9 Hyperactive Dog Symptoms and How to Help Your Dog Calm Down


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hyperactive dog symptoms

What are hyperactive dog symptoms?

If your pup seems to be having a little too much energy, this question is probably on your mind.

When I first got my Mini Poodle Baloo as a puppy, I thought I had gotten a Duracell bunny instead of a dog.

My goodness, he was “on” all the time!!!

Of course I knew that puppies can have a lot of energy. But then they normally also need a lot of sleep. Only, that part seemed to be missing for Baloo.

And unfortunately, that wasn’t just during his puppy days. He was super energetic for a couple of years. And even now (he’s 5 years old at the time that I’m writing this) he still has his hyper moments.

It took me a long time to even figure out what was going on with him.

So, to save you all the research, here are 9 hyperactive dog symptoms that will help you determine if your dog belongs to this category. Plus, I’ll also show you what you can do to help your dog calm down.

What Can Cause Hyperactivity in Dogs?

Is your dog zooming around your house with no signs of ever settling down? It’s normal for dogs to get the zoomies once in a while. But if your dog doesn’t seem like he’s ever going to calm down, then you may be wondering what you can do.

The first step is to identify why your dog is so hyperactive. Here are a few reasons why your dog might be getting hyper.

Some Breeds Are More Energetic than Others

A lot of the time, your dog’s hyperactivity just comes down to genetics. Certain breeds have been bred to be more active than others so they can perform their jobs more effectively.

For example, Dalmations were bred specifically to follow behind horse-drawn carriages. To be able to do this, they needed to have a lot of energy!

So if your dog is hyper, consider his breed. Is he a Labrador, or maybe a Jack Russell Terrier? These are breeds meant to be super energetic!

Jack Russell Terriers are among the most energetic and hyper dog breeds
Jack Russell Terriers are among the most energetic and hyper dog breeds

Type of Food

What goes into your dog’s body matters! That’s why it’s important to always read the label on your dog’s food to make sure he’s getting what he needs.

If your dog’s food is high in carbohydrates, then that could be a reason for his hyperactivity. And even though protein is an important component of your dog’s diet, if your dog is getting too much then that could make him hyper.

A great way to make sure your pup gets high-quality food is to use fresh cooked dog food. Companies like Nom Nom specifically make sure that all your pup’s nutritional needs are met.

Make sure to check out my review on the best dog food delivery services for fresh cooked food to learn more.

Boredom

Dog boredom is the source of many behavioral problems. It can make dogs destructive, anxious, or super clingy.

It can also make your dog super hyper!

If your dog is zooming around your house endlessly, then it could be that he’s just trying to give himself something to do!

So is your dog bored? Here are 7 symptoms of dog boredom.

Overstimulation

It might seem weird but a hyperactive dog can’t calm down because he’s overstimulated. And he gets overstimulated because he can’t ignore what’s going on in his environment, or because he’s feeling a little overtired.

How is a dog ever supposed to settle down if they’re stuck in an endless loop like this?

Well, overstimulated dogs often lose control of themselves and they don’t necessarily understand that running around and being crazy isn’t helping.

Overstimulation can lead to hyperactive behavior
Overstimulation can lead to hyperactive behavior

Conditioning

Your dog is continuously learning throughout his life. If your dog is hyper and acting out, then it’s not necessarily a breed characteristic or a sign of boredom.

It could be trained behavior!

This happens easily if you only pay attention to your dog when he’s acting out and zooming around the house. I know this happens intuitively because you want him to stop.

But it should actually be the other way around. You should pay attention to him when he’s calm and ignore the hyper behavior as good as you can.

Why It’s Important to Help Your Dog Calm Down

Hyper dogs might be cute at first. But anyone with a hyper dog knows that it gets old quickly.

Not only that, but teaching your dog to calm down is actually really important for your dog’s health and safety.

Hyperactive Dogs Often Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Dogs usually need around 12 to 14 hours of sleep every day.

If this seems like a lot, then consider that a dog’s sleeping patterns are different than our own. Although we may only need around 8 hours of sleep, we go into deep sleep every night.

Dogs tend to sleep generally lighter than humans do. This, of course, means that they need to sleep more.

It’s really important that your dog gets enough sleep, since this is a restorative time for your dog. Getting enough sleep keeps your dog’s mind, immune system, and body healthy.

If your dog is hyper all the time, it's difficult for him to get enough sleep
If your dog is hyper all the time, it’s difficult for him to get enough sleep

Lack of Sleep Can Lead to Medical Issues

Losing sleep can result in your dog having medical problems.

Because sleep is so important for your dog’s immune system, your dog is more likely to get sick if he’s not getting enough sleep. Dogs who don’t get enough sleep may also be more prone to obesity, which can seriously affect their joints.

Lack of sleep can also cause a buildup of stress hormones which can lead to behavioral problems like aggression and anxiety.

A Hyper Dog Will Often Get Himself in Trouble

Hyper dogs often lose control of themselves and can’t regulate themselves, anymore!

This means that your hyper dog could get himself in trouble. And I’m not just talking bad behavior.

For example, a hyper dog might sprint out of your house if someone opens the door and run onto the street, which could lead to serious injury.

A dog’s ability to maintain his self-control is an important part of keeping him safe, which is why teaching him to calm down matters!

Hyperactive dogs often lose control of themselves which can be pretty dangerous
Hyperactive dogs often lose control of themselves which can be pretty dangerous

You’ll Want to Protect Your Own Sanity (Trust Me!)

Dog zoomies and hyperactivity are cute—for about two minutes. After that, the constant jumping, biting, barking, and running gets pretty frustrating.

Dogs that are hyper at night can be especially difficult to deal with, since all you want to do is sleep!

In general, you’ll probably feel like tearing your hair out if your dog is super hyper all the time. You’ll find that you and your dog are much happier if your he’s able to calm down.

9 Hyperactive Dog Symptoms

Now that you know the causes of hyperactivity in dogs and why it’s important to calm your dog down, here are 9 symptoms of hyperactivity in dogs.

1. Zoomies

Most dogs will experience the zoomies at least a few times in their lives. But hyper dogs will experience them a lot.

If your dog has the zoomies, then you’ll see him racing around your house, usually with no real destination in mind.

You may find that zoomies are triggered by specific events or occur at certain times of the day. Bath time especially has been known to cause zoomies.

If you’re wondering why dogs get hyper after baths, check out this article to learn more.

2. He’s Getting Vocal

Dogs communicate primarily through body language. But they’ll still communicate vocally.

Dogs who are hyper tend to be especially vocal. Your dog might bark, cry, or howl, sometimes seemingly at nothing.

If your dog is getting pretty noisy and it doesn’t seem to be directed at anything specific, then you might have a hyper dog on your hands.

Zoomies and barking or crying are common hyperactive dog symptoms
Zoomies and barking or crying are common hyperactive dog symptoms

3. Crazy Eyes

If you’ve ever seen a dog with crazy eyes, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Hyper dogs may do something called “whale eyeing.” Sometimes this is a sign of fear or aggression. But other times it’s a sign that your dog is feeling playful. Or, in this case, he’s getting pretty hyper.

The rest of your dog’s body language will help you determine if your dog is scared or hyper. If his whale eyes are combined with things like zoomies, intense playing, and an inability to settle down, you can bet he’s feeling hyper.

4. Seems to Have Endless Energy

Sure, some dogs are just naturally energetic. Even so, all dogs need to settle down and sleep eventually.

Dogs who are hyperactive may seem like they might never run out of energy. They might run around and around, or bark constantly while they try to get you to play with them and show no signs of stopping.

5. Addicted to Playing Ball

Dogs love playing! It’s one of the things we love about them.

But normal playing will stop eventually. At some point, you and your dog will get tired and want to do something else.

Hyper dogs will most likely not want to stop at all. He may follow you around, hounding you (no pun intended!) to keep playing with him.

If your dog won’t let you stop playing, that’s a major sign that he’s hyper!

Hyperactive dogs are often addicted to playing fetch and can't stop
Hyperactive dogs are often addicted to playing fetch and can’t stop

6. Constantly Pulling on the Leash

One of the most important things you should teach your dog is how to walk politely on a leash. If you’ve been training loose leash walking and suddenly your dog just won’t stop pulling, that’s a sign your dog is losing control of himself.

So if your dog won’t stop pulling, then it’s probably time to call the walk quits and work on settling your dog down.

For more help, here’s how to deal with an overexcited dog on a walk.

7. Easily Distractible and Unable to Focus

Dogs who are hyperactive have brains that are moving at a mile a minute. This makes it really easy to distract them.

This is also a great way to test and see if your dog actually is hyper. If your dog is busy doing something and it’s all too easy to get his attention to do something else, then he’s probably hyper.

I sometimes experience that with Baloo during Agility training. He absolutely LOVES training and gets really amped up. However, he’s still able to focus very well for a few rounds.

But then after about the 6th round, he starts to get a little overstimulated and very hyper. I know that because he gets distracted all the time and can’t seem to focus on me at all. When during the first few rounds he’s ultra focused!

Likewise, if your dog is unable to focus on things like commands, that’s another way to tell if hyperactivity is your dog’s problem.

Another hyperactive dog symptom is their inability to focus
Another hyperactive dog symptom is their inability to focus

8. He’s Often Reactive and Impulsive

Teaching impulse control is really important, especially for energetic dogs. Hyper dogs tend to lose the ability to manage their impulses, and may become reactive.

Reactive dogs can be challenging and sometimes even dangerous to deal with. This is why it’s so important to make sure your dog is able to calm down.

9. Struggles to Relax

It’s no surprise that hyper dogs tend to have a hard time settling down. Dogs that are over or under stimulated lose awareness of their bodies, and don’t understand that their hyperactivity is only causing more problems.

If your dog is having trouble calming down, here’s how to calm an overstimulated dog.

How Do You Calm Down a Hyper Dog?

Now that you know the 9 most common hyperactive dog symptoms, let’s look at how to help him out!

Here’s how you can calm down your hyper dog.

Establish a Daily Routine

Dogs that have routines will likely act calmer. This is because your dog will know what to expect and when. By removing uncertainty, your dog will have a much easier time settling down.

Routines will also help regulate your dog’s playtime and naptime, to make sure he’s getting healthy amounts of both!

To get the exact steps I used to finally get Baloo to calm down, make sure to download my free guide for a calm dog.

Make Sure He Gets the Right Amount of Exercise

It’s important to find the balance between over-exercising and under-exercising your dog.

Unfortunately, there’s no exact amount of exercise that your dog should be getting. It’s going to depend on his age, breed, and overall health.

You’ll probably need to use a little trial and error to find what’s best for your dog. But generally, your dog should be getting at least 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise a day.

Make Sure He Gets Enough Sleep

As you already know, your dog needs about 12 to 14 hours of sleep every day. And it’s really important to make sure he gets enough!

Make sure that your dog has a quiet place where he can go to lie down for a nap. And when he is napping, try your best not to disturb him!

Use a Crate to Help Him Calm Down

Crating is a great way to help your dog settle down. They’re also fantastic if your dog is having trouble regulating his own sleeping and napping habits.

If you’re not sure where to start with your dog’s crate training, here’s how to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps.

Feed the Right Kind of Food

When you buy your dog’s food, make sure to always read the label to make sure it has the right nutrients. If you’re not sure how to read the label on your dog’s food, then check out the AKC’s guide.

If you’re looking for a little more control over your dog’s diet, then consider feeding him raw or fresh cooked food.

And also be sure to check out the best dog food delivery services for fresh cooked food.

Conclusion

Hyper dogs can be a serious challenge to deal with. Between the barking, the running around, and the getting into trouble all the time, you might be feeling like you’re going crazy if you have a hyper dog.

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to tell if your dog is hyper if you know the hyperactive dog symptoms.

And if he is a hyperactive dog, then finding ways to keep him calm and help him relax will save your sanity, and your dog’s!

Don’t forget to download my free guide for a calm dog to learn the exact steps that helped me change Baloo from a 24/7-zoomer to a calm and relaxed dog.

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