In the quest to help hyperactive dogs find a sense of calm, many dog owners are constantly seeking effective strategies to help chill out their energetic companions. While sometimes throwing your hyper pooch one of it's favorite puppy toys after a walk may seem like a good idea, it actually can end in riling them up even more.
Fortunately, professional dog trainer & behavioral consultant, Amelia Steele (also known as Amelia The Dog Trainer) has shared via Instagram a remarkably straightforward yet effective method. According to Steele, a calming routine after a walk can work wonders in soothing a hyperactive pup. The key lies in engaging the dog in activities that involve licking.
"One thing that's just as important as what you do on the walk is what you do after the walk," explains Steele. "I really like to have a calming routine post-walk, and the best option for that is anything that involves licking because the action of licking in dogs releases dopamine in the brain."
Dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter, in a dog's brain. But how do you go about trying this solution on your own dog? Let's find out...
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To implement this calming routine, Steele suggests using interactive toys like a kong or a lick mat. These devices allow pet owners to spread a suitable substance on them, such as a portion of the best wet dog food, peanut butter, or even frozen yogurt. Placing the filled toy in the dog's crate and closing the door allows them to enjoy some well-deserved rest. It is recommended to let the dog get some shut-eye in the crate before continuing with other activities.
"After a good sleep in the crate, it's time to let the dog out, but it's crucial to maintain a calm environment," advises Steele. "Anytime the dog becomes active, except during walks, it's important to redirect their energy towards calmness."
By consistently practicing this routine, pet owners can gradually teach their energetic dogs to settle down and embrace a more relaxed demeanor. Not only does it provide a much-needed respite for the dog, but it also allows the owners to enjoy a more peaceful and harmonious living environment.
Some of Steele's Instagram followers have already begun implementing this technique and reported positive results. "I do this for my pup and it works wonders," said one follower. It isn't guaranteed to work for all dogs but it's a simple piece of advice to give a go before exploring other avenues for help, such as consulting a professional dog trainer 1:1.
It could be that you're still to get to the bottom of why your dog gets so hyper, perhaps you need to discover how to calm a reactive dog or maybe they're inherently nervous and you need to learn more about anxiety in dogs.
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Jessica is Staff Writer at PetsRadar who joined the team after spending over a year writing for the brand’s sister site, Fit&Well. She is an avid dog spotter whilst out for her weekly runs and brings to the team a passion for creating informative and helpful digital content, which she has been putting to practice since graduating with a degree in Magazine Journalism in 2021.