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Hyperactive Dogs Vs. High Energy Dogs

 by jaime on 12 Aug 2014 |
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Just like humans, some dogs are more energetic than others. Perhaps your own dog is one of these pooches with seemingly endless energy and enthusiasm. You may even call your dog hyperactive. It may even drive you a little crazy at times and that's understandable. But is your dog truly hyperactive, or are they just high-energy? While at first, it may seem that these two terms are mutually exclusive, they in fact mean two very different things and require different remedies to help ease the situation and make your energetic dog more calm.

What is Hyperactivity?
Essentially the dog version of Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder (ADHD), hyperactivity is also known as hyperkinesis.

Symptoms of hyperactivity include:
  • Frantic activity
  • Extremely short attention span
  • Extremely impulsive
  • High degree of attention seeking behaviour
  • Unable to focus on a single task
  • Distracted very easily
  • Sensitive to sudden changes
  • Overreacting to the presence of a new person or other animal
  • Struggle to adjust to new stimulus
  • Struggle with repetitive tasks
  • Become bored very easily
  • Destructive
  • Emotionally unstable
  • Cannot handle being physically restrained
If your dog displays some of these symptoms there may be a chance that they are hyperactive. Just like humans with ADHD, your dog may benefit from taking stimulants to help them focus and pay attention. Speak to your vet about your options.

High-energy dogs
Unlike hyperactive dogs, high-energy pooches are excellent at quickly focusing on a single task and this is a great way of knowing whether your dog is hyperactive or just high-energy. High-energy dogs, while they can be unruly, are able to control their behaviour once they have been properly taught.

Sporting and hunting breeds of dogs have a genetic predisposition to being high-energy.

Other reasons for high-energy in dogs include:
  • Lack of proper exercise
  • Lack of socialisation
  • Owners not meeting their particular breed of dog's needs or understanding their behaviour
  • Poor breeding and socialisation as a puppy
  • Lack of training and obedience.
How to help a high-energy dog
  • Provide more training
  • Play interactive games
  • Teach new tricks
  • Provide more exercise
  • Rotate their toys
  • Increase their socialisation by introducing them to new people, places and other dogs
  • Introduce a more structured routine

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