Some dogs only need a short walk in order to become tired and calm. Other dogs seem to have a super-charged battery pack under all that fur. It may sometimes seem impossible for your dog to release all that energy. Exercising your dog is important for their mental and physical health. A dog that is well-exercised is less likely to act out or misbehave. Here are a few tips to help a highly energetic dog become tired:
1. Try getting exercise in more ways than just a walk. Some dogs just need more activity than a leisurely walk around the neighborhood. Try taking a ball or toy to the dog park to get your furry friend running and jumping. Some dogs love to play fetch in the water, and swimming can be a great way to wear out your pup.
2. Mental stimulation and games are great ways to release energy. Frozen Kongs work well when you have to leave your bored dog home alone. There are several other puzzle-type toys that can be used so your dog has to work in order to get to his/her food. Hide-and-seek is a great game for clever dogs with high energy. Start this game by hiding the treat in an easy location to find. Once the dog catches on, you can start hiding the treat under objects to make it just a bit more challenging for your dog to find. This game is great to play indoors or outdoors and mix it up by playing in unfamiliar environments.
3. Early obedience training is key. There are great positive reinforcement books or physical obedience training classes that you and your dog can look into. Obedience training will help strengthen the bond between the two of you, and will establish you as a leader in your dog’s eyes. Even 10-15 minutes a day will improve your hyper dog’s temperament and will keep him/her stimulated.
4. Dog walkers and doggie play-dates can be helpful. Dogs may have a tendency to act up when you get busy and don’t have the time to properly exercise them. On busy days, consider hiring a dog walker to exercise your dog on when you need the extra help. There are several organizations that offer these services for busy pet owners.
5. Teach your dog to know when playtime is over. Finding an “off switch” will help transition your dog into becoming calm after ending a play session. This command can be very helpful for hyper dogs that have a hard time understanding when to stop playing. When you want playtime to end, you can say “finished” or “that’s enough” and give your dog a treat before walking away. This action can be done repetitively so that your dog will start to remember it.
All dogs think and behave differently, so you may have to try several techniques to manage your dog’s energy. Do you have a hyper dog? Share with us tips on how you keep your furry friend calm and content!