Hyper Dog! Get Hip with Hyper

Is your hyper dog out of control, won’t listen, bouncing off the walls, stealing your stuff and playing keep-away and out of control on walks? 

Does any of this sound all too familiar?  Do you see your dog in these situations?

You’re not in the boat alone my friend.

Hyper  Dog

Many people call me saying, “My dog is hyper! What do I do?”

I’ve had a hyper dog.  My very first dog, Charlie (Golden Retriever), was extremely hyper and coincidentally, he was actually the reason I got into dog training 30 years ago!  So I know the importance of getting your hyper under control immediately – from day one if possible.

So, here are three areas of concern you need to focus on with your hyper dog:

1.  Routine and structure
2.  Diet
3.  Exercise and obedience training

I wanted to give you some good tips on how to handle this problem. So let’s get started by breaking down each important concern.  The sooner you get started – the better – for both your dog’s sake and your sanity!

Routine and structure

One thing I know for sure: If your dog doesn’t know the:

 1.when  2.where  3.what and 4.why about his routine, it can create lots of stress and anxiety that increases his hyperactivity.  Your dog basically needs to know everything below:

When it is time to eat
When it is time to walk
When it is time to sleep
When it is time to potty
When it is time to play
When it is time to train

You can immediately take one of the stressors out of your dog’s life – no structure – by setting up a predictable and consistent schedule around all of these doggie activities. 

If your dog can predict what’s going to happen and when it will happen, he will “lock on” to the routines you have set and it will lower his stress and anxiety.


The food you feed your dog can add to his hyperactivity. When it comes to dog food, making the wrong choice can make a world of difference – not only in their long term health, but their short term health and behavior as well.

“Dog Food and Dog Problems” are strongly connected. Dog foods with cheap carbohydrates and too many carbohydrates can turn to sugar and increase your dog’s hyperactivity.

Hyperactivity, lack of focus, and stress producing anxiety can be caused by a lack of vitamins, by dyes in dog food and possibly a low protein diet.

Do your own research on your dog’s food ingredients.  We know that certain foods we eat can have an effect on our behavior – in a negative way. The same thing is true about your dog. Get his diet right.

Exercise and obedience training

I can’t stress enough the important of physical exercise with dogs. You must constructively manage your dog’s energy with structured walks/runs.

I know that most people are pushed for time but a good long walk in the morning for 30 – 45 minutes – with a shorter one in the evening will help him manage his energy in a constructive while he’s at home.

These walks provide your dog with many experiences to process during the day when you are gone from the house. Dogs exercised regularly are far less likely to develop barking problems.

Provide your dog with mental stimulation with doggie puzzles/games.  These can also help to produce mental fatigue.  Just do a Google search on the internet for doggie puzzles.

Get some interactive toys that you and your dog can enjoy together.  This will help strengthen the bond with your dog while at the same time manage his energy.

Do obedience training with your dog 3 times daily for just 3-5 minutes.  This creates mental fatigue – tiring your dog out. Plan your short training exercises at the same time every day – and in the evenings on week nights.  This means they fall into the “predictable and consistent” list of things he can count on happening daily.

Reward the behavior you want and ignore the behavior you don’t like. Keep your dog on a leash while you are in the house to help supervise him.  This will begin to set boundaries for your dog to respect. Teach him to settle down on the floor next to your foot before allowing him onto the couch.

Spend some down time (predictably at the same time each evening) when you can have calm time with your hyper dog. It may be difficult at first but if it is consistently scheduled and is predictable by your dog, it too can become a successful calming time he looks forward to – as long as all of his other needs have been met.

Remember, it’s not any “one thing” that’s going to fix your hyper dog problem. It’s all the things I’ve just listed. Being focused on making them reasonable, predictable and consistent is your job!

Please comment below and tell us if these tips helped with your hyper dog

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Jim Burwell is a “thanks for making the impossible, possible” professional dog trainer having trained 20,000+ dogs and counting and serving more than 7,000 clients.  Jim’s easy to follow, common sense, and positive methods have made him the “dog trainer of choice” for 30 years.  One of his clients says it best: There are people who are so good at, and passionate about, what they do, that in their presence, one can’t help thinking that they have found their true calling and are doing exactly what they should be doing on this earth. Jim is one of these rare people. His quiet and understated manner, his effective technique for training dogs (and their families) is something which I feel fortunate to have witnessed and in which to have been an active participant.  Jane Wagner

(c)Jim Burwell Inc.