How to Calm Down an Energetic Dog

Question: My border collie has too much energy! How to calm down an energetic dog and keep her entertained?

One great big bundle of energy.

If your dog has too much energy (or what seems like too much energy), ask yourself the following: Is your pet getting enough exercise? Are you interacting (socializing) enough with her?

If the answer is no, the first way to calm down your energetic dog is go to the park, or better yet, an obedience class. This will mentally stimulate energetic dogs, which is just as important as physical exercise.

If you just don’t have the time, hire a dog walker or jogger. Or, on the other end of the extreme, you might even consider getting a doggie treadmill, although those things scare us!

Another trick: Offer a puzzle toy or a Kong. Kongs are hollow rubber cones you can stuff with food (peanut butter, kibble, cheese, honey) that’ll keep energetic dogs busy for hours. Then you can take a nap.

Beyond those simple things, we can dive into one proven way to calm down an energetic dog…

Try Clicker Training

The Whole Dog Journal heartily recommends a clicker-and-treat program to keep your dog at bay, saying that dogs with high energy should get a “click” the instant they show a moment of calmness.

Eventually your dog will come to understand that calm = treat. Clickers are great because that little clicking sound draws out the moment of calmness just a little bit more.

You can view an inexpensive clicker training kit that we have in the Pets Adviser Shop for under 5 dollars: Clicker training tool.

Getting Your Dog to Relax

The video below explains that you should get into the habit of having your pup sit down until he is perfectly relaxed and behaved.

Additional Resources — Dog Has Too Much Energy

Photo: Jackhynes/Flickr

book-cover-smallest1Does your dog seem too energetic? Tell us about it in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love Pets Adviser’s email newsletter. It’s free to sign up, and you’ll be among the first to get alerts about major pet food recalls. New subscribers also get instant access to our 40-page ebook — which has “secrets every cat and dog lover should know.” Learn more here.

From Around the Web

  • DorothyUk

    Border Collies are very energetic dogs, they need lots of exercise and training. If your dog is left alone for more than two hours, she will be frustrated. Before you leave your dog, you must take her for a long walk , if she is left alone when you go to work, you must either come home at lunchtime or pay a dog walker. Then you must rush home at night and go for another long walk.

    Having said this, I appreciate that your dog is not left alone. The above comments are for those who do this.

  • Teddie

    If you hawe an energetic dog. She or he MUST learn to calm down!. When you walk lose in the forest or in the woods, sit down with her/him and just relax.
    If you are very sure the dog don´t run away. Take yourself a quick nap. (5-15 min). And then keep on walkning.

    But be sure the dog get exercise and of course LOVE.

    But don´t stress the dog. Keep it simple and calm. And youll have an great moment in life with your “Best Friend”

  • Jack

    My dog loves to go for a run with me! That’s how I get his energy out. Does that not work for some dogs?

  • Gail

    I am considering a border collie that is at the local shelter. I’m just nervous because everyone says how much energy they have. I’ve had dalmatians, another breed that people say are hyper. I don’t think they are that much, but i don’t have a reference because it’s the only breed i’ve had before.

    • Pets Adviser

      Hi Gail, do you have a yard? This would be a plus. Border collies are very smart, but yes, they are quite energetic. At the very least, the dog would need a couple of loooong walks each day. Here is an excellent resource we’d recommend: Border Collies: What’s Good About ‘Em, What’s Bad About ‘Em. Let us know how it goes!

  • Chelsea

    I have a Pit Bull- Lab mix and she has the energy of both breeds. I understand that she is only a year and a half and therefore still a puppy but I live out in the country and she runs wild over our property all day and still can’t calm down.

  • Cami

    My sis has 2 puppies that r as rambunctious as well crazy “people” One of them is Roscoe he is a boxer beagle mix and he never stops barking like crazy. Her other puppy is Sophie she is HUGE. She is a lab share pei mix. She was as tiny as a teacup.yorkie when she was a few weeks old. Now she is a few months old and just is rambunctious and crazy. She never calms down. Even after playing.