You’ve probably heard the saying “A tired dog is a happy dog.” We agree.
You go for long walks, you play fetch, and your dog is still full of energy.
You don’t know what to do.
You’ve tried to do the right things, but nothing seems to work.
He has chewed through the door, he’s dug holes in the yard, and you’re at your wit’s end.
You’ve scoured the Internet looking for advice and for trainers who might possibly help.
If you’ve felt frustrated and confused, you’re not alone.
Sadly, every single day, dogs end up in dog shelters due to energy levels that exceeded their owner’s expectations.
Physical exercise is great and necessary for a dog, but it’s only half of the equation. Your dog, intelligent creature that he or she is, also needs mental exercise.
Exercise is important for maintaining healthy muscles, bones, and joints in dogs and for keeping major organs functioning smoothly. Dogs that get adequate exercise daily tend to look good, feel good, and live longer.
Exercise helps work off excess energy in dogs so that they can act more quietly at home. It also is a form of mental stimulation.
Walking your dog for daily eliminations can also become a time for exercise. Different sizes and breeds of dogs need different levels of exercise. Be careful not to shift too quickly into an active mode — dogs need warm-up periods for active exertions just like people. Also pay attention to make sure your dog doesn’t overheat itself.
If you are doing an active sport or intensive activity, offer your dog water periodically to keep it hydrated and cool.
Most dogs need a minimum one walk a day.
During the walk, play with your dog. Dogs like chasing and retrieving balls and other toys or items. Toss a light tennis ball for your dog to catch, but try to avoid making your dog jump up to catch something. This tends to damage joints and bones later in life. Most dogs don’t have to run; walking is fine. They just need to keep moving throughout the exercise period. Adolescent male dogs, however, often benefit from more exercise to help burn off the excess energy produced by their hormones.
Don’t forget to reward your dog verbally for good behavior 😊
Training is an excellent form of exercise. Use your walks to teach your dog how to behave properly or do special tricks, like rolling over. Dogs can also accompany you when you jog, bike, rollerblade, or do other sports at a reasonable pace.
Just be sure your dog is having fun!
Because of their powerful ability to smell, a dog’s favorite stimulation is having opportunities to sniff around where there are lots of scents. Even if confined indoors, dogs will benefit from being able to watch the activity outdoors through a window. Make sure your dog is part of the daily flow of life in your home so that it doesn’t become isolated.
Leave a couple of toys in its crate to play with when it is alone, also swap toys around so they do not have the same toy every day. Dogs also love to search and find things. You can hide a toy or food item you want them to find in the yard and keep them busy for a long time.
Remember, engaging with you and the world around them is the best form of mental stimulation for your dog.