Our grandpup, Daisy, is a high energy dog. When she is bored, or does not have enough exercise, she is destructive. Our daughter and son-in-law have spent an enormous amount of time talking with dog trainers, vets, and behavior specialists to learn how to meet Daisy’s needs. Is your pup high energy? Here are a few suggestions on how to restore some sanity to your life, and your pup’s.
Play Tug of War
Once upon a time, tug of war games were discouraged because they were thought to increase aggression. To keep this a positive experience, simply apply a few rules: you should always be the one to start and end the game; your pup should understand “drop” when instructed to do so; take a break and ask your dog to “sit” and “stay.” Tug is great for dogs of all ages and can be played inside or out.
A walk around the block takes care of “business”, but a hike will put a dent in your pup’s energy. Taking your pup to a wooded environment will stimulate her senses with new smells, terrain, sights, and maybe even new creatures.
Play Hide & Seek
Hide a toy, treats, kibble, or yourself! Hide your pup’s favorite toy and teach him to find it. At first, place the toy where your pup can see it and instruct him to “find it.” After he understands the concept, hide the toy in more challenging places. Do the same thing with treats. For mealtime, hide small handfuls of kibble. When hiding yourself, begin with an easy place, such as behind a door. Tell your pup to “come find me.” Celebrate when your pup finds you and then hide in a more challenging place. Hide and Seek is great nose work and will tire your pup out more than you think! Play inside or outside.
Playtime with Other Dogs
Pair your pup with another dog that is an appropriate play partner; similar in age, size, and enjoys the same kind of interaction as your dog. Never allow pups to engage in play that could turn rough for more than 2 minutes at a time.
Is your dog a social butterfly? Try volunteering in hospitals or nursing homes, where your dog can interact with many different kinds of people. Is your dog happy to hang out with friends? Enroll her as a reading therapy dog, which helps children improve their reading and speaking skills, while your dog acts as an impartial listener.
Enroll in Training or Agility Classes
Obedience, dog agility, puppy training classes, and enrichment workshops are a great way to not only tire your pup out, but to also teach him something. This opportunity can include group interaction as well as individual classes.