Does your dog have a lot of energy? Do you struggle trying to give your dog enough exercise each day? If so you’re not alone.
When Laika was younger I struggled to keep up with her. Our daily walk didn’t even come close to tiring her out; if anything it hyped her up more. She made it quite clear to me that a 2 hour walk wasn’t going to cut it. She needed a lot more exercise.
So I started experimenting with different doggie exercises, trying to figure out which ones came close to tiring her out; luckily I found a few. These activities will give your dog a lot of physical exercise in a short amount of time. Here’s 5 quick ways to tire out your dog.
1. Flirt Pole
A flirt pole (also called a flirt stick) is a long pole with a lure attached by rope to the end. As you move the pole around the lure moves, enticing your dog to chase. Flirt poles provide great physical exercise, and they’re quite mentally stimulating. (here’s a great video of one being used)
Flirt poles utilize your dogs instinct to chase in a non destructive manner. And for those of us who have a hard time keeping up with our dogs it’s great because it’s an activity where your dog does all the work. Your dog will be running around like crazy while you stand there moving the lure around for them.
A couple minutes of this are extremely tiring for your dog. When first starting out keep the sessions short to avoid injury since this is a high impact activity. You can make your own flirt pole with some pvc pipe, some bungee cord and a dog toy. There also available at many pet stores, and there’s plenty available on amazon.
Frisbee is like fetch on steroids, or really what fetch could be like if I could throw worth a darn. I can toss a frisbee way further than a ball, and that added running distance for dogs is great physical exercise. It doesn’t get much easier that standing there tossing a frisbee while your dog does all the hard work.
If your dog doesn’t know how to catch a frisbee I’d start out by using one that’s a soft disc. Traditional frisbees are pretty hard, so if your dog accidentally gets hit in the face with one it may discourage them from trying to catch it. Get your dog excited about the frisbee by tossing it short distances or rolling it on the ground and encouraging them anytime they show interest in it.
3. Tug of War
Tug is my favorite game to play with my dog Laika. It’s fun, it’s great physical exercise, and it’s a good way for dogs to practice good manners. When playing tug just remember to follow one rule: the game stops if your dog’s teeth touch your skin. Puppies who haven’t learned bite inhibition will struggle with this rule. If you want to save your hands from those sharp teeth remember to teach your puppy not to bite before attempting tug.
A game of tug can be physically demanding for your dog, and if your dog is big it’s great exercise for you as well. Since most tug toys are made out of rope or other materials that can be easily destroyed by dogs don’t forget to put it away after your game. (I’ve made this mistake a few times, hence why we’ve had so many different tug toys over the years)
4. Chasing Bubbles
One of the easiest ways to tire out your dog is to teach them to chase bubbles. It still surprises me how much Laika enjoys it, and if I had to guess I’d say it’s probably Laika’s all time favorite game (if she could talk I could confirm this). As soon as I start walking over to the kitchen sink where those bubbles are she starts to get excited.
If your dog doesn’t know how to chase bubbles start by blowing a couple at a time. Point to the bubbles and encourage your dog to chase them around. Catch some yourself to show you dog that there’s nothing to worry about, and that the whole point of the game is to get them before they touch the ground.
We use bubbles made for kids, but there’s plenty of bubbles made for dogs on amazon (bacon scented is the most popular choice). They’re non toxic, but they can upset your dogs stomach if they ingest too much. And because bubbles can be irritating to your dogs eyes remember to wipe off their face afterwards.
5. Playing With The Hose
If your dog doesn’t mind the water using the hose (or sprinklers) can be a great way to give them exercise. I found this out by accident the first time I tried to bathe Laika outdoors after she rolled in something gross. Rather than standing still for her bath she went crazy trying to chase the stream of water.
Some dogs love chasing (or in Laika’s case biting) water that’s coming out of a hose or sprinkler. She’d run back and forth chasing the hose hours if I let her, and it’s one of those activities where your dog (or water bill) is doing all the work.
Don’t Forget About Mental Exercise
A good balance of mental & physical activity can keep dogs busy & entertained. A lot of your dog’s physical demands and need for mental stimulation will depend on his breed and age. Laika (being a German Shepherd mix) needs plenty of both mental & physical activity, so I added in a new play and exercise sessions each day until I found the routine that worked for her. You’ll know you’ve found the right balance when your hyper dog starts to relax throughout the day.
If you’re giving your dog plenty of physical exercise and they’re still hyped up try adding in some mentally stimulating activities. Playing some fun games with your dog and using food puzzles are two of my favorites. Stuffing a Kong with frozen peanut butter might seem too simple, but it’s an easy way to keep dogs entertained for 30+ minutes.
Content retrieved from: https://www.puppyleaks.com/tire-out-your-dog/.