Calming Games to Help a Hyperactive Dog or Puppy

by | Jun 23, 2021 | Puppy & Dog Tips

Does your dog have a hard time settling down in quiet environments? Or does he or she wiggle around a lot or often wakes you up before the crack of dawn with a frisbee full of drool? If your furry buddy seems to have unlimited energy, he could be hyperactive. Of course, dogs can occasionally get overexcited. But if your pooch is constantly exuberant and tiring themself out, it’s good to be equipped with the knowledge on how to calm them down.

It’s crucial to know the breed and characteristics when adopting a dog from a shelter. If the dog is an energetic breed, you will need to have an arsenal of calming activities ready. Here are calming games that will help your hyperactive dog expend energy. But first, some quick information about hyperactive dogs.

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Hyperactive Dogs

Many first-time pet parents return their newfound buddies to shelters exclaiming, “I’ve had enough!” The dog is too active. If the dog is over three years old, he could have missed training when a pup. Or the poor thing could be clinically hyperactive. But clinically hyperactive dogs are rare unless you have a flea situation, that is. A vet or animal behavior specialist can do a series of tests and checkups to ascertain if the dog has the condition, in which case they’ll give you specific advice on how to care for your dog.

In most cases, we (humans) have a hard time keeping up with the normal activity levels of our four-legged companions. Most hyperactive dog issues are simply down to the breed and personality. So it is vital to check your lifestyle, understand the breed and family history before adopting a dog from a shelter. If you are looking for a dog to help keep a senior company, stick to the less active breeds. But if you don’t mind an energetic canine, brace yourself and brush up on your knowledge of calming games and activities!

It’s so important that you teach your dog when to settle down. Here’s a list of calming games for your active buddy, though make sure your pooch is fit enough before trying the below – and also try not to do any of these activities in the midday sun during hot weather.


If your dog enjoys fetching, go ahead and play it as often as you can. It’s an excellent exercise for the dog, and you don’t have to join in the workout.

Dog sports

There are so many dog sports to choose from; you and your dog can try different activities. Find out which are his favorites and make them part of your lives. For an overly active buddy, obedience sports like heelwork, canine freestyle, and rally obedience will help him learn obedience cues. But you can also help him expend energy with some racing sports and stimulate his mind with track and hunting sports.

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Stairs run

Run up and down the stairs a few times with your furry buddy. But don’t push your dog too hard. Chances are you will tire before the dog does. If your furry buddy is a Dachshund, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, or other breeds with long backs and short legs, be extra cautious. Running up and down the stairs could be more challenging.


This will give your furry buddy some mental stimulation and physical exercise. Consider incorporating a game of chase while at it.

Indoor Running/Treadmill

Sometimes you want the dog to expend energy without getting yourself involved too much. A treadmill could be an excellent solution. But, nothing good comes easy. You have to take the dog through careful training. Eventually, he will love treadmill workouts.


Frequently playing tug will help your dog to build muscle and strengthen your bond. Most dogs take pleasure in a game of tug with their owners, but if you are not available, there are a wide variety of tug toys to pick.


When we think of dog agility, our minds go straight to outdoor courses or complex indoor agility spaces. But you can do it at home. Use home supplies such as broom handles, boxes, and Hula-Hoops to build an in-door agility course where you can have some fun with your buddy. If that’s too much, think about joining a nearby club with an indoor agility space.

Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys will keep the dog mentally engaged when you need him to keep to his space. They don’t do much for bonding or to physically exercise the dog. So you will have to think of ways to expend energy at the appropriate time.

Ready, Set, GO!

If your dog knows some basic obedience cues, you can plan for a game of Ready, Set, Go! Start by revving up the dog with some physically stimulating games like tug or chase. But don’t let yourself or the dog get into it – just a sneak peek of what’s coming.

Then start by saying Ready, Set, Go! Then get back to the play you had begun (whether it is chase or tag). After a few seconds, say Ready, Set, Down! or Ready, Set, Sit! and stop. After a few trials and plays, the dog will catch the drift. You, on the other hand, will have taught him a new command to stop playing. It will help you calm the dog down when excited.

Rest Pays

Experts recommend that pet treats should only be rewards for good behavior. Seldom do we think that staying calm is good behavior. But you can reward the dog for staying calm. When he expresses calmness in an ordinarily arousing situation, give a treat. But If the dog excitedly awakes, ignore him. Teach him that the rest pays. When you convince the dog to calm down, and he does it, give a treat. But don’t replace calm treats with exercise.

The bottom line

An average dog is likely to be more active than an average human. Pups are even more energetic. Exercise is a basic need for most dogs. If you don’t meet it, you will end up with a hyperactive buddy who won’t leave you alone for a minute of peace! Try out these games. They will help you to exercise and calm down your hyperactive furry buddy.