Puppies have a reputation for being rambunctious. They like to get up and go and never seem to run out of energy. This can be incredibly cute, sure. However, sometimes you’ll just want your new best friend to relax and cuddle up. That can be hard to do with a whole lot of energy leftover from the day.
If you’re having trouble tiring out your puppy, don’t worry — you’re not alone.
Keep reading to learn the best techniques to tire your young pup out and get them to relax with you.
Puppies Have a Lot of Energy
This is a pretty well-known fact. Tons of videos exist on the internet of adorable young pups getting the “zoomies,” frantically running everywhere they go. This high amount of energy needs to be tended to, though.
Puppies have an excess of energy because their bodies are working overtime. They’re constantly working and growing. That’s why most people say that puppies can’t eat enough: they’re using all of the food that they eat as they burn energy. However, all that energy can lead to some unwanted behaviors.
Too Much Energy Leads To Bad Behaviors
When a pup can’t expend all of their energy, they may find themselves in trouble. Too much energy with no outlet can cause destructive behavior. It might even lead to aggression. Puppies don’t do this on purpose; they just don’t know what to do with their built-up energy yet. This brings us to another point.
When a puppy can’t tire out and calm down, it can be harder for them to learn the rules of the house. Too much energy normally leads to a shorter attention span. This means they are prone to overstimulation, meaning that a puppy won’t be able to focus on you to learn what needs to be done around the home. They’ll be too distracted by everything going on around them.
Some Puppies Have More Energy Than Others
Some dog breeds are well-known for being high-energy, even as adults. This means that they’ll have even more energy as puppies. These dogs need the most attention, and they need to be tired out more often than other breeds.
That’s entirely fine, of course. It’s just good to know ahead of time. When picking out a puppy, make sure to take into account your needs and the needs of the puppy. Weigh them against each other. Make sure that you’ll have time to help them use the excess energy they may have.
An Overload of Energy Can Be Tough
It is very important to mention that pups have no control over how much energy they have. Sometimes, that might become frustrating. It’s not their fault, though. Dog owners should know that, and it’s important not to let that frustration be taken out on your pooch.
Be sure to understand what you’re getting into with a puppy, as most of them have a ton of vigor and will need constant activity and stimulation.
Spending Energy Through Stimulation
It’s pretty well-known that physical activity will help a dog use up some of its fuel. In fact, quite a few of the tips you’ll find below are all about physical activity. However, dogs need both physical and mental stimulation to truly be tuckered out.
Physical stimulation can be provided in many ways. Walks, playing, and training are all great ways to spend energy in a physical manner. Physical stimulation is important in any dog’s day. Specifically, it’s more important for puppies since they’ve got more vitality.
Some of the most tiring activities for a puppy are the ones that are the most mentally stimulating. Most physical exercises have an aspect of mental stimulation, but some activities that are almost entirely mental are exhausting.
This can include socializing, training, or playing brain games with your pup. These are guaranteed to tire out a puppy.
11 Tips For Tiring Out Your Puppy
If you need to exhaust your puppy, be sure to check out the following tips.
These are a sure way to get those energy levels lower:
1. Take Long Walks
Long walks are one of the best ways to tire out any rambunctious pup. A long walk is going to physically tire them out, but it’s also going to provide a huge amount of mental stimulation. When on a long walk, they get to stretch their legs and experience a whole host of things that they may not get on a day-to-day basis.
This includes meeting new people and pups and sniffing a variety of new smells. This will put them into overdrive, exhausting them quickly.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that socialization can be tiring. Most people have found themselves with loads more energy since starting to work from home or going out less. We’ve had so much energy that we’ve gotten puppies, too! Socialization can be a great way to dwindle your pup’s energy, too.
When socializing, most puppies play with other dogs, meaning that they’re spending all of the energy they have. They’re also mentally stimulated. Meeting new friends, or hanging out with old ones, can keep them occupied for long periods of time, tiring them out faster than normal.
3. Play Fetch
Fetch is one of the best exercises for a puppy that’s got a lot of spirit. It lets them spend a lot of energy in bursts, and a layer of mental stimulation is added. Fetch comes with a few commands that can be taught, like sit, wait, and drop it.
All of these are a great way to mentally exercise your puppy. They’ll need to learn these commands sooner than later; why not do it while having some fun? Your pup will love it, and so will you. Take them out to the backyard with a few tennis balls.
4. Hit the Park
Heading to the park, even just to sit and relax, can be a big activity for your puppy. It follows the same principle that taking a long walk does. They get to spend a lot of their energy over time while receiving plenty of mental stimulation. This combination is the key to tiring a puppy out quickly. The more stimulation you can add, the more likely they’ll be to exhaust themselves fast.
5. Play Hide-and-Seek
There are two ways to accomplish this. The traditional way is to teach your puppy to sit and wait. Once that’s been accomplished, you can then hide. Once hidden, start calling to them.
This is a fun way for them to use their senses and get some exercise at the same time. If they’re having trouble sitting and waiting, a friend can be recruited to sit with them while you hide.
The next way to do this is by hiding treats for them to seek out. This is the more delicious way to play, of course, and it can be a lot of fun for you to watch. Hide treats in a number of places, then prompt them to look for them (under your supervision). They get the same benefits of seeking for you, but with a tasty reward at the end.
6. Go Somewhere New
Taking the same old walks and going to the same park can become repetitive for you and your puppy. Taking them somewhere new is a great way to help them get rid of some of their energy. They get the excitement of a new place and can spend hours exploring it.
Slowing down and smelling new things is one of the most enriching activities for any dog. A new place means a whole lot of new smells.
7. Learn a New Trick
Learning a new trick is one of the most demanding things for any puppy. It requires that they focus on you and that they pay plenty of attention. This means that they’ll be tiring themselves out quickly.
Some tricks even include physical exercise. Learning to roll over is an example of this. If you want to tucker a puppy out, teach them something new to show your friends.
8. Add an Instinct Based Activity
Dogs have been bred for centuries to serve specific purposes. As such, many dogs have it in their blood to want to do certain activities. By adding an exercise that lets them express these instincts, puppies can get an enjoyable exercise.
Some terriers were bred for sniffing out underground pests, so teaching them to dig for fun in a sandbox can be great. Retrievers should have big games of fetch. Working breeds may like towing around a cart. Get creative and let your puppy enjoy its heritage.
9. Head Out For a Hike
A hike is far more demanding than a simple walk is. As such, a puppy may be more inclined to tuckering out if taken out for a long hike. Hikes provide an incline and some rugged terrain. They also give plenty of opportunities to experience something new. Hiking is one of the best activities for puppies if you have access to trails.
10. Take a Swim
Swimming takes a lot of energy for even the most in-shape dogs. As such, teaching a puppy to swim at a young age may be the best way to get them to settle down. Of course, swimming should be done on a supervised basis.
At first, it may need to be assisted, as well. This means providing them some help, allowing them to get used to the water, and then gradually letting them swim on their own. A life vest is a safety necessity, even for grown dogs. Hit the pool when you can. Your dog will take to it like a fish in water.
11. Provide a View
Sometimes you can’t get out to experience new things with your puppy. Giving them a window to look out can give them some of the mental stimulation they may be missing out on during those days. They’ll get the opportunity to see what’s going on outside without having to be there.
This can keep their attention and will likely help tire them out. Be sure that the window is safe for them, and provide a stable platform. No one wants an accident to happen.
How Much Exercise Should My Puppy Get?
This is a long-debated topic. Some people think that puppies can’t get enough exercise. They seem to be full of energy, after all. Others disagree, though, and regiment their puppy’s exercise. Regardless, the amount of exercise needed to tire a puppy out is entirely dependent on the pup. However, there are some things to keep in mind.
Some Puppies Have Highs and Lows
When you watch a puppy experience the “zoomies,” it’s normally followed by a panting flop. This is a prime example of how a puppy’s energy works. They have big bursts and are ready to run around mindlessly.
However, they tend to tire out quickly. This is because they aren’t ready for long sessions of exercise. As they grow, they tend to calm down and can exercise for longer periods, too. Too much intense exercise at any one time can be bad for a puppy.
Too Much Exercise Is as Bad as Not Enough
Puppies are still growing and developing. As such, giving them too much exercise can be just as detrimental as not giving them enough. If they’re overworked, they may experience issues with early health issues. Puppies who work too hard can become injured, and their growth may be affected.
When you’re exercising with your new best friend, start with small, intense sessions. This is the best way to help them get rid of a lot of excess energy at once. This will tire them out without harming them in any way.
Breed Can Play a Part
As mentioned earlier, a puppy’s breed may drive exactly how much it takes to tire them out. It can also determine what approach should be taken to tire the puppy out. Some do better with physical activity, while others tire out faster with mental exercises. Knowing your dog helps, and their breed can be a good indicator of this preference, as well.
More Interaction Means Less Energy at the End of the Day
If your puppy is rambunctious, the best way to get them to tire out is by spending time with them. All of the suggestions above involve you! Your puppy is going to tire out the most when they’re engaged with you.
Remember to challenge them physically and mentally and give them the attention and care that they need. Don’t worry; as they grow up, all of this vitality will calm down. Until then, enjoy it!
Puppy Exercise & Activities for Training Your Puppy | American Kennel Club
10 Ways to Tire Out Your High-Energy Dog (Before You Lose Your Mind) | Pet Helpful
How Much Exercise Is Too Much for a Puppy? | American Kennel Club