If your dog has been acting crazy you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. In this post, I will show you common causes of dogs acting crazy and what you can do to get it to calm down.
So, why is my dog acting crazy? Possible reasons why your dog is crazy are needing more exercise, rewarding the behavior, stress, fear, separation anxiety, a change in its daily routine or injury or illness.
There are many reasons why your dog might be acting crazy and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are also many things you can do about it and there are a lot of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause.
Why your dog has been acting crazy
Below are a number of common reasons why dogs act crazy and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been.
Dogs are generally meant to get daily exercise. When dogs do not get enough exercise, they will often start acting crazy and it might be a part of the reason why yours has been as well. This would be more likely if it acts crazier on days when it is not able to get any exercise.
Encouraging the behavior
It might also be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it is crazy. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it is crazy, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved and to wait for it to calm down before rewarding it.
The reason why it has been doing it might also be that something has recently caused it to become stressed. This would be more likely if it started acting crazy after an event occurred that might have caused it to get stressed. Such events could include an owner or another pet dying, another pet being added to the family or moving homes.
In this case, it should improve over the course of a few days or weeks. It would help to give it positive attention in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it. If it does not improve, it would help to get help from a vet or dog behaviorist.
It might also be the case that something has been causing it to become fearful. This would be more likely if it does it more at certain times such as when there are fireworks, sirens or construction works outside.
In this case, it would help to remove the thing that is making it become fearful if possible or to try desensitization training.
An issue with its diet
It could also be the case that there is an issue with its diet. It could be the case that it is not getting the right nutrients in its diet, it is eating too much, not enough or that it is eating things that it should not be. An issue with its diet would be more likely if it has started acting crazy since a change in its diet and if it acts crazy when it eats certain foods.
It would help to make sure that you have been feeding it correctly, that no one else has been feeding it and that it does not have access to things it should not be eating.
The cause could be that it can hear noises that it does not like. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more at certain times such as when there are construction works or fireworks outside.
In this case, it would help to try to reduce the loudness of the noise or to use desensitization training.
A change in its daily routine
Dogs generally like having a consistent daily routine and it can cause them to act weird when their daily routine gets disrupted. This might be the reason why yours has been acting crazily. This would be more likely if it has started doing it since a change in its daily routine. Changes could include walking it at a different time, feeding it at a different time or waking up at a different time.
Another possible cause is that it has separation anxiety. This would be more likely if you have been leaving it alone for long periods lately and if it starts getting anxious when you are leaving. In this case, it would help to try to leave it alone for shorter amounts of time if possible.
The cause could be that it is trying to get extra attention from you. If it tends to be crazy when you have not given it much attention or if you tend to give it extra attention when it does it then it would be more likely to be the cause.
It would help to give it attention throughout the day by training it, playing with it and exercising it. However, it would also help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it becomes crazy.
Injury or illness
A possible cause is that it has gotten an injury. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being injured or ill such as vomiting or limping. If it seems like it might be ill or injured, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out why your dog has been acting that way.
When your dog first started being crazy
If it has started being crazy recently, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started.
Some things to consider would be:
- If you changed its diet
- If it has been getting less exercise
- If it started showing other signs of being ill such as vomiting
- If someone was aggressive towards it
- If you have started leaving it alone for long periods
- If an owner left home or passed away
What time your dog tends to be crazy
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to be crazy since it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it does it more when it does not get exercise, it would be more likely to be due to a lack of exercise. Whereas, if it does it at around the same time that you leave home, it might be due to separation anxiety.
If it has been acting crazily constantly, it would make it more likely to be due to illness, injury, something it ate, being fearful or stress. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet or to get help from a dog behaviorist if there are no medical causes.
What to do about your dog being crazy
Below are some things you can do about your dog acting crazily.
Ensure its diet is right
It would help to make sure that it has been eating correctly, that no one else has been feeding it and that that it has not got access to things that it should not be eating.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that your dog gets daily exercise. The amount of exercise it should be getting will depend on its breed but if it is a puppy it is generally recommended to limit it to 5 minutes per day for every month of age (source).
If it is already getting daily exercise but it is still acting crazy, you could try to get it to calm down more by getting it to play things such as fetch.
You can watch the video below for some tips on how you can train it to learn to play fetch.
Take it to a vet
If you cannot figure out why it has been being crazy, it has been doing it constantly or it has been showing signs of injury or illness, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving it things it wants when it acts that way. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want, to wait for it to stop acting cray before rewarding it and to give it positive reinforcement training.
Give it training
It would help to give your dog lots of training to get it to calm down.
The training method that I would recommend is positive reinforcement training. This is where you encourage certain behaviors by rewarding your dog when it displays them and avoid rewarding it when it does not.
To use it to get it to be less crazy, you would reward it when it is acting calmly and stop rewarding it when it starts being crazy.
Get help from a dog behaviorist
If you cannot get your dog to calm down, another option would be to get help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to see why it has been doing it and what you can do to get it to calm down.
Give it distractions
In addition to the above, you could also give it things to be distracted with. Things you could give it might include bones, chews, toys or puzzle games.
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