If your Labrador has a tendency to act hyper then you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common reasons why Labradors can be hyper and what you can do to calm it down.
So, why is my Labrador hyper?
Common reasons would include not getting enough exercise, looking for attention and boredom.
Other possible reasons include being in a new location, you having encouraged it inadvertently with rewards, separation anxiety, a lack of training or feeding it the wrong foods.
And, how to get my Labrador to calm down?
To get your Labrador to stop being hyper you should make sure that it is getting lots of exercise if it is a healthy adult.
You should also take the time to give it lots of training so that it looks for your command before it does certain things.
You can also be calm yourself and avoid rewarding the behavior. In addition, you could try giving it things to be distracted with such as toys or even calming chews or bones.
It can actually help a lot to take the time to figure out why your Labrador might be acting hyper since it will make stopping it much easier.
Possible reasons why your Labrador is hyper
Below are common reasons why Labradors can be hyperactive and what would make them more likely to be the reason why your Labrador has been doing it.
Labradors are supposed to get daily exercise. When they do not get enough exercise, it is common for them to become hyperactive. This would be more likely to be the cause if yours tends to be more energetic when it has not been able to get exercise.
Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults. However, if it is a puppy, it is recommended to limit exercise to 5 minutes per month age because its joints are still developing (source).
Another cause of its hyperactivity could be that it is looking for attention. If you don’t give your Labrador a lot of attention throughout the day but you do when it is hyper, it will likely have learned that behaving that way will get your attention causing it to do it more.
If you think that this might be the case then you could try ignoring it when it is trying to get your attention by acting hyper and then rewarding it with your attention when it is being well behaved.
It could be that your Labrador is hyper because it is bored. This will likely stem from not getting enough exercise, training and attention so it’s important to make sure that it does.
If your Labrador is not hyper in one location but it is in another then it is likely to be because it is being excited by all of the things going around it that it isn’t used to.
It’s not uncommon to be able to train a Labrador to do something in one location but to not be able to get it to do it in another. This is due to all of the new things going on around it. So, when you’re training it, it’s important to train it in multiple locations.
You have been encouraging it
It might also be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it behaves that way. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it is hyper, 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 follow the other tips below.
The cause of the hyperactivity could be due to it having separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left without you and it can cause it to become anxious. There are a lot of other symptoms that often come with it like peeing inside or being destructive while you’re away or becoming anxious when it sees that you are about to leave.
A lack of training
If you do not give your Labrador training, it will behave the way it feels like behaving. The way it feels like behaving is unlikely to be the way that you would like it to behave which is why it is important to make sure to give it training. It would help to start with the basics and then to build up from there.
Feeding it the wrong food
The cause might also be that it has been eating things that it should not be. This would be more likely if it is more hyper when it eats certain foods or if it has started acting that way since a change in its diet. Consult with your vet if you think that this might be the cause also make sure that no one has been feeding it without telling you.
How to stop it from being hyper
Below are some things you can do to get your Labrador to stop being hyper.
To get your Labrador to stop being hyper you can give it lots of training.
Start by teaching it to do simple things such as to sit in an environment like the home where there are not many external distractions. Once you can get it to do that you can build up to teaching it harder things such as to come to you on command.
Once you’re able to get your Labrador to listen to you in less distracting environments you should build it up to teaching it to do the same in more challenging environments.
You can watch the video below for advice on training hyper dogs.
Give it exercise
It’s also important to give your Labrador lots of exercise in order to get it to be less hyper, if it is an adult.
You might find that walks alone aren’t enough for your high energy Labrador so you’ll need to find ways to wear it out even more. One way is to play fetch with it. By doing so you will be able to get your Labrador to do a lot of running over a short time period that will be more likely to effectively wear it out.
If it is a puppy, you could wear it out by playing with it and training it.
Don’t reward the behavior
It’s important not to encourage its hyperactivity. So, you should be careful not to reward it when it is acting hyper. Instead, you can try ignoring the hyperactivity if you can and then reward it when it is being well behaved.
Keep it occupied
You can also try diverting your Labrador’s attention onto things that you don’t mind it playing with by giving it lots of toys to play with.
There are chews that you can buy that are designed to calm your Labrador down. This is something that you might want to try.
If you can’t get your Labrador to stop being hyper then consider getting help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to see why it has been being hyper and what you can do to get it to be less hyper.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider about your Labrador being hyper.
It won’t be quick
It is very unlikely that you will be able to drastically change its behavior with just one training session. Instead, you should train it to behave a certain way in specific situations, stick to training it over the long term, to make sure that it is getting the right diet and to give it daily exercise.
It’s important that you train your Labrador on a consistent basis. If you just train your Labrador once and then stop training it for a while then it will forget its training.
Use positive reinforcement
If you punish your Labrador for acting hyper then it will likely think that you are punishing it for the last thing that it did which is coming to you. A better alternative would be to use positive reinforcement training where you reward your Labrador for behaving the way that you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it misbehaves.
How old it is
It’s important to consider the age of your Labrador. If it’s still a puppy then it will likely calm down as it gets older but it’s still important to take the time to train it now even if it is still young.
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