K9 Corner, Feb. 27

Published 9:17 am Tuesday, February 27, 2018

How to deal with an energized pup 

You and your family have settled the question; you are definitely going to get a puppy for the family. Being conscientious, the family has checked several books from the library on various breeds of dogs and the breed picked seems to have all the qualities that the family is looking for.

So you go to the kennel and watch the puppies playing — and, oh look, isn’t that rambunctious puppy cute? Watch him knock the other puppies down as they play! He is the perfect color too! Let’s get him!

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So you bring home the perfect pup for your family; only, a day or two later, everyone realizes he is worse than the “energizer bunny,” he’s non-stop action. Doesn’t he ever sleep or get tired?

Keeping up with a hyperactive dog or pup can be exhausting. Here are a couple of articles that give tips on what to do to calm your new pet and give you some peace of mind.

The first article from Dog Training Central, (www.dog-obedience– training-review.com), based on Dr. Ian Dunbar’s training techniques, states that some possible causes for hyperactivity are: lack of exercise, lack of basic training, or high anxiety caused by stress.

First take your bundle of energy to his veterinarian to make sure there isn’t a medical condition that is causing the constant activity. Dunbar recommends taking a video at home of the dog as he goes through the day. However, remember that there are certain high-energy breeds and if you have selected a hunting breed or one of the herding breeds and especially if you selected a terrier pup like a Jack Russell terrier, the need for exercise and something to do is understandable.

Providing a special place for the dog to settle at home, a mat or an open crate in an out-of- the-way place that still provides the dog a view of the family’s activities is a start in calming a hyperactive dog.

The second article “Excitable Boy” by Jill Breitner published in the March issue of The Whole Dog Journal is a case history of a super active Australian shepherd who was calmed down, starting with — believe it or not — ignoring the dog the first few days but observing his reaction to his new environment and the fact that no one was paying any attention to him. His diet was changed to relieve his too soft stools and he was introduced to happily wearing a muzzle when he started low-key training sessions. The training sessions lasted five minutes a piece, four times a day. After two weeks of training the muzzle was no longer needed. 

The dog was free to roam the house when he wasn’t in training and one of his self-learning jobs was to entertain himself with the large supply of toys and settle on a mat for a minute or two for a break. During this time the dog was introduced to touch through gentle massage.

As you can see, training a hyperactive dog takes time and patience. Be aware of this when you select your new furry family member.