Activities For Dogs With ADHD

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Introduction

Dogs, much like humans, can suffer from many syndromes that do not sound like something a dog can have. One of such things is the dreaded ADHD, also known as the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is considered a behavioral condition that usually strikes children, but also dogs, and includes hyperactivity, distractibility, poor social skills, aggression, and the inability to pay attention for longer than a few seconds or minutes. A dog with ADHD can be impulsive and make things hard to learn, they can be sensitive to noise and become fearful of everything.

Diagnosis

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
veterinarian
Activity description

Recent studies have shown that dogs can suffer from ADHD, and that some dogs that seem to be out of control or overly aggressive or fearful, may have this syndrome. Scientists think that ADHD in dogs is possible because of the chemical markers dogs share with humans, one of which is the low level of blood phospholipid. Impulsive and hyperactive dogs may be suffering from ADHD, but there is no way for a layman to diagnose on their own – instead, you need to speak to a professional who will be able to assess the situation and establish proper diagnosis.

Step
1
Look for the signs
Before you go rushing to your vet because your dog is being a little too active, you should look for signs of ADHD you can share with the veterinarian. Sensitivity to noise, fearfulness of even the smallest things, hyperactivity, and inability to adapt to social situations are some behaviors you can mention when you go to the vet.
Step
2
But why?
You should also understand why ADHD happens. In most cases it is entirely genetic, and studies have shown that certain breeds are more likely to suffer from it. German Shepherds seem to be the breed that is struck by ADHD the most, so if your doggo is showing signs, talk to your vet so they can help you.
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Find the Treat

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
60 min
Items needed
treats
Activity description

Hyperactive dogs with ADHD need to learn how to focus their attention. These dogs usually have trouble learning new things, and they may become uneasy in social situations, so keeping them occupied and slowly teaching them to first learn, and then pay attention to their surroundings will help them cope with the syndrome they are suffering from. Playing a game of find the treat can be a great way of occupying your dog’s attention and teaching them to be patient and how to listen for instructions. You also need to be patient as it will be hard at first, but sticking to what you want to do will pay off in the long run.

Step
1
Toss the treats
Get a handful of small treats and get your dog’s attention. Whether you are outside or indoors, toss one treat to the left and tell your dog to find it. When they do, toss another one to the right and do it five or six times.
Step
2
Patience
Tell your dog to sit in one place and not move. Then, walk a few meters away from them, place a treat on the floor, go back to your dog, and tell them to find the treat. Repeat several times until your doggo gets it right, and include a lot of praise when they do.
Step
3
Sit and wait
Finally, once your dog can wait patiently for one treat, time to up the game. Have them sit down and wait for you to place several treats all over the room or backyard. Once you are done, go back to your dog and tell them to find all the treats.
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Treat Dispenser

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Treat dispenser
Activity description

If you are a little bit techy and a little bit rock’n’roll, you can use the power of technology to aid you in your dog training endeavors. Using an automatic treat dispenser can help teach your dog to be patient and attentive, and it can help them understand that they are not always in control of the situation. Additionally, it can help with the hyperactivity, as your dog may find the new toy exciting, especially when they figure out that they are actually getting something out of it when they interact with it. There are many options out in the market today, so shop around for the one that works best for your budget and your needs.

Step
1
Teach
Set up the new toy somewhere where your dog will notice it. You’ll need to teach them how to use it as well! Push the button, let the treat fall out, and allow your dog to get it. Repeat several times until your dog figures out how to do it themselves.
Step
2
Wait
Place the machine a bit further away from your dog, in one corner of the room. Take your dog to the other side of the room and have them wait patiently until you say go. Then, let them go to the treat dispenser, push the button, and get the delicious treat. Repeat several times until your doggo learns how to wait patiently.
Step
3
Step up
Place the machine in another room and take your dog with you. Then, have them sit with you and wait until you allow them to go and get the treat. This gradual movement of the machine will teach your dog to wait for their treats and not abuse the machine until all the treats are gone. Then, they’ll be able to use it sparingly, and use their patience in their everyday lives.
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More Fun Ideas...

Talking Toy

There are numerous talking toys for doggos out there, so find the one that your dog likes and let them play with it. These toys are great because they focus your dog’s attention while they play.

Sit Command

Sit command. Teach your dog how to sit and calm down when they are being hyperactive. Use treats as incentive, and gradually you will see the betterment in their behavior. Use this command whenever they are acting up to make them calm down.

Conclusion

Even though true ADHD in dogs is not as common as one may think, it is still possible, so treating it mindfully and being aware of the problem will be your best asset. Get educated on the matter and talk to professionals who will be able to help you and advise you on what to do to help your dog cope with ADHD. Patience is a virtue and the key here, so include a lot of love and praise when you are teaching your dog to be more aware and attentive.