Trainer reveals the secret to calming down a hyperactive dog and it’s pretty straightforward

Hyper dog standing on a bench outside
(Image credit: Getty)

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...

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.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

With over a year of writing for PetsRadar, Jessica is a seasoned pet writer. She joined the team after writing for the sister site, Fit&Well for a year. Growing up with a lively rescue lurcher kindled her love for animal behavior and care. Jessica holds a journalism degree from Cardiff University and has authored articles for renowned publications, including LiveScience, Runner's World, The Evening Express, and Tom's Guide. Throughout her career in journalism she has forged connections with experts in the field, like behaviorists, trainers, and vets. Through her writing, Jessica aims to empower pet owners with accurate information to enhance their furry companions' lives.