How Do I Relax A Hyper Dog?

Some dogs (like some people!) are prone to being excessively hyper and/or anxious, even those on an adequate exercise schedule. Your dog may run circles around the coffee table, run around your feet while walking, and may even be destructive due to her hyper behavior. There are things you can do to help, however. Whether through music or massage, it's possible for you to encourage your hyper dog to kick back a bit!

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Positive Reinforcement

If you place healthy treats in your dog's bed (an object she associates with down-time), she will be more apt to go in and lie in it. When she's lying in her bed and being good, praise and pet her. If she leaves the bed and starts jumping around, ignore her. When she goes back to the bed, continue petting her. Doing this each day, several times per day, can help reinforce the idea that you want her to calm down.

Music

Music has been known to sooth the savage beast. The same thing applies to the hyper dog that is climbing the walls. Soft, classical music is said to relax dogs. Whether your dog is afraid of thunder or is experiencing separation anxiety, calming classical music may be the answer. Try compiling a playlist of soothing classical pieces and play them on a loop for your dog.

Scents

Dogs are just like humans in that scents can be calming. Scents used to calm dogs include lavender, cedar, chamomile and peppermint. You may purchase essential oil sprays made exclusively for dogs, or, you can make your own. However, pay close attention to how your dog reacts to these scents, as some dogs are sensitive/allergic to certain fragrances.

Chew Toys

Chew toys help relax dogs by keeping them occupied and by allowing them to burn some energy. If you need to get something done and want your dog to stay busy, give her a chew toy or treat. Make sure you still keep an eye on your pet and always choose toys and treats that are safe for her size.

Massage

If your dog is experiencing anxiety, a good massage can greatly reduce the stress. To give your dog a massage, use your forefinger and middle finger and gently rub the muscles in a circular motion. It may take a couple minutes to take affect, but soon your pup will be relaxed and possibly drifting off to sleep. You could even use this method in combination with playing soothing music and heating scented oils to fill the room with a calming scent.

By Amy Brantley


Resources:
DogChannel.com: Relax Your Dog Naturally
CBS News: Want to Calm Fido Down? Try Music!
Center for Shelter Dogs: Lavender and Chamomile Essential Oils May Relax Shelter Dogs