Does Your Dog Have ADD or ADHD?

randall says More on PawNation: ADD, Behavior, Dogs, Psychology
"Come here Woody! Woooody!!!," calls Virginia Green of Trevett, Maine, as she walks through the nature preserve that she frequents twice a day with her two golden doodles, Woody and Scarlett.

"Scarlett always comes when I call," says Green, "but Woody is constantly off somewhere distracted by something!"

It got to the cray-cray point where Ms. Green would be trying to get the dogs into the car and Woody would "just be sitting there staring at a bird in a tree, completely oblivious to my command."

On a recent routine trip to the vet, Ms. Green mentioned the trouble she was having with Woody. "He's smart, well trained and gets tons of exercise. What am I doing wrong??" She wanted to know. It was then that the vet suggested Woody might be suffering from ADHD. Holy shih tzu!

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Now, I'm sure we all know plenty of doggies who are hyperactive and happy to ignore the commands of their owners or anyone else. So,what makes a dog with ADHD any different? One characteristic is that these dogs have abnormally short attention spans. They are only able to focus on a task for a short period of time before they get distracted and need to move on to something else. Popular games based on repetition like fetch are tough for these dogs to focus on. They tend to prefer activities that are constantly changing. These pups are often known as "chewers." The dogs that love nothing more than the opportunity to get crazy on your old fabulous slippers.

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So, what causes a dog to suffer from this brand of hyperactivity? I mean, cereally?! One factor could be the breed. Generally sporting dogs like Labrador and Golden Retrievers as well as herding breeds like Border Collies are more likely to be overly hyperactive. These dogs were bred for high levels of activity and when they don't get enough, well, you know what happens! Another contributor can be that the dog is not getting enough social contact. Dogs are social beings and if they are left alone for too long, by the time they are in a social environment, all that pent up energy comes out in full force. This can lead some owners to put the dog outside where they are not being stimulated which just exacerbates the problem and so the cycle continues. It is extremely important hyperactive dogs get plenty of social stimulation that is calm and focused. Things like training your dog to do basic tricks and rewarding them with treats is a great way to be social together as well as to focus their energy in a positive way.

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Cesar Milan, the infamous "dog whisperer," also suggests getting a doggy backpack that they can wear while out for walks. This way they are doing a job, which focuses them and the extra weight helps to burn more of that excess energy. Some doctors will prescribe medications like Ritalin in extreme cases, but for most, this is a last resort.

We asked Ms. Green what she was planning to do about Woody's issue. "Eh, so he's a little distracted, it's not that bad," she says with a chuckle, "at least I have a diagnosis!" Indeed, and that's a great first step. Remember to always take your pet for a trip to a vet the second you think something is wrong, lovers!

Randall =)

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How the hell do you call Cesar Millan "infamous"?

April 16 2015 at 11:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My dog has been in the family since birth. Its mother was dalmation cross with boxer. And father was a lurcher. Its a lovely dog. But all it wants is to cuddle you. But he is a big dog and never lets up. He eats like he never had food before and drinks like a fish. But have decided we cant cope with him. My wife says we should breed him. Open to sugestions he is the most hyper dog i have ever come accross

April 29 2014 at 7:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sometimes I feel my dog had ADHD or ADD its weird. She's over a yea and is still very hyperactive.

December 30 2013 at 5:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is ridiculous! The author obviously has absolutely no understanding of ADHD whatsoever, being hyperactive and requiring high amounts of exercise does not constitute as ADHD for dogs or humans! ADHD and ADD are already overdiagnosed in humans due to our society struggling to cope with the natural energy of some children today, dont start doing it to dogs as well! Yes if a dog has excessive energy then the suggestion of giving it a job and plenty of social stimulation is sound advice, but that has nothing to do with the treatment of ADHD, it is merely enabling the dog to burn off that energy.

April 08 2013 at 7:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You must be joking!!!! Dogs with ADHD? Now I've heard everything. That's insane! ADHD is not a disease. BEHAVIOURS ARE NOT DISEASES PEOPLE!!!!!!!!

March 18 2013 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The most beautiful scenery is the soonest to disappear. What is hurt the most is always the truest affection.

September 06 2012 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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