Posted by on Apr 29, 2010 in .. By Monika, .: Pet Dogs | 7 comments

Can Dogs Have ADHD?

Does your dog jump on you so vigorously that it takes at least a few minutes before you are able to settle in when you arrive home? Is your dog so restless and active that it starts barking every time it hears the slightest noise behind the door? Is it difficult for you to take your dog for a walk, because it pulls on the leash, jumps and barks the moment you want to play?

If you answered “yes” to at least one of the above-mentioned questions, it means that your dog may suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Unfortunately, it’s no use trying to convince yourself that the dog will grow out of such behavior. Hyperactivity is not normal for any of the dog breeds and the animal diagnosed with ADHD should be taken care of as soon as possible.

In the majority of cases, the main reason of the dog’s extreme activity is too much built-up energy. If the owner doesn’t provide sufficient training for the animal, it won’t be able to let off steam and as a result will get even more excited and hyperactive. It’s very possible that such an animal will constantly search for the opportunity to get involved in some sort of activity and will demand the owner’s attention all the time. Sometimes such a huge amount of energy has been suppressed in the dog for months or even years and it takes a lot of time to get rid of that.

The best way to do so is to get your dog tired. Take it for a long, hourly walk and try to ride a bike or roller blade at the same time. This will give the dog the exercise it needs so badly and will teach it to follow the owner, not the other way round. It is the owner who chooses the route and decides when it’s time to stop. It is also the owner, being the leader of the group, who teaches the dog not to act up when passing by another person or other animals. It is a great way to spend time together while helping your dog get rid of the surplus of energy level.

When working on improving the dog’s behavior it’s good to make use of its natural instincts. Try to combine teaching with fun, agility training, searching for objects or people. Training overactive dogs can be long and tiresome process, but sometimes you can see the effects after the first day.

The author  recommends the website of PennySaverUSA.com. Visit online to find numerous classifieds with puppies for sale and adoption.

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7 Responses to “Can Dogs Have ADHD?”

  1. (new PetLvr post ).. Can Dogs Have ADHD? bit.ly/aD5lKb

  2. Charles says:

    My Sure a dog can have ADHD and some dogs need mental stimulus to overcome it. Both my dogs seem to have it. I find doing interactive tings with them, training and games, tires them out more than simple exercise.

  3. Sooooooz says:

    People seem to be confusing ADHD with bad behaviour or lack of exercise. ADHD is caused by an imbalance of the neurotransmitters Dopamine and Noradrenalin which makes a child or adult suffering from ADHD to instinctively act at warp speed with hyperactive behaviour, lack of focus and concentration, difficulty in filtering sensory input, possible aggressive outbursts (often through frustration and anxiety / agitation), and highly reactive to all kinds of stimulus – all in an attempt to raise the levels of Dopamine and Noradrenalin. This is why children in particular tend to be prescribed stimulants such as Ritilin, to thus regulate the production of these 2 neurotransmitters, and reducing the ‘need’ for such stimulating behaviours. In terms of dogs, I’m convinced 1 of my Border Collies suffers from ADHD as the MORE we exercised her (particularly running!!) the MORE hyper she became. Although highly trained and excellent at responding to commands, she shakes with repressed energy or stress whenever she’s expected to lay, sit, or stay for any length of time. It used to make me crazy!! However, I work with ADHD children, and once I made the connection, I completyely changed her exercise regime, and we now focus on long, STEADY, and CALM walks, swimming sessions, and SLOW trotting on the treadmill. Simply by cutting out the ‘manic’ activities such as running, chasing balls, and cycling, her behaviour has calmed right down. She still has 2 WALKS per day, but also approx 3 steady sessions on the treadmill, and she’s MUCH calmer and less reactive. A harness or back pack can also provide deep pressure which many dogs (especially reactive breeds such as collies) find extremely calming too. Obviously bad behaviour does NOT give someone the ‘excuse’ to label their dog with ADHD, exercise and training are clearly VITAL with ALL dogs!! However, if you can persuade your vet to measure dopamine and Noradrenalin levels, then you’ll have your answer to whether he or she has ADHD, or is simply under-exercised – there is a HUGE difference! Sadly, as there haven’t yet been any scientific veterinary studies done on dogs re ADHD, most vets do not recognise ADHD in dogs. However, a veterinary friend of mine was happy to agree that there is every possibility that the same brain chemical imbalance can occur in dogs as well as people. I hope this helps.xx

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