We all expect puppies to be a bit overenthusiastic and chaotic, but cattle dogs really take the gold when it comes to crazy amounts of energy and enthusiasm.
You may think that this is just another typical puppy phase and as soon as they reach adulthood they will chill out a bit.
Sorry, but when it comes to cattle dogs, that is just wishful thinking, cattle dogs have a lot of energy and even after their puppy stage is over and done, expect a lot of energy to continue bursting from them.
After they have reached a year old, your dog is way past puppyhood, you will have trained him to socialize properly with other pets, he will have an adequate and good diet, and everything else will be perfect.
You will probably think everything is okay, until you pop to the store and return home to find your couch in pieces and some overturned tables left in a trailblazer of chaos as a signifier of your dog’s wake of excitement.
How is he still not calm yet? Well, your dog may no longer be a puppy, but that doesn’t mean that their hyperactive stage is done yet. Cattle dogs have so much energy and are super hyperactive.
On average, a cattle dog can take between 4 and 6 years before you will start seeing them chill out a bit.
And, since most dogs will mature to their full size between 12 and 18 months old, that means that you will be dealing with a full-grown puppy attitude for a good 3 to 5 years. Good luck.
It isn’t impossible that your dog may chill out a little before then. It is possible that they might start to relax a little more after 2 years, and they may start to calm down a bit as they reach adulthood, but this does not happen for every dog.
They do calm down eventually, but expect a bit of chaos until then.
How do you calm a cattle dog?
Having a cattle dog is a lot like having a fully grown puppy, they have endless energy, they are over excited a lot, and they could probably chase their tail for days on end without tiring out.
So, how do you calm down these little balls of energy?
One of the simplest answers to this is simply to spend lots of time with your dog.
Doing activities and keeping them social will eventually lower their energy levels, a lot like having a very energetic child, get them their exercise and tire them out with activities.
One simple idea is to take them for long walks. Long walks are a sure fire factor in keeping your dog calm.
Cattle dogs were bred to work all day and have energy to spare, so these dogs will need to burn off that high energy they have. Keeping them exercised is a good way to keep them calm.
It is a good idea however, to keep your dog leashed, due to their excessive energy levels, these dogs may have a tendency to run off or end up in difficult places, so keep them leashed and get them some exercise.
If you cycle, maybe take your dog out with you when you go for a ride, keeping them running will help to burn that energy.
Take them to the park too, there will be plenty of room to run around, these dogs need space. It also gives them a chance to be super social with other dogs, and the mixture of running and socializing can burn out their energy meter.
A change in their diet can also help. Switching their diet to one that contains less fat and less protein.
The more calories you feed your dog, the more energy they will have. If your dog is excessively energetic, you may want to give them food that is lower in calories to tackle their hyperactivity.
Instead of dog treats, give them a baby carrot to munch on, or fresh green beans to tackle that extra calorie intake.
How do you tire out a cattle dog?
Plenty of exercise and social stimulation will tire out your dog eventually, cattle dogs just need a little more than other dogs.
So take them on long walks, if you are a hiker, take them with you and get them worn out climbing a mountain with you.
Take them to dog parks so that they can socialize and run around. Change up their diet, so they don’t get more calories, and therefore more energy.
There are other techniques too though. You can close the curtains in your home to try and block out external stimuli.
Cattle dogs have a very high prey drive, and they will spend all their day happily parked up at the window, barking excitedly as animals, or people walk by.
You could get soundproof curtains to help block out some noise so that there is a limit to the temptation. If they push the curtains aside, you may want to rearrange the furniture to stop them doing so.
Toys. Give your dog a whole array of toys to play with. They are very intelligent dogs and get bored easily. Different toys will keep them mentally stimulated.
Try out puzzle toys, things that may have treats or snacks hidden inside that they have to work hard to get out.
Complex dog puzzles will help them to burn off that energy, and even if you give them a treat inside their toy, they will burn off energy from trying to get at it.
You may also want to enroll your dog in a herding class. Herding is an instinctive trait for cattle dogs, and these structured classes will provide them with the stimulation they need, and it will also provide some bonding time for you and your dog, so it is beneficial for you both, and a good energy burning activity.
Keep them stimulated, exercising and social and their energy levels will dip, and you’ll tire them out eventually.