Tired and Content = Happy Dog

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 Swimming: Not every pup loves the water, but those that do will prefer to swim over any other physical activity. It’s great for the joints and gets them tired super quick plus in the summer is the best option for keep them cool and prevent overheating. I like to combine swimming with fetch, but I always put a vest on him and never throw the ball too far where I can’t reach him quickly if needed.

Peer Play: Nothing quite compares to the full body exhaustion that results from an intense dog play session. Not only is the body engaged, the social nuances that happen during the play requires that she engage her brain as well. Be sure to pair up dogs that are a similar age, size and enjoy the same types of interactions

Fetch is a fantastic way to tire out your dog and can be played just about anywhere. If you are indoors, use a long stretch of hallway to toss a ball or toy back and forth – make him sit or lie down and wait before he fetches to stimulate his mind as well as his body.  Have your treat pouch on hand too to reinforce your dog’s good behavior with tasty treats. Parks, the backyard or any stretch outside will suffice for a fetch area; you can combine this activity with stairs or obstacle course for an added challenge.

Hiking: take a hike a road less traveled - a wooded path, trees, plants, are a great way to get your dog’s senses stimulated in a way that a neighborhood walk can’t. Off leash is the best way for your pup to stretch his legs and the new sights, sounds and critters will tap into all his senses and drain a lot of his pent-up energy!

Dog Sports: If your dog is high-energy dog, give organized dog sports a try. Most dog sports require a solid obedience foundation, but if you’ve got this covered, dog sports are a great way to drain mental and physical energy. Dog sports tap into dogs’ natural drives, so if you have a champion sniffer, check out earthdog trails. If your dog loves to retrieve, give flyball or dock diving a try. And if your dog wants to herd the world, investigate a newer dog sport called treibball. A dog that’s driven to chase small creatures will enjoy a lure coursing field. If you want to get in on the high-speed action alongside your dog, consider agility or canine freestyle, both of which require a healthy level of fitness on the human side of the equation. Have your treat pouch on hand too to reinforce your dog’s good behavior with tasty treats.

Find the Toy: is a terrific energy-burning game because it taps into one of your dog’s incredible, amazing nose. This game doesn’t require much space, can be played inside or out and is a great game for dogs of all ages because it’s low impact. Teach your dog to seek out her favorite toy first by hiding it in an obvious spot and encouraging her to “find it.” After a few repetitions your dog will understand what “find it” means, so take her out of the room and hide the toy so she can’t see where it is. Have your treat pouch on hand too to reinforce your dog’s good behavior with tasty treats.  She’ll have to use her sense of smell to locate the toy, which doesn’t seem like much work, but will tire her out more quickly than you may think.

Hide and Seek: This game is like “find it,” but your sniffs you out. Hide and seek is an easy teach- begin by hiding in an obvious place (for example, behind a door) and tell your dog “come find me!” Have a celebration when your dog locates you, either with praise or a quick game of tug. Then hide again in a more challenging location and repeat the process. This game is a scaled-down version of search and rescue work, and once again taps into your dog’s powerful sense of smell. It’s a fast-paced, low-impact game that will also increase the bond between you and your dog too. Have you treat pouch on hand too to reinforce your dog’s behavior with tasty treats.

Diane Rosell