Dogs are naturally cheerful creatures with a ton of energy. But is there a point where it gets a bit too much and becomes a cause for concern?
As a dog parent, you’ll likely have an idea of what is normal and abnormal for a dog. But, that’s why you’re here, isn’t it? You want to figure out how to calm down your overactive or anxious dog. Well, here you go.
What causes dogs to behave this way?
Well, there’s normally a perfectly logical reason your dog is acting this way. Perhaps there’s a frightening thunderstorm, or your dog sees a playmate he/she misses. Sometimes, however, your dog’s behavior may change for seemingly no reason at all, and can be because of poor training, or even because your dog is just naturally predisposed to heightened excitability or anxiety. This usually requires behavioral services.
How you can help at home
The issue is present now, and it is unlikely you’ll find a behavioral therapist as you read this, so here are some things you can do in the meantime:
Try Dog Appeasement Pheromone (DAP)
You won’t need a prescription for this, but you do have to visit a pet store to get your hands on DAP. It works by replicating the pheromones of a dam (mother dog) to promote calmness.
Put on a thunder shirt
Thundershirts are pressure vests that simulate the feeling of a hug. They are especially useful for highly anxious dogs.
Supplements such as L-theanine have been proven to help up to 94% of dogs overcome stressful experiences, especially thunderstorms. Just remember to check with your regular vet before giving it to your dog.
Crate training can come in especially handy when you aren’t around to soothe your dog. This will become your dog’s “safe place”, and he/she will go there for comfort whenever the feelings arise.
If none of these strategies work, try distracting your dog with a treat or toy. This will help to get his/her mind off the situation, hopefully long enough until it passes.
Dogs sometimes jump in headfirst without thinking. Teach your dog to be patient and think before acting. This will make him/her less reactive. For instance, tell your dog to sit and let him/her wait before putting on the leash, or before throwing the ball to be fetched.