By Nan Talleno
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Hyperactivity, over-reactivity or over-activity in dogs can be viewed in various ways. For example, puppies may appear to be overactive and uncontrollable but in reality, they just possess abundant energy that can quickly turn into excitement. They seem to focus in short bursts but can also tire easily as well.
There are also many breeds of adult dogs who display various degrees of hyperactivity or high activity levels due to the fact that they were primarily bred for catching prey, herding, fieldwork, etc. Everyday physical routines are just not enough for such highly tuned canines. These dogs need to engage in higher energy exercises like special runs, agility training or obstacle courses to help deplete excess energy and to help them to be calm and to relax.
Overall, however, a major factor for hyperactivity in most dogs regardless of their breed or energy level (but especially for dogs with medium to high energy levels) is the lack of mental stimulation along with their physical exercise on a daily basis. A good daily walk, along with set boundaries and teaching basic commands such as “sit” “stay” etc, is vital for their physical and emotional well-being.
Very rarely does it occur that hyperactivity cannot be controlled without the use of medication, which should only be diagnosed by your vet or a qualified behaviorist. Fortunately, in most cases, it is proper diet, physical exercise and emotional challenges that need to be met to control higher levels of energy.