It is not uncommon for dogs to be described as “hyper,” however, we have to be careful with words.
“Hyper” can mean really energetic, or it can be used to describe canine hyperactivity, which is a medicinal condition similar to ADHD in humans.
If your pooch can’t stop jumping up and down, running around, stealing your things, and barking for no obvious reason, you might think there’s an underlying issue causing them to be so hyper and energetic.
However, that is unlikely the case, as the reason most probably lies in its breeding, upbringing, or environment.
True medical hyperactivity in dogs is rare. If your dog seems hyperactive, it’s likely bored and used to resorting to naughty behavior to get your attention, lacks training, or has an unhealthy diet.
These issues can usually be fixed with simple interventions and without medical attention.
Read on to find out why your dog might exhibit hyperactive behavior and what you can do to deal with the issue.
You’ll see that with some training, persistence, patience, and rewards, your dog can learn how to behave properly and seek your attention in a polite manner.
NOTE – Check this post out if you are interested in reading about why dogs love to walk so much.
What Are the Main Reasons for Dogs Being Hyper?
Most of the time, if your dog shows signs of hyperactivity, it’s not going to be because of actual medical canine hyperactivity.
Quite often, it’s due to poor training and not due to underlying health issues like injury or diseases.
To get to the bottom of the issue, you’ll need to reevaluate how you relate to your four-legged friend.
Some of the most common reasons for hyperactive behavior in dogs are:
- Lack of attention.
- Bad manners.
- Lack of physical exercise.
- Lack of mental exercise.
- Medical reasons.
Let’s take a look at each of these reasons individually so you can have a better understanding of the triggers of your dog’s hyperactive behavior and then look at possible fixes.
NOTE – You might find this post useful, looking at why dogs go crazy after a bath and get zoomies.
1. Lack of Attention
Your dog may feel abandoned if you’re not paying enough attention to it (even if it seems to you that it’s not the case), and it’s going to do anything to draw your attention.
If your pup finds out that you react when it knocks over a trash can, steals your slippers, eats your mail, or tugs at your clothes, it is going to repeat the behavior until you teach it otherwise.
For your dog, it doesn’t matter if the resulting attention is due to anger or frustration. As long as you’re reacting, your canine companion will be happy to have your attention.
No matter how much you think this behavior is naughty, it might be, to an extent, your fault that your dog has adopted this behavior because you have unintentionally encouraged it by reacting to it and giving it the desired attention.
NOTE – You might like to read this post we wrote about why dogs love rolling in snow so much.
2. How To Deal With This Problem?
If your dog is suffering from a lack of attention, be sure to give it healthy attention by spending time with it.
Don’t encourage these attempts to get your attention by reacting. Ideally, this should be done from an early age so that your puppy doesn’t develop this habit.
Try to reassess how much attention you’re giving your dog. It’s possible that you’re not spending enough time with it. If you find that this is true, try to spend more quality time with your dog so that you meet its social and emotional needs.
NOTE – You might also enjoy this post we wrote about why dogs shake when you pet them.
3. Bad Manners
This reason is firmly tied to the previous one. If your dog is prone to use naughty ways of getting your attention, it might be because it’s not well-trained.
You need to start teaching your dog how to politely ask for things when it wants something and set firm boundaries that can’t be crossed.
For example, you can teach your dog to sit before you give it anything. That’s how it will learn that it has to obey the rules if it wants something.
Don’t cave in, and try not to give your dog the desired thing before it sits. Don’t give any additional treats; the desired object or action should be enough.
Additionally, reward calm behavior in general.
The easiest way to train your dog is by enforcing good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior.
This way, your dog will understand that being calm brings good things, unlike being hyper.
NOTE – You might like to read this post. It answers the question: Why Do Bulldogs Skateboard?
4. Lack of Physical Exercise
This is probably one of the most common and obvious reasons for hyperactive behavior. If your dog just can’t calm down, it’s probably full of pent-up energy that it hasn’t released through exercise.
Even when your dog grows up, it still requires a lot of physical exercise to release energy and satisfy the demands of its body.
This is particularly true for active breeds that need a substantial amount of physical exercise to burn up excess energy.
The solution here is simple: make sure that your dog gets more exercise. Some simple ways to do this are:
- Taking longer and more frequent walks.
- Play fetch.
- Play tug.
- Play chase the prey.
- Take the dog to the dog park.
- Find dogs they can be friends with and let them run around like crazy together.
You can always hire a pet sitter or request a family member to take your dog for walks if your schedule is tight.
5. Lack of Mental Exercise
Mental exercise is an aspect that is often overlooked. Even though dogs need more physical than mental stimulation, they still need to exercise their mental faculties for optimal happiness.
It can also be much easier to tire out your dog with mental exercise than with physical exercise.
To exercise your dog’s mental faculties, you can:
- Use shaping.
- Use food-dispensing puzzle games.
- Play games such as “find it.”
- Introduce them to new people.
- Rotate and change toys.
NOTE – Take a look at this post if you are interested in the question: why do dogs run in circles so much?
If you’ve done everything to rectify hyperactive behavior, but nothing seems to work, then it might be time for a trip to the vet.
Hyperactivity can point to hyperthyroidism and neurological conditions, which should be treated by a professional as soon as possible.
If you are in financial difficulty and are worried about vet bills, this website has some useful resources for charities that can help you pay your bills. (If you don’t live in the US, you can use Google to find similar help in your country).
NOTE – You might also like to look at this post about why dogs are always happy.
Final Thoughts on Dogs Being Hyper
Most of the time, your dog will be hyper because it lacks exercise and attention, and doesn’t have good manners or a combination of these factors.
The good news, however, is that you can correct its behavior with some patience and positive training.
But if the hyperactive behavior persists, it is advisable to consult a licensed vet for professional advice.
To finish off this post. You might enjoy watching this short and very cute video about why dogs get the zoomies:
Tim is a proud, vetted, and experienced dog foster carer for a charity helping dog owners escape domestic abuse.
He has years of experience training and caring for dogs, both his own and other people’s.
He is an expert in canine behavior and is highly skilled in dealing with all dogs but specializes in the difficult ones that other people may struggle with.
When he isn’t fostering dogs, he is making friends with other people’s pups!