The moment you get home, Benji nearly knocks you over and mauls you for attention before you even get a chance to put your keys down. He’s not a bad dog, he just has extra pent up energy. With a little work, you’ll calm your hyper pooch in no time.
Benji knows that when he whimpers and jumps all over you, you’ll pet him, give him a treat or otherwise give in to his annoying behavior. While you certainly didn’t mean to, you actually taught him that begging gets him exactly what he wants. So the next time he paws or barks at you, just ignore him. If he jumps up on you when you walk in the door, turn your back on him and walk away. As soon as he chills out, then you can pet him and give him all the attention he craves. He’ll start to figure out that his overly hyper behavior doesn’t get him anywhere. He has to sit and behave if he wants a good rubdown.
Take Him for a Walk
You know how you feel after a good hard workout: relaxed and stress free. Your pup feels the same way after vigorous exercise. Before heading to the office, get up an extra 20 minutes early and take him speed walking through the neighborhood. If you’re not a morning exercise person, just sit back in your chair while sipping on coffee and toss the ball across the yard instead. He’ll come back in panting and exhausted and ready for a nap.
Give Him Stimulating Toys
Hyperactive dogs need an outlet to stimulate their minds so they don’t get bored. If food tends to be Benji’s go-to motivator, get him a few different treat balls or hollow rubber toys. Rather than feeding him his meals in the bowl, stuff his kibble in the toy with a dollop of peanut butter or wet food to seal it in. He’ll have to push the toy around and work hard to get to his entrée. You’ll have a quick and easy way to keep him busy while you make dinner or do the laundry. Because he can get bored with the same old toy day after day, rotate his treat toys frequently to keep his energy in check.
Everyone in your home needs to be consistent to keep Benji’s hyperactivity in line. If you always ignore Benji’s demands, but your other half gives in, your training won’t be effective. When you have a guest over, get Benji to sit and then allow your friend to pet him. Putting him on a leash can help in the early stages if he tends to jump on everyone. Lastly, your dog’s personality is a direct reflection of your own moods. If you want Benji to be calm and well mannered, you need to be even tempered at all times. Coming home in a stressful or anxious mood will make your pooch feel the same way. He’ll be overly active because you seem that way and he’s mimicking the behavior of his leader: you.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.