The 7-Minute Trick to Calming Down a Hyperactive Dog

Does your dog get overly excited, wired, and hyperactive at times?

Learning how to get your dog to calm down is key for a peaceful, happy home.

With a combo approach of management, training, and calming techniques, you can help your energetic pup settle whenever they get too amped up.

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Why Dogs Get Hyperactive in the First Place

To help your frazzled dog chill out, it helps to first understand the root causes of hyperbehavior or hyperactivity:

  • Overstimulation – Too much activity, sights, sounds, or handling can send your dog into hyperdrive. Puppies and energetic breeds are especially prone to this.
  • Anticipation – The prospect of something exciting like guests, a walk, or car ride can trigger hyperenergy.
  • Boredom – Dogs left alone all day with nothing to do often get zoomies when owners return.
  • Stress – Anxious pups may exhibit frantic energy as a coping mechanism.
  • Insufficient exercise – Dogs need productive daily activity to avoid acting out.
  • Medical issues – In rarer cases, conditions like thyroid disorder can cause hyperactivity.

Figuring out your individual dog’s hyper triggers allows you to prevent and manage them better moving forward. But in the moment, having some go-to calming techniques up your sleeve is key. This is where the 7-minute trick comes in…

How the 7-Minute Calming Trick Works

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This simple hands-on method leverages gentle touch and pressure to flip your dog’s energy from chaotic to calm. To perform it:

Step 1) Have Your Dog Lie Down

In a peaceful room, coax your hyper pup into a lying down position. Lure with a treat if needed.

Step 2) Kneel Next to Your Dog

Kneel right beside them so you can easily reach their head, back, hips, and legs.

Step 3) Slowly Stroke Their Body

Using a flat hand, slowly and repeatedly stroke down the length of your dog’s back applying light pressure.

Step 4) Maintain This for 7 Full Minutes

Continue the long, light strokes for a full 7 minutes. Set a timer to stay consistent. The longer duration allows the calming effects to build up.

You should notice your dog becoming more relaxed around minute 3-4 as their heart rate lowers and endorphins are released. But maintain the petting for the entire 7 minutes for best results.

Some dogs fall asleep fully after this trick – it’s like a tranquilizer! Stay low-key throughout the session with minimal talking or other interaction. Just keep stroking in that slow, rhythmic way and let the power of touch work its magic.

Troubleshooting Tips for the 7-Minute Calming Method

If your pooch is having trouble settling in during the 7-minute session, try these tweaks:

  • Go slower with the stroking and use a lighter touch.
  • Apply slightly firmer pressure – but never enough to hurt them.
  • Stroke from neck down their back all the way past the hips.
  • If they get up, gently guide back down and restart the timer.
  • Reward with treats when they finally lie still and relaxed.

Be patient and keep sessions low-key. The more you practice this technique, the better your dog will get at releasing tension and snapping into a calm state.

Use “Settle” Cue to Calm Your Dog Anytime

While the 7-minute trick is great for urgent situations, you can proactively train your dog to relax on verbal cue by teaching a “settle” command.

This uses positive reinforcement to condition them to lie down in a settled state whenever you say “settle.” Follow these steps:

1) Capture Calm Moments

Throughout the day, say “settle” whenever you notice your dog relaxing on their own accord. Quietly reward with a treat.

2) Induce Settling

Next, say “settle” then gently guide your dog into a down position. Reward when they comply.

3) Shape the Behavior

Gradually shape remaining in the settled down position for longer durations before treating each time.

4) Add Cue

Once they are consistently settling when guided, start saying “settle” right before you give the physical prompt so they learn it as instruction.

5) Proof the Cue

Practice the cue in various rooms and with low distractions present. Keep sessions short and upbeat.

Over time, your dog will start lying down in a relaxed way automatically whenever they hear you say “settle” – no guiding needed!

This gives you a handy way to snap them into a calm state anytime hyper energy strikes. Just bust out the “settle” cue.

Prevention Tools for Controlling Hyper Behavior

Along with having calming tricks handy for urgent situations, make sure to proactively set your dog up for success by managing key hyperactivity triggers:

  • Exercise – Aim for 30-60 minutes of daily activity like walks, fetch, and training. Well-exercised dogs are less prone to hyper fits.
  • Enrichment – Provide puzzle toys, stuffed Kongs, snuffle mats, and other engaging activities when leaving dogs home alone. This prevents zoomies upon your return.
  • Training – Teach solid obedience cues like “sit,” “down,” “stay,” and “come” to instill focus and impulse control skills.
  • Routine – Establish a consistent daily schedule with designated walk times, training sessions, and downtime. This provides stability.
  • Triggers – Control exposure to overtly stimulating things like doorbells, cats walking outside, or kids running around until your dog learns to handle them calmly.

Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to hyperactive behavior. But use the 7-minute trick and settle training as needed for quick results when your dog gets temporarily wound up.

The Dog Owner’s Hyperactivity Troubleshooting Guide

If you find your pooch is still getting hyperactive despite your best efforts, here are some common scenarios with troubleshooting tips:

Hyper at the door

  • Teach them to settle on a mat when guests arrive
  • Reward calm behavior heavily
  • Keep arrivals low-key – have guests ignore dog at first

Hyper during walks

Hyper when crated

  • Give stuffed Kong or chew toy in crate
  • Drape blanket over crate to make den-like
  • Try calming pheromone diffuser near crate

Related Article: How to Crate Train a Puppy

Hyper playing with other dogs

  • Monitor play and separate if it gets too riled up
  • Reward for calm behavior post-play
  • Teach a solid “settle” cue

Hyper in new environments

  • Bring relaxing chews to occupy them
  • Start with short outings and build duration
  • Maintain regular exercise routine

Learning your individual dog’s triggers allows you to get to the root of their hyperactivity and prevent it from happening in the first place. But have calming tricks ready just in case!

Final Tips for Keeping Your Dog Relaxed

Here are a few more tips for an overall calmer canine:

  • Stick to a consistent daily routine for feeding, exercise, training, and playtime. Varying the schedule can stress some dogs out.
  • Make sure your dog gets at least 30-60 minutes of exercise and enrichment daily to release pent-up mental and physical energy. Walks, fetch, and puzzle toys are great outlets.
  • Reward desired calm behavior heavily. Anytime your dog is relaxing on their own accord, reinforce it with praise and treats.
  • Use pheromone sprays and collars during high-stress situations like thunderstorms or vet visits. These release calming scents.
  • Limit excessive petting which can rev some dogs up. Practice the 7-minute trick instead for focused calming.
  • Consult your vet to rule out potential medical issues causing hyperactivity like thyroid disorder.

Summary of Calming an Hyper Dog

To recap, here are the key takeaways for learning how to get your dog to calm down:

  • Use the 7-minute calming trick of gentle stroking to release tension and lower energy fast.
  • Train a “settle” cue through positive reinforcement to get your dog relaxing on verbal command.
  • Manage hyperactivity triggers like excessive stimulus and lack of exercise.
  • Make sure your dog gets sufficient daily physical and mental enrichment.
  • Reward calm behavior frequently to shape this as default state.
  • Consult your vet to rule out potential medical conditions causing excessive hyperactivity.

With a training and management plan in place, you can help even the nuttiest dog go from chaotic to calm quickly. No more hyper hounds under your watch!

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