Thursday, December 3, 2015

Help My Skittish And Hyperactive Dog

Patience is key in calming down a skittish dog.

Dogs can be skittish and hyperactive for many reasons, but with some effort you can help your canine friend relax. You'll need patience, because training a dog is a process, not an event. If you succeed, you will not only make your dog happier, you will also strengthen the bond between your dog and yourself.


1. Exercise your dog by taking him on long walks every day and/or by playing with him until he's too tired to be skittish or hyperactive. Often, dogs exhibit nervous and skittish behaviors because they are bored or have excess energy.

2. Expose your dog gradually to new and unfamiliar people, dogs and situations to show her there is nothing to be skittish about. Go at her pace and praise or treat her for acting calm; do not reinforce unwanted behaviors by trying to soothe the dog for exhibiting them. For example, if the dog is whining and you pet and praise her in an attempt to comfort her, you actually are reinforcing the whining.

3. Enroll in dog training classes to help your dog learn self-control and to strengthen your role as the leader of the pack. By teaching your dog commands such as "sit" and "down," you are helping him learn self-control. In addition, you are showing him that you are a strong pack leader, which is what dogs want. As a result, he will look to you for aid when he feels unsure of a situation.

4. Redirect nervous behavior by giving the dog something to take her mind off what she's skittish about. For example, cue a behavior she's learned and then reward her with a treat, or start a game of fetch with her favorite toy or ball.

5. Ignore nervous or hyperactive behaviors by turning your back on the dog when he engages in them. Or put him in time-out -- which can be in a different room, or in his bed -- for several minutes. He will soon learn that unwanted behaviors do not get him what he wants. In addition, they deprive him of your company.

6. Consult a professional dog trainer if your dog's actions are harmful to herself, you or others; if she engages in destructive actions; or if you are unable to cure her of her skittish and hyperactive behaviors.

Tags: help your, hyperactive behaviors, learn self-control, skittish about, skittish hyperactive, unwanted behaviors