Effective Ways To Handle High Energy Dogs
Imagine this, you walk into your home after a busy day and the welcoming sight you are expecting to see from your four-legged friend makes your stomach churn instead: your favorite sneakers have been torn to shreds, your jaw drops. But that’s not all. You walk inside to see your couch ripped with holes, the inner cushion exposed, your eyes are wide with alarm. Your living space has been littered with one thing or the other. Who on earth could have done this? You wonder as you search for clues that might lead to the perpetrator. Suddenly, it dashes towards you, then past you into the open; barking, jumping, running around. You drop your bag and pull out your hair in frustration. This is madness you cannot handle anymore. The perpetrator is your high energy furry buddy.
Now breathe. Do not pull out your hair, take a seat, and read this article. You are not alone. High energy dogs are not uncommon so you are in good company. You do not have to lose your mind too as this will not help you nor your dog. The good news is, there are effective ways to handle your high energy dog and we will explore them together.
Why so Much Energy?
Having a dog with excess energy to burn can be a really frustrating experience when you do not know what to do any longer. Your fur buddy can make it difficult for you to do regular daily activities like cleaning, cooking, reading, or relaxing to watch some television. Understanding why your dog has so much energy and what is required from you as its owner will go a long way to help you take care of your dog and keep your sanity.
The first step to knowing why your dog has so much energy is knowing what breed it is. Not all dog breeds are meant to be couch potatoes and lap-pets. Some have natural instincts to be very busy and wild even. The Australian Cattle Dog, for example, was used to herd cattle in the past. Some still use them for that purpose in animal farms. These dogs have been described to have intense focus. Some shepherds have even described them as insane, smart, and wicked. These are instincts they require to do their job. Presently, a lot of Australian cattle dogs have become stay-home dogs that live indoors with their owners. It is therefore very important to know what breed of dog you have and then do a little research about their natural traits or what they were naturally made for. This will help you understand your dog better, and again, keep your sanity.
It is one thing understanding why your dog has so much energy. It is another thing knowing how to handle it so it does not become destructive. High energy dogs like to work and like mind-stimulating activities. Sometimes, the best way to help your dog is to drain the excess energy by channeling it through other activities. Let’s take a look at some ways you can handle your high energy dog.
Daily Trips to the Dog Park
Let’s face it, if you have a high energy dog, daily walks are sometimes not enough for them. It may be enough for you – you may even get home tired and needing rest but your dog will still be bouncing and jumping around for more activities. A short walk is just not enough as high energy dogs require more stimulation. And one great place to get it is at the dog park. Taking your dog to the dog park daily can be of great help to you and your dog. It will get the chance to let its instinct run out till they tire it out.
Natural activities like running with other dogs, chasing other dogs, sniffing other dogs, and generally playing with other dogs will help drain the excess energy welled up inside it. Your dog will get home well-drained and ready to give you some peace of mind for the rest of the day. Note that handling high energy dogs has little to do with the amount of time they get outside, instead its the quality of the time they receive. An hour of pumped activity at the dog park is more effective than three hours of a slow walk.
Dog experts say that dog parks also help train your dogs, especially your puppies, in better socializing behaviors. However, trips to the dog park must be made daily. Experts say that when your dog gets into the habit of daily dog parks, it begins to expect it. This is where some magic lies. When your dog learns to expert a day at the park with its other fur buddies, it makes them willing to be calm when you are relaxing because they know they will have their time. They only get over-excited and anxious when you do not treat them with that needed time outside.
Find a New Sport
A dog with excess energy will only get worse with a monotonous daily lifestyle. A new challenge will help to stimulate its mind and re-channel its energy through a more positive outlet. There are several sports you can enjoy with your fur buddy that will help use its energy effectively and give you good exercise. Depending on your dog’s breed, there are some specific sports you can introduce it to that will help immensely. Here are some ideas:
- Throw and fetch: The good old throw and fetch is still very effective. In other to really get your dog’s energy properly released, you must make it very challenging. Go beyond throwing a few meters across the backyard to throwing the object out of its sight. This will help it run more and exert more energy.
- Herding: other dog breeds can also learn to herd. You can start by teaching your little puppy to chase things around the house. You should also train it to stop at your command. If you have access to a place with livestock, you can take them there when they learn to obey your stop command.
- Dock-diving: If you have a high energy dog, you may have noticed that it loves to leap. Fortunately, there are centers and facilities that help to train dogs to leap into pools and swim. this activity will be very engaging for your dog as well as fun.
- Hiking: If you love hiking, then it is a wonderful idea to take your dog with you. As mentioned earlier, stimulating the mind of your high energy dog is very important. Hiking offers a good opportunity to do just that. The trees, the different other animals, the sound of the birds, and the whole ambiance will be very stimulating to your dog’s mind. The new environment will give it something different to focus on while providing it a good workout.
Quality Time at the Beach
Beaches are excellent places for fun and exercise. Just like the dog park, your dog will get the chance to meet other dogs and have fun. This is a win-win situation because you will also get some good relaxation time and while your dog says hi to other fur buddies. One advantage the beach has is its vastness. The unending stretch of water-soaked white sand can be a huge playground for your dog. Let your dog get busy running about with other dogs or chasing other dogs while you let in some fresh breeze into your lungs. Aside from the white sand, there is water – waves-driven water. Give your dog the chance to splash in the salty freshness. This is not only good exercise; but it is also a lot of fun for them. You can also teach it to float in the shallow water.
There is a reason why people love beaches. The ocean air is charged with negative ions that are proven to calm nerves and make a person relaxed. You will find yourself enjoying the day at the beach as much as your dog will. Both of you will head home happy and satisfied. Again, a win-win situation.
Okay, we have focused a lot on natural solutions. It is time to chip in an artificial solution – dog treadmills. Yes, you read it right. There are times when natural solutions are simply not available as an option for dog owners. Long working hours may prevent you from taking your dog to the dog park daily or even the beach. Even when you are able to make time, the weather may have a different idea. There is no way you can explain your reasons to your dog and get it to bear with you. It will just focus its excess energy on your furniture.
Do not worry, there is still a way out with doggie treadmills. A dog treadmill may be just the solution you need. They are ideal for dog owners with very busy lifestyles or hindered by bad weather conditions. There is a plus here; you can get on it too. Another win-win sort of. Before you pass this off as a ridiculous idea, read on.
Dog treadmills are actually a thing, and there are several brands already available. Plus, the idea is even more practical than you may think. High energy dogs need a lot of extra exercises (more than regular dogs) to keep them from becoming a destructive nuisance. With direction and training, you can get your dog used to the treadmill in no time. This will keep them from becoming bored while it helps drains the excess energy. Plus, you can keep an eye on it while you attend to your daily activities. If you still think this is not a wonderful idea, think about how beautiful your sneakers and couch look. Now imagine how they will look when your dog has quality time with them.
In case you are simply too busy to have the kind of time your high energy pooch needs to exercise and have fun, you can try dog daycare and dog walkers. You may live in a land-locked city, have no access to hiking trails, no farms nearby, or hate sports in general. There is one more thing you can still try – dog daycare. Okay, make that two: dog daycare and dog walkers. You can take your dog to dog daycare or hire a dog walker. In both cases, you need to give all the important information about your dog’s needs to your pet care provider or dog walker. Thus, while you are busy attending to your busy daily schedule, your dog will still get the needed exercise it needs. An advantage with this option (aside from providing an employment opportunity) is you will have dedicated persons to focus on the dog’s needs. A dog daycare operator may have other dogs around. So this will be extra beneficial to your dog as it will get the opportunity to chase and play around with other dogs. Your dog will return home happy, drained, and ready to get some sleep.
An advantage of hiring a dog walker is they have just one job to do – to walk your dog and give it the necessary exercise it needs. if you have a dog with excess energy to burn, it is important to give specific instructions to your dog walker concerning your dog’s needs. With extra tip, the walker can take your dog to the places your schedule doesn’t permit you to, while you focus on your work. At the end of the day, you still have to make your money, right?
In conclusion, as much as your high-energy dog is a wonderful companion, you should do your part to give it the time it needs and as much activity it requires to stimulate its mind and keep from becoming a destructive force in your home. A dog with excess energy is loving, intelligent, and likes to work. However, you should decide what ‘work’ it should do. You can have a lot of fun with your dog while putting it to work with some of the various options explained in this article. Whether, running with other dogs at the dog park, leaping into water, going on a hiking adventure with you, running on a dog treadmill, spending quality time with a dog walker, you will be helping your dog and keeping your furniture and new sneakers safe.