You love your dog like one of your own children, but when they chew on the furniture and scratch your doors…well let’s just say it’s not as cute as when they’re snuggling you on the couch. Destructive behaviors are common ways that high-energy dogs will act out if they aren’t getting enough exercise. It often leaves owners angry and frustrated, even though it’s not the dog’s fault.
If you have a high-energy dog, there are some things you can do to help them spend that energy during the day so they aren’t taking it out of your home. In this article, we’ll go over five tips that can help you help your pup.
This probably seems obvious, but giving your dog enough exercise during the day can help them work out their extra energy and make them calmer at home. Walks and runs are by far the most popular way to exercise your dog. Grab the leash and harness and take them for a stroll around the neighborhood or to a nearby park.
If you’d rather relax while your dog gets a workout, get some toys they can retrieve. Playing fetch in a field goes a long way for both of you. You can relax in your lawn chair and enjoy some time outside while your dog sprints, jumps and prances to its heart’s content.
2.) Obedience Training
You might not be in a situation where you can spend all day at home with your dog, which means they’ll have to adjust to some periods of inactivity. In these instances, opting for obedience training can go a long way.
When you train your dog to listen to you and be patient, they’re much better at taking direction and spending a day in their kennel. That’s because they know at some point you’ll come home, they’ll get a treat and it’ll be time to go outside! Training also makes it much easier to take them to places like dog parks or puppy socialization programs because you know you’re in control and can keep them safe.
There are lots of options for obedience training such as in-person classes or even online dog training courses. Do some research about options in your area and find a program that fits your schedule and budget.
3.) Puzzle Toys
Especially if you own a herding dog breed, you need to have some passive entertainment for your pup around the house. Herding and cattle breeds are accustomed to having a job to do each and every day — it’s in their DNA! So sometimes, even if you take them for a morning 5k, they need more stimulation than just exercise.
A great option for smart, high-energy dogs is feeder puzzle toys. These encourage them to work through a problem for a prize and can keep dogs entertained for hours. One of the most common options is toys you can stuff with treats or peanut butter and the dog has to work to get them out.
Just keep in mind, that these toys will add extra calories to your dog’s day. So if you’re watching weight, choose your treats carefully.
4.) Mental Training
Puzzle toys are a great precursor to some mental training exercises for your dog. If you notice your pup getting bored with their puzzle toys (or eating too many treats in the day), you can switch over to teaching them some new tricks!
Work on things that take some time for your dog to catch on to. The more consistently you can spend time with them working toward a goal, the more your dog will feel fulfilled.
Again, cattle and herding dogs like to feel like they have a job to do, so you can teach them tricks that they can do every day. Things like bringing you something from your bedroom or herding the kids into the bathroom for bath time. These are both things that will take a little while to perfect, but once mastered, your dog can practice them every day.
Dogs aren’t so different from people. Just like you enjoy getting out of the house and meeting up with your friends, dogs enjoy spending time with other dogs. See if there are any dog socialization opportunities in your area where your dog can make some friends. This could be a doggy day care, a local dog park or even events at pet stores.
The more chances your high-energy dog has to work out their exercise, meet with other dogs and learn new tricks, the better behaved they’ll be in your home.