My dog is just over a year old, so full blown puppy stage... but she is constantly hyper. I don't mean like burst of energy then she lays down. She is always moving. I'll play with her, take her on walks, let her go to the bathroom regularly...but she just jumps on me and whines like she needs something, then when I pay attention it's more play. If she does sorta lay in my lap she's constantly moving positions and biting at my hands and legs. Then I'll pet her and she'll start play growling and biting more. It doesn't matter how many times I tell her 'no'. She keeps doing it. It doesn't matter how much I play with her, She is never tired. Is ADHD in dogs? She did jump out of my hands when she was little and hit her head on concrete.. could that be it? or maybe the breed? She's half Mini Schnauzer and then the other half was a mutt that I think was a Chihuahua-terrier mix.

I don't know what else to do. My boyfriend hates her because she does the same thing to him. She's sweet if you can get her calm enough for a few seconds..I hope she grows out of this. Her mom was my dog too and was never like this.

  • 1
    The title says the dog is becoming unusually hyper. Did she used to be significantly calmer? If her behaviour has changed, then it's worth a trip to the vet to rule out a medical problem (e.g. thyroid). If it's not a medical problem, then training can teach her more acceptable ways to get your attention.
    – mhwombat
    Jul 6, 2016 at 18:18
  • Mm about 2 months ago she was considerably less hyper. She would keep herself occupied with toys and lay in my lap to sleep for a few minutes before playing again... now I can't get her to be still for anything.
    – Hush
    Jul 6, 2016 at 22:43
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    if its a terrier and is a schnauzer then it may be that you arent exercising it enough. You mention that it should be tired after walking around the block a couple times (as mentioned in one of your comments) but for high energy breeds like those breeds a walk is nothing. They can usually go a surprisingly long time while exercising. You mention the pup is a year old so it probably just gained a little bit of stamina from natural growth so it looked like it gained energy. Im not really sure you can do anything to fix the dog other than more exercise and increased mental stimulation
    – Ian
    Jul 7, 2016 at 21:04
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    I should also mention that you can tell a dog no as much as you want but it wont understand unless you specifically train it to take that verbal cue and associate it with stopping or not biting or something. It sounds to me like the dog needs a bit more training on top of you exercising and playing with it. mental stimulation can also tire a dog out and can be easily applied in the form of training.
    – Ian
    Jul 7, 2016 at 21:09
  • @Ian I'll try more exercise and training then. Her mom was never this hyper so I was expecting the temperament to be a little better but we never stop learning I guess. lol... She wears me plum out. That I have to take naps from the walks XD. Thanks though.
    – Hush
    Jul 10, 2016 at 22:59

4 Answers 4


You just have a very energetic pup who needs to get rid of that energy.

This will not go away anytime soon, when they hit their senior years is typically when they slow down.

She wants to play which is very normal, the only cure for that is to play with her ;)

To stop her from biting and jumping I could try clicker training. The goal is to relate the sound of a click as a good thing, start by just clicking and giving treats for her to understand this.

You always want to do positive reinforcement, if she starts jumping and nipping tell her to sit and wait a good 30 seconds before clicking and treating.

You can also try redirecting the nipping behavior to her toys instead of your hands. When she bites her toys click and reward. :) hope this helps, sounds like you have a healthy dog.


I somehow associate hyper with little dogs and I don't claim any expertise with them, but is there someone else with a dog with whom you could arrange daily play dates in a doggie park? It might be a relief to allow her to exercise with a creature with more stamina.

Don't some pet stores have pet obedience classes? Might that help? Maybe the teacher can give you some pointers.

  • I don't know anyone well enough for dog dates...and I'm not sure if this town has a dog park... I know there is a park where dogs are allowed but they have to stay on a leash and the leash can't exceed so many feet. And I've thought about classes but I'm tight on money as is. I'll keep my eyes peeled though.
    – Hush
    Jul 11, 2016 at 22:37
  • This is not an experiment that you'll want, but when I was researching for a dog I came across a thought that if a person worked and the dog was alone for several hours a day AND if it were a particularly smart/active dog, like a terrier, a person could consider getting two so they exercised each other. Jul 13, 2016 at 10:08
  • Well, I wanted to get a second dog for that reason. Something that would be on her level and match her enthusiasm. But due to my current living arrangements and lack of extra money... I am in no way shape or form ready to buy another dog and pay for fees and such to have it say with me.
    – Hush
    Jul 13, 2016 at 19:18

Mm about 2 months ago she was considerably less hyper. She would keep herself occupied with toys and lay in my lap to sleep for a few minutes before playing again... now I can't get her to be still for anything.

An unexplained change in behaviour is a good reason to see the vet. Hyperactivity can be an indication of a thryoid problem, for example.

If medical problems can be ruled out, I would focus on more training for your dog, and making sure she gets lots of exercise. Consider whether you may unintentionally be rewarding her behaviour with more attention.

It's easier to train an animal to do something than to not do something, so think of some things that you would like her to do when she's hyper instead of whining, nipping, and otherwise bothering you. Train her to do those things on cue. Then, when she gets hyper, tell her to do one of those things, and then praise her lots for it. Once she learns that she has better ways of getting good attention, she should be a better-behaved dog.

This article may be helpful: http://www.dog-health-guide.org/doghyperactivity.html. I've summarised it above.

  • Mm, I'm already saving up money for her shots. I'll try to ask then. And she's really 'smart' she'll do tricks but she's always to excited to hold them. When we go for walks we'll go around the block multiple times and she'll be just as hyper as when we left. Normally, when you come back they like to lay down and cool off. She'll jump around and want to go back out or play more. I've owned many dogs and I've petsit a bunch... I'm so thrown for a loop with this though.
    – Hush
    Jul 7, 2016 at 4:39

First like everyone else has said, if this is a new change/gradual change, ask the vet.

Otherwise some ideas for approaches:

First it can be really hard to tire out some dogs. But try. Remember that tiredness is mental (think about when you concentrate a lot) as well as physical - for example teaching a dog to track scent can be very mentally tiring for them and much less so for you. Make sure the activity is tiring. Get a doggy backpack and have her carry your water or some extra weight on a walk, making it both more intense exercise and more tiring for the same distance (not enough to make it painful or harmful, and not if the dog has joint or similar issues. just a little, so it takes more effort and shallow inclines take a bit more work, a bit like how some runners use small weights on their ankles and wrists).

The other option - and equally valuable - is to educate the dog to entertain herself. If you think about it, what's going on is boredom and perhaps also insecurity ("entertain me, reassure me, give me attention!"). You won't be able to always do that, and the dog need to learn it. Unsurprisingly it will be a reluctant learning because the dog has it ideally now (as she sees it!). But being able to handle lack of attention is a useful skill, and if she hasn't ever had to learn to entertain herself, how will she learn. Buy a child's pen or something (people often give those away for free as kids grow a bit!), put her and some toys and water in it. Then ignore (although in same room). Keep ignoring until ready to pay attention. She will eventually learn. Once she can cope a bit, extend the time slowly. Watch for signs the dog is self-calming - behaviour like panting, grooming, big yawns, looking away, can all be self calming behaviours and are skills a dog would naturally learn as a puppy.

  • Mm, I'm hesitant to try the dog backpack think because this is Texas and already 100 degrees out. And she has problems being by herself if it's not in the kennel. She whines if I leave her alone.
    – Hush
    Jul 17, 2016 at 20:02
  • Part of the problem is that her behaviour is being fuelled by your own. I don't mean that in a negative way, but it seems a real part of the problem. Calming oneself is a skill - humans also have to learn it (think of 2 year olds vs adults). But how can she learn it if you consistently take her out of the situations where self calming and quiescence skills could be learned, or don't provide them? At the moment you are closer to affirming her own hyperactivity by reacting and validating it rather than showing by lack of reaction that it's inappropriate unwanted behaviour at that time.
    – Stilez
    Jul 18, 2016 at 6:13
  • If I've fulfilled exercise, feeding.. There are times when I don't encourage her. I dont do anything to make her hyper. She just IS hyper. I'll ignore her so I won't make her more hyper. She'll play with her toys and go crazy with them. She has the capacity to keep herself busy.. But calm is her lowest priority. Every now and then she'll sit in one place, but like an adhd child, she'll fidget and move like she's always uncomfortable.
    – Hush
    Jul 18, 2016 at 7:03
  • In dog training, you encourage by responding - even if its not immediate, even if you've done the "right" things as well. You teach the lesson "be hyper enough and your human will eventually take notice".
    – Stilez
    Jul 18, 2016 at 14:54

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