Do dogs get ADHD?

In terms of age and gender, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention were common in young dogs and male dogs—no surprise to anyone familiar with ADHD in humans, in which it tends to be most common in young boys.

According to a study published this month in the journal Translational Psychiatry, some dogs display behaviors that closely resemble ADHD in humans. The study, which monitored impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattentiveness in over 10,000 dogs, offers hope for more effective treatments for both species, according to its authors.

The research team, which is based in Helinski, Finland, examined over 11,000 dogs of various breeds and asked their owners behavioral questions based on research on human ADHD.

Young dogs and male dogs were found to have higher rates of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention, mirroring the observed demographics of ADHD in people, according to the study’s authors.

The study also discovered that dogs who spent more time with their owners or were not alone were less hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive than dogs who spent more time alone or with their owners. According to the authors, symptoms of canine ADHD include a dog’s inability to calm down, inattention, and unceasing barking or whining.

According to a press release from doctoral researcher Sini Sulkama, “dogs and humans share many similarities, including physiological traits and the same environment.” “In addition, ADHD-like behavior naturally occurs in dogs. “.

They discovered that a dog’s breed significantly influences whether it will exhibit behavioral characteristics similar to those of ADHD.

The team discovered that breeds bred for work, such as the German Shepard and Border Collie, had higher rates of ADHD-like behaviors. On the other hand, popular breeds for both showing and keeping as pets, such as the Chihuahua, Long-Haired Collie, and Poodle, were more composed and prone to less impulsivity.

Additionally, the researchers claimed to have discovered a connection between the ADHD-like behaviors and aggressiveness, fearfulness, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. The study stated that “tail chasing, persistent licking of surfaces or themselves, or staring at nothing” are examples of obsessive-compulsive behavior in dogs. According to a press release, people with ADHD are more likely to also have obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The research, according to Sulkama, “indicates that the same brain areas and neurobiological pathways regulate activity, impulsivity, and concentration in both humans and dogs.” This affirms how promising dogs are as model species for the study of ADHD. “.

Dogs at home alone more often more at risk

Prof. Lohi’s team examined over 11,000 dogs during their extensive behavioral survey. Researchers used questions and measures which scientists often utilize during human ADHD research. The results show that puppies and male dogs are more prone to ADHD-like behavior. However, an owner’s behavior can influence this as well, as dogs which don’t get enough attention, stay home alone much of the time, or don’t get enough exercise show more behavioral changes.

“We found that young dogs and male dogs were more likely to exhibit hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.” Age and gender-related correlations with ADHD have also been observed in humans, according to Dr. Jenni Puurunen reports.

“As social animals, dogs can get frustrated and stressed when they are alone, which can be released as hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. It may be that dogs who spend longer periods in solitude also get less exercise and attention from their owners,” Sulkama says.

The study discovers that a person’s prior encounter with dogs, in addition to how a dog owner takes care of their pet, also plays a role. The research team found a connection between impulsivity and hyperactivity and the dog’s previous owners’ preferences.

More challenging and active dogs can be chosen after gaining more dog-related experience, according to Sulkama. “People may choose as their first dog a less active individual that better matches the idea of a pet dog,” he or she says.

Clubs Offering:

What should you do if your dog is unable to focus or sit still?

New research shows that owners of hyperactive or inattentive dogs can learn a lot from understanding ADHD in humans.

It’s normal that some dogs are more hyperactive than others. The situation is comparable to how some people are friendlier than others. Reactive dogs are not necessarily hyperactive. They respond to even the slightest alteration in their surroundings, such as sounds and smells. — with a lot of energy. Dogs that bark at falling leaves or attempt to attack a vacuum cleaner, for instance

Depending on the DNA they carry, it’s normal for some breeds to be more active than others. Some breeds that were bred for protection or hunting can be aggressive. These dogs require positive reinforcement training to help them channel their innate hyperactivity into appropriate behavior.

Ritalin is typically effective in reducing hyperactivity in canines with ADHD within 30 to two hours. Their breathing and heart rates also will slow. Dogs without canine ADHD will react to the medication in the opposite way and become excited, their breathing and heart rates will increase.

Mary Jones is the co-founder & editor-in-chief at TopMyGrades, which focuses on content marketing strategy for clients from the education industry in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. Mary has conducted a series of webinars for AssignmentEssayHelp. She has extensive content editing experience and has worked with MSNBC, NewsCred & Scripted. She has authored blogs on,,,, and many more digital publications.


How do you know if a dog has ADHD?

Hyperactivity in Dogs Symptoms High energy. Distractible. Hyperactive (lots of fidgeting and movement) Unable to pay attention.

How do you treat a dog with ADHD?

Addressing hyperactive behavior issues holistically through dietary changes, environmental enrichment, exercise, and training can be very effective. Medication might be included in your treatment plan if your veterinarian has determined that you actually do have hyperkinesis.

What dog breed is most likely to have ADHD?

German shepherds and terriers, for instance, are the breeds most prone to ADHD. Fortunately for dog owners, canine ADHD is sporadic. Usually, the dog is just hyperactive or highly reactive. Dogs must simultaneously display attention deficit and hyperactivity in order to have canine ADHD.

How do you test for ADHD in dogs?

Giving your dog a prescription stimulant under closely supervised clinical circumstances and then observing changes in heart rate, respiratory rate, and behavior is the only accurate way to diagnose ADHD in dogs. An ADHD stimulant will lessen the symptoms in canines.