Do You Have a Hyperactive Dog?
We live in a fast paced world.
Most of the time I love modern technology, but sometimes I want to go back to when things were simpler.
I actually blame modern technology and the hormones and odd things that we eat are to blame.
Just like ADHD in people, dogs can suffer from hyperactive disorders.
And, like humans have lower lipid and fatty acid levels in people with ADHD, dogs with hyperactive disorder have lower levels of tryptophan in their diet.
More studies need to be done to help us understand if hyperactivity is related to certain components in the blood, or not.
Is Your Dog Really ADHD?
Unfortunately, I think this term and concept is completely overused.
The clinical syndrome of hyperactivity has actually been found to be very rare in pets.
Dogs who seem hyperactive are probably hyperkinetic, which means they are reactive to new and exciting things.
We want our dogs to be confident and proactive, not simply waiting to react to things in their environment.
Hyperkinetic dogs are typically over 3 years old and have increased respiratory and heart rates, poor body condition scores, reactivity and agitation. These dogs are emotionally aroused by simple stimuli and often stay in a state of arousal long after the stimulus is removed.
A boarded veterinary behaviorist can diagnose or rule out true hyperkinetic dogs. They will run blood work to test thyroid, for allergies and other conditions that may be the cause of some of these behaviors. Any physical cause needs to be effectively treated or managed.
This is why it is crucial to seek a boarded veterinary behaviorist over a trainer when you are dealing with reactive dogs with aggression issues.
The Majority of the Time
The majority of the time you simply aren’t meeting your dog’s need for exercise and mental stimulation.
I’ve said it before, I said it above, and I will say it again…
We live in a world ruled by modern technology, a high cost of living and we simply don’t have the time we used to have!
30 years ago most households had one parent working and were able to pay the bills and live fairly comfortably. Today, many people work several jobs just to live paycheck to paycheck.
This amount of work added with social media and the constant buzz of technology lessens our time.
And, many times our dogs take the brunt of our lack of time.
Often, even when pet parents are home they are probably not really engaged with their pet.
This also makes some people feel guilty, so instead of training they end up spoiling their dogs.
And, spoiling your dog can create monsters.
Dogs don’t want THINGS, they want our TIME!
They need and want rules!
They want us to teach them what we want (in the form of training).
If You Don’t
So what if you don’t meet your dog’s needs?
He will likely, at the very least, appear extremely hyperactive.
After all, he is trying to meet his own needs and no one has given him the training to do so appropriately.
A tired dog is a good dog!
Check out my follow up to this article, “Ways to Manage a Hyperactive Dog“.
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.