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Help! My dog is hyper !

This is something I hear - a lot !


It's a big problem, and can be the cause of dogs ending up in rescue, but, there are ways to help your dog to learn to relax.


Firstly, it's imperative to assess if your dogs emotional and physical needs are being met ...


Are they getting enough walks, play, mental stimulation and, perhaps surprisingly, rest.


Are they physically healthy? Dogs are expert at hiding pain and this can cause struggles with relaxing, noise sensitivity and over reaction to stimuli. Hyperactivity can also be associated with underlying medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, liver dysfunction and some neurological conditions.


Dogs that struggle to 'switch off' and calm down, are easily ramped up or overreact to stimuli may well also struggle with anxiety.


So

First things first...

After a thorough vet check to rule out any physical issues the next thing to concentrate on is your dogs daily routine.


Ensuring your dog has a balance of physical activity, enrichment and rest is key


Firstly consider your dogs needs:


Exercise


Are they getting enough physical exercise in relation to their breed/age/overall health - a year old border collie is going to need more exercise than a 9 year old pug


Contrary to popular belief more exercise is rarely the answer, you just create an athlete that will keep on going., which is great if your planning to run a marathon, not so great if you just want a dog who is able to potter around settle down when needed.


Enrichment


Incorporate some puzzles, brain games and scent work into your dogs day. Giving your dog mental enrichment will really help increase their focus, confidence, critical thinking and impulse control. Scent work has been seen to improve dogs impulse control and can have a positive effect on behaviour.


Sleep


Sleep is one of the most important behaviour regulators there is. Think about it, if you are overtired you become more distracted, unable to focus, overwhelmed and may even be irritable. If your dog spends their life waiting to 'do something', wondering 'what's next ?' , worrying about where you are or reacting to sounds/sights then they are going to struggle to relax and slow down.


Teaching your dog to

Stop.....

Breathe......

Relax .....

and truly switch off and rest is crucial to helping lower their hyperactivity.


Nutrition


Consider what you are feeding your dog. Some dog food brands are high in sugar and low in nutritional value. As with us ..your dogs mental and physical health will be affected by the food they eat. Ensuring they are having a high quality food may help lower over arousal.


If you're struggling with helping your dog to settle then please do get in touch.


Together we can help your dog relax ☺️







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