View Full Version : Help! Hyperactive puppy

26th March 2009, 02:33 PM
Hi All,

it's been a while since i have been on here, asking for advice about coco. This time though it's not coco at all, it is my mum's puppy, Daisy.
Daisy is 8 months now and is quite possibly the most hyperactive dog i have ever seen. We bought her for my mum because my mum was so in love with coco and we thought it would be good for my mum as she is now living alone. while daisy is absolutely adorable, she is beyond excitable - she literally throws herself at you, landing on her back and jumping back up, she never sits still and is hyper 24/7. if you can get her to rest on your lap for 5 minutes you are doing well. If there is a such thing as ADHD for dogs, then daisy definitely has it. all of this is proving quite stressful for my mum as she is not coping with daisy very well. she even got spayed last week and by the next morning she was back running around the place, jumping up and down on the couches and tearing around the garden. I was terrified she would pull her stitches out. I am not sure if anything can be done to calm her down, except copious amounts of exercise (which does little to curb her energy) but my mum is 60 now and cant handle much more than half hour walks per day. any advice would be appreciated :)

26th March 2009, 04:35 PM
Perhaps your mum could join a good dog training class and try to train Daisy to encourage better behaviour with positive rewards. Also could Daisy have play dates with your dog to try to wear her out a little and perhaps she needs more exercise than a slow half an hour walk. We have a 6 month old and I know half an hour wouldn't make her tired. I have to take them for a run off lead in the park which is all enclosed and safe and then walk for 45 minutes. I find it hard to tire these dogs out they do seem to have loads of endless energy. What about trying chew toys such as kongs in the house to keep her calm? Good luck to you and your mum with Daisy. Let us know how you get on.

26th March 2009, 04:52 PM
Max is pretty active as well. He didn't always get walked when the weather was very cold and I sure noticed a difference. I keep a variety of toys - tug toys, chew toys, and balls in the house and I make sure I spend time playing with him. Of course he has Mindy to play with (but there is only so much playing she wants to do so I try and give her a break). He loves to be outside and since we have a large fenced yard I practice recall with him when we are out. He always comes running at top speed (I have seen him roll himself from trying to corner too fast).

Are there trustworthy neighbourhood kids who might walk her or play ball with her? There are some kids around the corner that adore both Max and Mindy - every time we walk by and they are out the dogs get lots of loving. These kids are very young but older kids might be willing to exercise Daisy. Also at our obedience class the dogs have been allowed to play before and after (at my last class they weren't so I'd be checking that out if it was something I wanted). I also think that exercising the mind uses up some energy. I try and incorporate that into my daily routine. For instance Max does a sit stay or a down stay while I load or unload the dishwasher (otherwise he's in it). Of course he gets rewarded for this but he has to concentrate to do it and if I have some particularly tasty dishes he is just quivering.

We have been able to stop Max throwing himself at us when we get home by ignoring him until he sits nicely, giving him a treat and then going down to his level and letting him greet us.

I swear that Mindy never did a good "sit" until she was well over a year because it's hard to sit when you are wagging your entire body. I would usually give her credit if I could see she was making a good attempt!
Now I won't see he never jumps up because that's not true but he doesn't jump up when I get home anymore.

26th March 2009, 04:56 PM
I would definitely teach your Mom a few obedience things. Working a pup with sit/stays, down etc does tire them out too.

You could also establish a little nap time. When our pups are running crazy and we think they need a small rest, we pop them in their crates. Usually, they lay right down and nap.

Finding a nice chew toy they really like helps too. The kong is a great idea. If you freeze items in there, it takes them longer.

Good luck and let us know how it works out.

26th March 2009, 05:41 PM
I would do a positive methods obedience class... BUT: I'd get the personal opinion of the trainer as to this dog's personality overall, and also, go back and talk with the breeder. Your and your mom may face a difficult choice. To be honest, this level of activity is probably in part the personality of the dog and she will always be like this -- and may not be the best companion for an older person.

Did you work closely with the breeder at the start, and make clear the puppy needed to be a calm, quieter litter choice for the type of home she would go into? Good breeders will know all their puppies' personalities and are an invaluable source of advice on which puppy is the best choice for a given family. Unfortunately a lot of people don't think about this when they pick a pup (it's hard to remember to do this when the cute puppies are there playing! :) ), and sadly a lot of breeders don't advise. The worst scenario for problems later on is, as I go on ad nauseum about at regular intervals :) -- choosing the puppy 'that chooses you'. This invariably is one of the most active and outgoing puppies in the litter -- it would choose *anyone* first -- and if the family doesn;t want that especially active adult dog this pup will grow into (and often they do not want a really active dog) problems start to arise.

A very common reason I get cavaliers into rescue from older people -- or the adult kids of older parents -- is "the dog is too active". The worst case scenario is dogs that are left outside all the time or punished for what is viewed as hyperactivity but really is just a very intense, bright dog that needs a lot of things to do (think collie brain in a cavalier body!). The dogs I have received with the worst behaviour problems are these types of dogs in the wrong home where they either get punished a lot or locked away or left outside. A really active dog like this will need daily mental stimulation and activity like agility to keep both mind and body fit.

I speak from experience both from doing rescue and having to rehome several of this kind of dog every year -- almost always a gift to a parent that is overwhelmed -- and from owning a very active bright and demanding dog, Jaspar. He is my favourite and the once in a lifetime dog -- for ME -- but remains a handful. He is a joy to train and work at agility and so much fun -- but he can also drive you batty as he just needs a level of interaction the three others don;t.

So what can you do? Well, obedience, socialising and structure, long walks, activity, tube toys like kongs for a start. It may be (as it is hard to guess without actually meeting the dog) that this is just adolescent energy that will settle in a couple of months. But this is an age at which a dog really needs the structure of a training class, the right kind of class (no corrections or punishment training), and essential shaping or management, or control problems will get worse. I'd ask the trainer to give an honest opinion of her personality and gauge whether your mother can manage this for the next 10 years (I generally would recommend an adult rescue and not an active puppy for anyone 60+ unless they are extremely active and an experienced dog owner, recognising the dog will still need activity and walks when its human is 70!).

I'd also talk to the breeder. It may be that she will take back this dog and might have a calmer mature dog as an option.

But you will need to be both honest and realistic as to what your mother can manage and what this particular dog needs to have a good quality of life. A bored bright dog is going to be a problem destructive dog eventually.

27th March 2009, 03:01 PM
Loki was very active & destructive with tearing & chewing up things. I found that a lot of exercise & play time keeps him calm. He is 2 now and is better but will still get into trouble if bored. I'm 50 so I don't think of 60 as being to old to take your dog on multiple walks a day or find a play group.

27th March 2009, 11:47 PM
That's true rumor - I'm close to 50 and my agility trainer is 58 and has five border collies.

28th March 2009, 07:39 AM
Hi All,

I am not sure if anything can be done to calm her down, except copious amounts of exercise (which does little to curb her energy) but my mum is 60 now and cant handle much more than half hour walks per day. any advice would be appreciated :)

Hi Pamela,
you've been given some very good advice, so I won't try to add to it too much, but have you looked at her diet? We puppy sat for a friend a few months ago, and this little bundle of energy wouldn't eat her normal food (she was 9 months old) but wanted what my two had. With the owners permission we gave her the same good quality food ours had, and she calmed down noticably after a few days. She was also manic most of the time initially, and the only way to get her to settle was to give her time out in her crate.

I notice in the part I've quoted above you say half hour walks so I'm guessing Daisy gets taken out more than once a day, but that each individual walk lasts for half an hour? If your mum can start some obedience training with Daisy she can incorporate it into the walks, so that Daisy will come back mentally tired. With my little Maddie I've found even 15 minutes of training is enough to calm her down, and an hours obedience class tires her more than an hours walk.

Good luck with finding the solution