How to Keep a Hyperactive Dog Entertained
You love your dog, but for some reason, it simply will not settle down. It’s constantly bouncing around the house, tail wagging, snout poking, and tongue hanging, and you can’t believe how much energy it has all day and all night long. All dogs, especially young ones, have a lot of energy, but there are situations where your dog could have a form of hypertension, or for lack of a better term, “Doggie ADHD.”
These are difficult circumstances for all dog owners, but fortunately, there are options to help manage the situation, whether your dog is medically hyperactive or merely high-energy in nature. KONG Box has been providing means of exercise and stimulation for generations, and you don’t do what we’ve done for as long as we have without loving dogs enough to constantly study them, learn from them and work towards making all of their lives more enjoyable. That’s why we’ve put together a list of ideas for how to keep a hyperactive dog entertained below, in hopes that you’ll take something from it and eventually be able to calm your furry friend down a bit.
The first idea regarding how to keep a hyperactive dog entertained is also the most obvious: exercise. Every dog needs exercise, and as the old saying goes, “A tired dog is a happy dog.” There are many instances where a dog may not be technically hyperactive, but instead, it’s simply not getting enough exercise in its routine. This will lead to a form of acting out that seems like hyperactivity, as dogs have an intense need to exert themselves.
This means that you, too, need to be ready to go out and exercise with your dog unless you have a setup where it can roam your yard whenever it wants through a dog door. Even then, it still needs to get out and it still needs to tire out those shoulders and those legs. There is no way to standardize the amount of exercise every dog needs, as different sizes and ages have different requirements and expectations. The bottom line is that you’ll need to block off time every single day to walk, run or otherwise exercise with your dog so it expends energy.
Establish a Routine
Dogs are adventurers in their own way, but their sense of adventure does not extend to daily life per se. Each day is its own journey for a dog like anyone else, but one idea to consider when it comes to how to keep a hyperactive dog entertained is to ease its mind with regards to what’s going to happen and when. You need to establish a firm, consistent routine, and stick to it. Dogs tend to act out when they don’t know what’s going to happen next, but they also tend to relax when they have a good idea of what to expect.
You should plan your dog’s routine the same way you plan yours, in that it will need stimulation, exercise, interaction, and the like. After you set that routine and begin to follow it, you may be surprised to see how quickly your dog adapts to it and adopts it fully. For instance, if you feed your dog at the same time every morning, it won’t be long before you no longer need that alarm clock to wake up! You won’t need to remind yourself when it’s time for your walk, as your furry buddy will make sure to handle that for you.
As part of the routine you build for your dog, you should make sure to block out time every day just for some “you” time. You are your dog’s master, and you are not only its best friend, but you’re its entire universe. Everything your dog does is in hopes of pleasing you or at least sending you a message. The more time you spend with it, the more connected it’s going to feel to you and the more it’s going to feel like its pack is functional. Dogs are pack animals and you are the alpha, so giving your dog time will be immensely important.
This doesn’t even mean, necessarily, that you have to spend two hours on some excursion somewhere – in fact, that’s not even what we’re talking about with regards to how to keep a hyperactive dog entertained. What we’re talking about is spending 15 minutes, 20 minutes or even 30 minutes per day sitting with your dog, petting it, talking to it, and/or playing with it around the house. It’ll make an enormous difference in its mindset and behavior.
Dogs not only need physical stimulation, but they need to have their minds stimulated as well. They need to be socialized as much as possible. You may be hesitant to bring it along to places you go because of its high level of energy, but if you follow the steps above and commit to them, you’ll likely notice a difference anyway. Adding a socialization aspect to it will only improve things that much more for both of you.
If you go out with friends for lunch, try to go somewhere that welcomes dogs. If you go to parks for fresh air and exercise, choose one that has a dog park there and let your friend go and spend time with other dogs. It’ll learn a lot about proper social conduct from other dogs it meets.
Regardless of the dedication, you show your dog, you cannot possibly spend your entire life figuring out how to keep a hyperactive dog entertained. There will be times when you’re away, busy, or otherwise occupied. That’s when toys become critically important. KONG has been providing entertaining toys for dogs for 50 years, and our toys will bounce around, stay intact and give your friend something to do during those times when there may not be anything else to do. After all, better it beats up on a KONG toy than your furniture.
If you’d like to put yourself in a place where your dog has a happy, active, and calm life, let KONG Box help. Take a look at our page on setting up a profile, and we’ll help you find the toys that could be of use to you as you figure out how to keep your hyperactive dog entertained. We look forward to working with you!