Does your dog struggle to stay calm at home? You need this trainer's three simple tips

Chihuahua running across grass
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If your dog often gets excited at home, struggling to settle and remain calm, you’re not alone! It can be nice to have a happy pup with lots of energy, but you’d be forgiven for wanting them to calm down sometimes – with people leading such busy lives, we can’t always be playing with our dogs!

So, what can you do if your pup seems to need entertainment all the time? Professional dog trainer and behavioral consultant Amelia Steele – also known as Amelia the Dog Trainer – has offered up three things to try in a new Instagram post. If you’d like your dog to amuse themselves with one of the best dog toys once in a while, they’re definitely worth trying!

1. Start the day with something calm: “If the first thing you do every morning is hype your dog up with an exciting activity, like play or a big walk, this can essentially amp them up and make settling throughout the day a challenge,” explains Steele.

To help your pup feel calmer, she recommends going for a morning activity that, while stimulating, is a little more relaxed. This might involve settle training, or learning a new skill involving stillness or calm movement. And, she says that it’s fine to let your dog sleep in, too. 

2. Try not to micro-manage your dog: Your pup doesn’t need you to give them activities 24/7 – in fact, if you do so, you might be hampering their abilities to settle on their own. As Steele says, “Sometimes taking a step back and letting your dog rest or chill out is the best thing you can do.”

3. Incorporate chews & enrichment: If you want to know how to calm down a hyper dog, this is another piece of advice that you might find useful. “Lickimats, snuffle mats, and chews are great for calming your dog’s brain, but they are also independent exercise,” Steele continues. “This can be really helpful for settling, because rather than looking to you all the time, your dog will learn to self settle.”

Maybe you’re actually looking for a high-energy dog that you can be really active with? If so, why not take a look at these 10 high-energy dog breeds that are perfect for active pet parents? Or, if you have a dog from a working breed, you might find this article helpful: I gave my working dog a job and it transformed our relationship.

Frisco Bento Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy 
$18.65 at Chewy

Frisco Bento Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy
$18.65 at Chewy
Offering a moderate level of difficulty, this problem-solving game features sliding pieces and nooks where you can hide small treats or kibble. Suitable for all breeds, it's a great way to provide your pup with some mental stimulation. 

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering pets, lifestyle, health and culture, and he has six years' experience in journalism. He was senior editor at, and has written for The Independent, GoodToKnow and Healthline

He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' golden retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.