Exercises to Wear Out Your High-Energy Dog
Do you have a high-energy dog who has so much spark you just can’t keep up?
When you take your dog for a walk, is there a lot of leash-pulling? Do you wonder who’s walking whom?
Instead of settling down during the night, is your dog pacing around the house, barking at shadows or otherwise keeping you awake?
All dogs need exercise to maintain fitness and stave off obesity. Naturally high-energy dogs, especially breeds among the AKC-recognized sporting group (including spaniels, pointers, retrievers, setters), need more.
As Pet Parents, we want to figure out the right kind and right amount of exercise and mental stimulation your dog needs to burn off that extra energy, and be able to settle down and relax when they come inside for the night.
What activities and play provide the most comprehensive exercise routine for your dog? The answer will vary with the breed and age of your dog, but here are a few things that Pet Parents have found effective.
Dog-Park Exercise for High-Energy Dogs
Many communities have dog parks or other open-space areas where Pet Parents can take their dogs for outside play. Dog parks offer a safe place for your dog to run and socialize with other dogs and their Pet Parents.
Games of fetch involving sticks or balls offer opportunities to not only exercise your dog, but also to teach your dog to bring the stick or toy back to you, how to come when you call, and other desired behaviors.
If the play field is large enough, a ball launcher can increase the distance of each throw and retrieval. Check out the OxGord Dog Tennis Ball Launcher, which can hold most balls you may already own.
Walking a High-Energy Dog
When you’re taking your high-energy dog for a walk, it’s important to remember it’s not just about your dog pooping and peeing. Some dog owners think the walk is over as soon as their pup does its business. Part of proper exercise for any dog, especially active dogs, is allowing the dog to sniff and explore, to be social by leaving an “answer” for other dogs who’ve visited the area.
Taking Your Dog to the Beach
If you’re near a beach or lakefront or riverbank, letting your dog run up and down the sand, chase sticks or toys, jump in the water, and sniff out all the new scents not found at home, is great physical and mental exercise. You can take advantage of being outdoors enjoying the fresh air, too.
Too Much Exercise May be Too Much
Experts say over-exercising a high-energy dog can create the need for even more exercise to maintain that level of physical fitness.
There isn’t one method that works for all breeds and ages. But experimenting with exercise techniques like these will help you find the right balance of exercise for your high-energy dog. Think of all the fun you and your dog will have along the way!
Stephen K. Peeples is CEO of Pet Me Happy Treats, which he co-founded in summer 2015 to pursue his lifelong passion for pets. In his previous life, he was a veteran music industry executive, an award-winning radio producer and newspaper website editor, a Grammy-nominated record producer, and a WAVE-nominated TV producer-host. He and wife Nadine (Pet Me Happy co-founder) raised two wonderful children, now grown and gone. Now, their cat, Batman, and dog, Lennon, rule the empty nest.