How to Calm a Hyper Dog

Is your dog high strung and hyperactive? A hyper dog can be difficult to deal with on a daily basis. Here are some tips for making your dog more tranquil.

Dogs have unique personalities just as humans do. Some dog breeds are docile and laid back while others are high strung with loads of excess energy and enthusiasm. If you happen to be the owner of a dog who gives new meaning to the term “hyper”, you may need tips on how to calm a dog so you can restore tranquility to your home.

When dealing with a hyper dog, the most important question to ask is, “Why is my dog hyper?” Some breeds naturally have more nervous energy. This is particularly true of dogs in the working class such as the German Shepherd and Border Collie. These breeds need a great deal of exercise and focused activity to help to expend their considerable energy reserves. Smaller dogs can exhibit the similar high energy traits. Most people who have owned a Chihuahua can attest to their predisposition towards nervousness. If you live with a naturally hyper dog, the most important thing is to make sure he gets enough exercise. This can be in the form of a brisk walk several times a day or a fast paced game of ball or frisbee. Regular exercise can work wonders not only for your dog’s health but also for his high strung disposition.

If you’re giving your dog sufficient exercise on a daily basis and your dog is still high strung, there are other steps you can take to calm a hyper dog:

Give Your Dog Safe Toys and Bones to Chew

This is a highly effective way to calm a dog. Some dogs become hyper out of sheer boredom and the simple act of having something to do with their mouth can help to dissipate some of their energy and boredom. If you have a large dog, make sure you choose a bone that’s advertised as indestructible or you could be buying them quite frequently.

Take Your Dog to the Dog Park

This is an excellent way to allow your dog release some of his pent up energy and socialize with other animals. The simple act of socializing with other dogs and humans can make your dog more comfortable around strangers which can reduce stress and anxiety that may be contributing to his hyperactivity. Thirty minutes at the dog park is a great stress reliever for both dog and human.

Do Doggy Massages

A calming dog massage can be a very effective technique to calm a dog. If you don’t know how to do one, you can find instructions on the internet. Even the simple act of grooming or brushing your dog with a soft brush can be soothing and help to relieve his hyperactivity if done on a daily basis.

Don’t Reinforce the Behavior

A dog may become hyper in an attempt to seek attention from you. If you give your dog the attention he seeks, you reinforce the behavior. Ignore your dog when he’s displaying hyperactive behavior and give him positive reinforcement when he’s calm. If done consistently, this can have a positive impact on your dog’s hyperactivity level.

A hyper dog can be a challenge for the whole family. Try incorporating some of these tips to calm a dog into your dog’s daily routine and discover what seems to work for your particular pet. With a little patience, you can help successfully master the art of calming a hyper dog.

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User Comments
  1. angel

    On May 12, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I’ll try that on my dog.=)He is extremely hyper.


    On June 18, 2008 at 8:09 am

    I have a 6 month old boxer/beagle mix and none of these methods work! She wants to wrestle with my mastiff and she will not calm down at all! It is to the point where we will have to find another home for her, I got a 4 month old baby who I cannot put on the floor in fear of being trampled on by the dog.

  3. sue

    On July 5, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    I have a 3 year old super-hyperactive Jack Russell who has been neutered yet still shows aggression towards our smaller dogs.
    I purchased Valeria Root capsules 500mg (15-20 lbs) and sprinkle one on his food in the morning. He is calm and better behaved the all natural, safe way without drugs or additives. PLEASE try this for your hyper pet…I was also getting ready to give mine up for adoption but glad I did not as he is a family member and I would cry at the very thought.

  4. jackie

    On October 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    i have tried it all doesnt work way to hyper

  5. Alysha

    On January 8, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    My Lab/Rhodesian Ridgeback is quite exuberant, using these techniques consistently would work I suppose, but the article below is WAY better, covers more realistic approach I believe.

  6. MaC

    On April 16, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Pure breed pitbull….:)
    if you may guess not just your average dog
    Most are scared of pits due to agressive behavior mine oon the other hand is constantly hyper and a jail bird from hell(broken one wire crate and mastered the escape of the plastic one)how is beyond me….. i have tried runs ball walks aroma therapy frozen peanut butter,another dog and nothing does it also crate training is failing not because she goes in the crate she knows the potty is outside but she constantly breaks out of her crate and goes other places sue where can i find these pills?

  7. Momsmith44

    On May 4, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Okay we have a Bichon Frise who is extremely hyper… We are both retired and were looking for a “curly lap dog” as the name refers to… My son said we missed where it also described them as Hyper curly-haired dogs… She just turned 1 yr so should be out of the puppy stage… Also just had her spade… She is no better… She loves to play all time… Take her off her leash in the back yard and tell her to run… She will run and run so fast and hard she can hardly breathe when she stops and you just have to make her stop… Everytime someone comes in she goes crazy jumping up and down and will not stop until you take her… Then you can hardly hold her for a few minutes… I don’t want to change her personality with drugs if that is the way she is supposed to be… But if she is overacting I want something for her… If it is just her personality then we both will need the drugs… HELP!!!!!

  8. Elizabeth Cassidy

    On May 8, 2009 at 11:55 am

    We have an Old English Sheepdog. She is like a bucking bronco and a race horse tied in to one. She is 80 lbs, so when she gets going everyone hides. My son is three and is scared of her and I am due in July to have another baby. She knocks me clean off my feet, and I am in my third trimester. She is a working breed, so we got her a backpack for her to carry her water, but she just leans and refuses to wear it. We have taken her on long runs and she will be tired by the time we get back and take two sips of water and is totally reenergized. She mouths us which hurts when trying to brush or control her. We have gotten her those indestructable bones and she refuses to chew on them. I am to the point of finding her a new home because I just can’t handle it and I am scared someone is going to get hurt. When she wants lovings she will go into a calm submissive state, but as soon as its over she jumps up and starts acting wild again. O and leave her outside for twenty minutes alone and you come out to find an archeological dig. I have had holes up to my hip before. I am just lost on what to do anymore. Please Help!

  9. Doglover14

    On May 19, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Hi everyone. I can totally empathize with all of you. I had a very hyper Bichon Frise for 13 years. Yes, he was the love of my life, but everyone knew when they came over that the crazy Bichon would jump all over them, scratch their legs and bark incessantly for a solid 15 minutes. We did everything wrong with him because training wasn’t pushed so much like it is now. We would tell people “just pet him and he’ll stop” so he was getting rewarded for the jumping and barking and it NEVER stopped. He never really calmed down – until he got much older and sick. Momsmith – 1 year is definitely not out of the puppy stage for a Bichon. You have to be SUPER firm with these dogs. We babied ours and created a monster. He slept in our beds which is a HUGE no-no in establishing the alpha position, gave him table food, let him jump and bark…etc. Now I have a wire fox terrier and we are very strict. He is not allowed in our beds, he has to wait and sit to be fed, he is not allowed to walk ahead of us on a leash…All of these behaviors all of you are experiencing are caused by anxiety. Almost all of them are caused by “weak” leaders. If the dog doesn’t respect you, he will take over the house and ultimately end up in a shelter. You owe it to your dog to learn how to be an alpha and relieve the anxiety you have created. I walk my dog for at least an hour and then play in the yard until he can barely move! If he still misbehaves in the house he is kept in a pen and ignored. Things we find “mean” are not mean to dogs – it is simply making them respect us. Remember – we own THEM they don’t own US. I will not allow my dog to control my life or destroy my house. Be strong and confident and DEMAND respect from them.

  10. Ranah

    On May 23, 2009 at 9:47 am

    I totally agree with you doglover14.

  11. Grandmom

    On August 31, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Our dog never tires! She’s 18 month old Chi-Wienie and has an Ever ready battery in her! She has the run of our 3+ acres and runs constantly and never gets tired! She chases squirrels and birds all day long and when she comes in she’s still wild!
    Nothing works!

  12. mobeen

    On October 25, 2009 at 8:30 am

    i\’ll try it on ma dog

  13. Christina

    On February 25, 2010 at 3:58 am

    I have a 10 month old Rat Terrier/Mini Australian Shepherd mix who is VERY hyper. I’ve figured out that if he gets two 20 minute brisk walks or 1 hour long regular walk that it usually calms him down. That or a 20 minute game of “Extreme Fetch”, which pretty much means I have 2 balls and once he comes back with one ball, I throw the other. I also crate him when he gets too excitable, which really helps when people come over. He is in his crate when they come, so he doesn’t jump all over them, and when he calms down 20 minutes later and is used to them, I let him out and tell whoever our guest is to lower themselves to his level so that he has no reason to jump up. Nylabones and Kong toys have saved my life numerous times, as well as raw hide rolls! I’ve also been really firm with my training and make his training a game, so he can earn treats. He’s calming down little by little every day thanks to all of these methods. I hope this helps everyone with hyper dog issues.

  14. laura

    On May 20, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    food! check the packet of dog food, if the portein is more than 20% the stuff is like rocket fuel! i have 2 weirmarners and have found it is a lifesaver when i get dry food at 18% protein

  15. Mark

    On August 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I’ve used the Thundershirt to my dog, and it’s helped.
    I hope it can help any other

  16. Bailee

    On January 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I do have a very hard time with my Border Collie. It’s like she goes into a zone where I can’t get her attention, I ride horses alot and that’s how I take her to run but I have a hard time getting her to listen and I was wondering if maybe I should use a whistle or something like that to get her attention and listen to me. Any suggestions? I really need help my mom wants to get rid of her because of it but I love her so much.

  17. missi

    On August 29, 2011 at 11:19 am


  18. Teresa Beamon

    On October 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I have a rat terrier/chihuahua mixed and she is very hyper. I read what Sue said and think I will try it first before getting rid of her. Because she is getting on my nerves. But want to try that before having to get rid of her. Husband loves her and would hate to give her away.

  19. theo

    On November 7, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    you need the dog to sleep more and coam the dog down. feed it one more cup then you yoslly do

  20. Marcie

    On November 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Two words…doggy daycare!

  21. mrrrun

    On November 17, 2011 at 2:29 am

    I have a 3 months old labrador/husky mixed and she is extremly hyper early in the morning 6a.m. how to make her to get some more sleep?

  22. Dannibosh

    On January 15, 2012 at 5:27 am

    We are at our wits end with our 5 month old cocker spaniel. I could never give her up but every day is really hard! Will try these tips and see how we go. I wish there was a simple solution!

  23. T McCarthy

    On January 19, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    My 5 mo. old wheaton terrier is the same. I walk hime once a day, no time for twice. He’s crzy hyper. When he see another person or dog, he literally loses it and there is NO reasoning with him.
    You mentioned doggy bones. Which ones are safe?


  24. DJR

    On March 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Watch “It’s Me Or The Dog “with Victoria Stillwell. Absolutely amazing…she has the best tips and tricks. She has written a great book as well.

  25. DJR

    On March 1, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    If your dog is losing it with other dogs or people, calmly remove him from their presence on a lead until he calms down (stay with him). Once he is calm bring him back into the room. Repeat as many times as needed. He will enventually get the picture that going nuts isnt going to get him anywhere. Praise him lots when he is calm.

  26. Leslie

    On April 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I have a female 9 month old Shorkie, she was fixed three months ago and ever since has been hyper. What happened, she’s so pumped up. Has anyone elese had this problem.

  27. Sabrina

    On May 1, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I have a hairless chiwaha and his about 3 4 years old… He is super hyper all the time! Like to the point where his like jumping up walls and running around all crazy! And howls and whines until someone keeps him company… Help!:/

  28. Amanda

    On May 16, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I have tried all of these techniques with my 5 year old German Shepherd. But he’s an enigma to me because he is very hyperactive yet lazy at the same time. He will not play for long. I can throw a ball to him about 2 or 3 times and he refuses to go after it anymore. So I get out some bubbles for him to jump and chase and he does the same thing…plays for a few minutes then is bored with it and wants to go lay somewhere and chew on something. I take him on a 2 mile brisk walk every evening and he freaks out beforehand. I have tried everything to train him to chill out before the walk but it is like trying to train a brick wall. He’s insane. But he’s really a very healthy and trainable dog. I have taken him through obedience classes (where he was the star pupil and always used as an example for the other dogs by the teacher). I know that Shepherds are work dogs so I try my hardest to keep him from being bored (he has several different types of toys which I rotate often so he doesn’t tire of them) but I’m out of ideas on how to calm him down.

  29. Mystery Girl

    On July 23, 2012 at 12:38 am

    My dog is a Pomerian/Fox Terrier and he is VERY WILD!!!!! and I did this to him. IT WORKED.

  30. Frieda

    On August 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Is there any kind of sedation for a really crazed Bichon Frise. She absolutely goes crazy when she wakes up in the morning and has no control when people come in. What can we do?

  31. Wheaten love

    On August 7, 2012 at 7:38 am

    I have a 4 month old wheaten and is a wild one. We adopted the “nothing is free in life” method. We were lucky and learned from the start she is an attention whore and foodie. She will do anything for the two. Whether we’re going on a walk, petting her, feeding her- she has to work for it. We tell every person who comes in our house to make her sit for 10 seconds before petting her and if she jumps- to stop until she calms down. I used to have a terrier mix by not training (like we did this one) she became a terror. Our current puppy is not perfect… she wears a Thundervest because she gets high anxiety when we leave (plus we hired a puppy walker during the day) an we’re taking her to obediant classes, but she defiantly knows we are the alpha dogs.

  32. Yogapants

    On August 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I rescued an American Bulldog in December…very hyper. We also found out she was deaf after having her for a month. She became aggressive after being on doggy Prozac for a while, and we came thisclose to rehoming I just graduated a natural health class, and decided to try something besides prescription meds. I stopped giving her the Prozac, and started using L-Theanine, which is an amino acid. It’s available in most health food stores and on Amazon. I give her 200 mg in the morning…no side effects and it’s made a huge difference. She’s not perfect, but has really improved! Hope this helps others.

  33. K carpenter

    On September 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I have a boxer/blue tick Honda mix he’s only 15 weeks old. I’m trying to find something to do or give him because he’s very hyper and doesn’t want to sleep at night. Any suggestions

  34. K carpenter

    On September 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I have a boxer/blue tick Honda mix he’s only 15 weeks old. I’m trying to find something to do or give him because he’s very hyper and doesn’t want to sleep at night. Any suggestions

  35. chelsea

    On October 8, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    My dog isfreaking insane she a boxer staff cross year n half old closer to 2 she fine until I’m doin something and then she steals things from me or chews the sofa it’s nor things u can ignore she steals cameras ans my phone and anything she can brake or destroy that she knows in mine she dose it so I have to chase her down n get my things back befor she destroys them but the main thing is the sofa or jumping on me I’d I’m stood infront of the fire and the more I ignore her the worce she gets she dosnt get bored n calm down she just destroys cushions and jumps on my face nothin works with her she gets lots of praisefor good behavior but the rest of the time there’s nothing I can do with her any advice?

  36. chelsea

    On October 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    My dog isfreaking insane she a boxer staff cross year n half old closer to 2 she fine until I\’m doin something and then she steals things from me or chews the sofa it\’s nor things u can ignore she steals cameras ans my phone and anything she can brake or destroy that she knows in mine she dose it so I have to chase her down n get my things back befor she destroys them but the main thing is the sofa or jumping on me I\’d I\’m stood infront of the fire and the more I ignore her the worce she gets she dosnt get bored n calm down she just destroys cushions and jumps on my face nothin works with her she gets lots of praisefor good behavior but the rest of the time there\’s nothing I can do with her any advice?

  37. Tanisha

    On December 12, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    I have tried everything listed here and she’s still bouncy as ever. She constantly runs from one room to the next and back. She wearing down my carpet. I have toys all over the house for her. If people didn’t know better, they would think I was running a day care. She loves to play with them but her energy level is still so high. Yes she’s still in her puppy stage but this is completely crazy.

  38. Roz Welting

    On December 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    missi ,, I would exercise that dog TONS , do alot of retrieves ,Throw a kong on a rope and drain her energy . Then at other times do a lot of obedience work and work her mind . She sounds bored .In the summer take her to a lake and let her swim for long periods ,swimming drains energy like nothing else . This is a hunting dog and is not made to sit around the house all day .

  39. connie

    On February 24, 2013 at 10:10 am

    I have a Blue Heeler mixed with pitbul, had her since she was 8 weeks old now she’s almost 2….oh my god she is so hyper when people come to visit, she jumps and always wants attention but of course it’s annoying to the people that comes to my house, it’s to the point to where people wont even come to my house anymore.

    I have tried EVERYTHING known to man and NOTHING works, i don’t want to give her up, but what do i do? i have tried to train her the right way from 8 weeks on but it must just be her mix of breed.

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