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January 26, 2022

Could your mate actually have ADHD?

Could your mate actually have ADHD?
Dr. Chris Brown
by CHRIS BROWN

Here’s some massive news for hairy humans often branded ‘naughty’ or ‘disobedient’. They may actually have a condition that the human world knows all too well. But their breed and whether they’re a boy or girl are big factors…

Here’s how to tell if your dog has ADHD…

You know the dog at the park. Never sits still. Always creating all kinds of hilarious havoc. And barely ever responds to any commands. To be honest, I’ve been the Dad to that dog!

But maybe, just maybe there was a reason why they just struggled with their focus.

I’ve often felt that if humans struggle through anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges, it’s crazy to think our pets don’t also walk the tight-rope of hoping to feel calm and collected each day. Well, the University of Helsinki has just completed a study of 11,000 dogs that found a surprisingly large number of dogs battle through a condition consistent with ADHD in people.

They saw dogs who were consistently hyperactive and impulsive. They also lacked focus and attention which affected training (school) and every day life. Sound familiar?

Interestingly, some factors made it more likely. Dogs who are:

  • Young
  • Male
  • Terrier breeds (especially the Cairn Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier) as well as German Shepherds and Border Collies

SO COULD YOUR DOG HAVE ADHD? Well, if these signs match your dog then…possibly. The challenge is differentiating ADHD from typical puppy playtime with lots of energy and lots of distractions. The consistency of the attention deficit signs, even after exercise are really the key here…

SO HOW DO YOU MAXIMISE THE ATTENTION THEY HAVE? Remember, let that mind wander and lose focus and it’s hard bringing them back. Repeated engagement and positive reinforcement with treats is the most reliable method. Especially at those critical moments where a barking dog or wayward ball might distract them, you need to be on hand with a quick reward to thank them with sticking with you. It’s where I’ve found snaps of School Snacks are invaluable.

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