Cattle dogs are one of the most energetic of all breeds. Their exuberance and excitement is often overwhelming, and keeping a cattle dog calm can be a battle. However, plenty of play time and patience will calm down even the most active cattle dog.
Take the dog on long walks. Cattle dogs were bred to drive cattle dozens of miles a day and have plenty of energy to spare. Hyper dogs are energetic dogs, and the more exercise she gets, the calmer your cattle dog will be. Keep her leashed as you walk to prevent her from running off and getting hurt.
Spend time at the dog park. Cattle dogs love a good run, and dog parks have plenty of space and sturdy fences to contain your pooch as she burns off energy. Dog parks also give your girl the chance to socialize with other dogs, stimulating her mind as well as her muscles.
Switch your dog to a food with less fat and protein. Excess calories equal increased energy, which is counterproductive to keeping your dog calm. Cut out table scraps and try giving your dog baby carrots or fresh green beans as an alternative to high-calorie dog treats.
Close the curtains to block outside stimuli. Cattle dogs have a high prey drive and will spend his day parked in the window, and may bark excitedly as people or other animals walk by. If she pushes the curtains aside, rearrange your furniture to block her access to the window.
Provide the dog with a plethora of toys. Cattle dogs are highly intelligent and get bored quickly, and different toys will hold his interest and keep him calm. For extra stimulation, give the dog a puzzle toy stuffed with his favorite treats. She’ll burn off excess energy trying to eat the treats.
Enroll your dog in a herding class. Herding is instinctual for cattle dogs, and structured classes provide stimulation and bonding time for you and your pooch.
- Make sure your dog is vaccinated before taking her to the park.
- If your dog likes to swim, a trip to the lake is a fun, safe way to calm your dog. Keep her in the shallow part of the lake, and don’t let her eat garbage or dead fish.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.