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Hyperactivity in dogs: possible causes


Hyperactivity in the dog is not clearly defined as a neurological disease or the like. There are several reasons why a four-legged friend gets upset by the smallest stimuli, is difficult to educate and simply does not want to switch off. Dogs should be well trained in puppy age to prevent hyperactivity - Shutterstock / Africa Studio

The symptoms of hyperactivity in dogs can be very varied, from a hectic greeting, to freaking out at the slightest noise, to tugging the leash, barking for hours and seemingly unteachable. If you also have an overactive dog at home, you should know the causes so that the next step can be the correct treatment of the behavioral problem.

Hyperactivity in dogs: lack of employment

The correct employment of a dog is crucial for its well-being. Both physical and mental workload is important so that a four-legged friend can be balanced and happy. Especially the dog breeds that need a lot of activity - such as huskies or border collies and various working dogs - suffer very much from being under-challenged and quickly show behavioral problems such as hyperactivity. A dog that is underutilized will usually live out its instincts otherwise, for example in the form of destructive rage, aggressive behavior or constant restlessness. Therefore, always pay attention to species-appropriate employment and it is best to find out about the requirements of the respective dog breed and employment options such as dog sports before buying a dog.

Mistakes in rearing and education as causes

Mistakes in early dog ‚Äč‚Äčtraining can have a significant impact on whether a dog later suffers from hyperactivity or not. It is largely about frustration tolerance: if a dog learns from the outset that all of its needs and demands are met and fulfilled as quickly as possible, it never has the experience that something is not going well. If this experience then arises in later life, stress quickly arises, which can degenerate into hyperactivity in the medium term.

In the puppy age, the foundation stone is laid for distinguishing between the important and the unimportant and to "learn" concentration to a certain extent. This is largely done through education. It is not easy for puppies to classify what is important and what is not. A leaf that blows past is just as exciting as a jogger running by. This so-called uncontrolled susceptibility to stimuli must be controlled with the help of consistent and species-appropriate education. A simple example: If another dog walks past and your puppy stays seated, he gets a dog treat from his owner. If a leaf blows past, there is no reward. In this way, your four-legged friend saves that his companion is more important than the leaf and, at best, generally loses interest in walking through the ceiling when a leaf blows past.

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Genetic and physiological causes of hyperactivity in dogs

Hereditary requirements can also influence whether a dog shows hyperactive behavior or not. Some dog breeds were bred to be highly sensitive to irritation, for example the Belgian Shepherd Dog, which was and is used, among other things, as a guard dog. The risk that a breed-sensitive, active dog becomes hyperactive is significantly higher than that of other dog breeds. Wrong dog training has an even more serious effect here.

The causes of hyperactivity in dogs can also go back to the womb. If a mother dog is exposed to great stress during pregnancy, for example due to poor breeding conditions or a life on the street, it is likely that this will also affect the unborn boys - a low stress tolerance and a certain innate fear may result.

In addition, diseases, improper dog nutrition and other physiological causes can also come into play. Permanent stress, such as from an illness, can lead to hyperactivity. Clarify the causes with your veterinarian so that the appropriate treatment can be started.