive playtime with your pup, such as throwing a ball or stick, going to a dog park or playing tug of war. Long walks are good to help burn off excess energy as is agility training and other dog sports such as swimming. When your dog burns off energy, he has an easier time relaxing, says Millan.

Create a Calming Environment

Excitable and hyper dogs often respond to their environment. Create a calm and structured environment by setting up routines for when your dog eats, goes outside and naps coupled with daily exercise and training, and you can calm an excitable dog. You can make a hyper dog more overactive when you do the wrong things. For example, if you respond to the hyperactivity by restraining, chasing or yelling at the dog, you can escalate the excitement, says Pat Miller, dog trainer and author of "The Power of Positive Dog Training" in The Whole Dog Journal.

Set Up a Routine

If you want your bundle of energy to settle down at night, set up a routine that leads to sleep. Your routine could be that you sit with your dog while you watch TV or read a book. Maybe this quiet time includes brushing your dog. Then, when it's time for bed, turn off the TV or the lights, and say, "bedtime" or another similar phrase, and then direct your dog to her bed.

Try Calming Remedies

Aromatherapy works on dogs as it does on humans. After all, dogs have an excellent sense of smell. Lavender essential oil can soothe dogs, says registered aromatherapist Lisa M. Browder in The Bark. Other oils that calm an agitated dog include petitgrain, marjoram, vativer and sweet orange.