Training A Hyperactive Dog to Calm Down

 

 

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Training a Hyperactive Dog to Calm Down

Boy, do I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say their dog was “hyperactive” or “ADHD” – I’d be a wealthy woman. In fact, those are clinical terms referring to very specific behavioral disorders (canine and human) that are relatively uncommon in dogs. In reality, most “hyper” dogs are just under-exercised. A couple of days hiking at the Peaceable Paws farm and you’d hardly know them. Not every dog owner has access to large tracts of acreage upon which to exercise their unruly canines, and in any case, “wild child canine syndrome” (WCCS) is more than just lack of exercise; it’s also lack of appropriate reinforcement for calm behavior – i.e., training.

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Dog Names and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Shortly after deciding to keep my first-ever “foster failure” (a dog who was meant to be a foster only, but who found his forever home with me), I asked my husband to take some care with his name; he’s the namer in our family. I’m terrible at naming animals; he’s terrific and funny. But given that this was going to be a dog that we’d have for a long time, not a foster dog just passing through, I had some criteria I wanted him to take into consideration.

Although I would technically have veto power if he came up with a name I hated, he can be quite persistent in calling a dog something he has decided on, despite what the dog’s subsequent owners later decided to name the dog. For example, a couple of years ago, I fostered a short, middle-aged Border Collie-mix who had recently had puppies, and had a rumpled, pudgy appearance. She was surrendered to the shelter where I volunteer as “Mary,” but Brian decided she looked more like a “Brenda,” I have no idea why, and he still calls her Brenda when he sees her, when my friend who adopted her comes to visit. So I really didn’t want him to get attached to a name I didn’t like.

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