Having a high-energy dog can detract from the time spent with your pet, but more often than not, our companion's excess energy is due to a lack of stimulation. Here, we share a few tips to help your four-legged friend stay cool and collected.
How to Handle Your High-energy Dog
While some dogs are happy lazing on the couch all day, many breeds were bred to be working animals.
It’s no wonder, then, that so many pet owners experience problems with high-energy dogs. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to ensure your pooch gets the mental, physical and social stimulation they need to stay cool and collected. Here are a few tips for handling your high-energy pet:
1. Engage in Play
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many owners don’t consider their dogs’ exercise requirements compared to the amount of physical activity their pets get day to day. If your dog can’t sit still, it’s likely she needs to spend more time burning energy running and playing. Engage in games like fetch or tug-of-war to help keep your dog calm back at home while actively bonding with your pet over some of her favourite activities.
2. Brain Exercise
Many dogs were bred to be working animals, so giving your pet a task to complete doesn’t just exercise her body and brain, it also boosts her sense of confidence.
Nosework teaches dogs to sniff out a particular smell, giving them a task to complete that keeps them both mentally and physically active—but even practicing simple tricks can engage your pet and lead to a calmer companion. For more intense mind-body workouts, try competitive sports such as dock diving, herding, field trials and agility training. All of these will help strengthen your bond with your dog, too.
3. Teach Good Manners
Energetic dogs tend to jump up on their owners and bark excessively, detracting from the time spent with your pet.
Teaching your dog good manners is another form of training that will engage her mind while also teaching her impulse control. Next time you put on your dog’s leash for a walk, fill the food bowl, or throw her favourite toy, and ask your dog to sit first. Once your canine companion is sitting calmly, reward her immediately with the desired object. Soon, your pet will learn that good manners and calm behaviour are the best ways to get what she wants.
4. Go for a Walk
One of the simplest ways to wear out an energetic dog is plenty of daily exercise. High-energy breeds may try to chase other animals, so keep Fido on a leash and, when possible, walk in quiet areas. Dogs make for fast runners, so always keep your companion on a leash to prevent accidents and loss.