This is Lucy. She is a 12 week old Saluki, Greyhound mix. She is so cute that she gets away with stealing your stuff in a flash! My house looks like I have a gang of toddlers with all the toys, trying to distract Lucy from playing with our valuables. Submitted by Susan B.
Sweet girl Kate is 10 years old and weighs about 80 pounds. She is oh so friendly, well behaved and good with other dogs. This sweet old lady is great on a leash, but she does move slowly. She does not want to be in a shelter at her age. She would love to be in a new home where she can take life easy and slow. Submitted by Washington Wilkes Animal Shelter.
Cal is our best friend. We hate to call him or refer to him as a dog. He is four years old and such a smart and loving dog. He loves his stuffed animals and carries them everywhere. He is so alert, very playful, and he loves to take pictures. Submitted by Peter and Karla M.
Do you have a highly energetic dog? She definitely needs a way to channel all of that excess energy or else she might find a lot of destructive ways to use it up… like destroying your belongings or digging holes in the backyard.
Does this sound familiar?
Well, it is a good idea to have creative ways to help them burn off energy in healthy, fun and productive ways, while of course keeping their minds stimulated. If you want to learn what these activities are, then please keep on reading below.
Six Creative Ways To Exercise Your Highly Energetic Dog
1. Running Partner
Planning to beat your personal record in the upcoming marathon? Well, why don’t you take your highly energetic dog with you when you train. They can be your best running buddy. Just start slow and run at a pace they are much comfortable with, then you can gradually increase the speed and even the distance.
Or you can just simply run around the yard, chasing each other. This is an absolutely fun way to burn off energy for your dog, and burn some calories for you, too!
2. Keep Waving that Flirt Pole
Highly energetic dogs are much like cats in that they love chasing soft objects that flap and flutter. So yes, this means that if cats can go crazy over wand toys that have feathers or small fluffy things the end, then your active dog will too! In fact, they even have name for these things. They’re called flirt poles.
There are plenty of ready-made flirt poles you can purchase. They are specially and safely designed for your dog, but you can also make one by yourself. You can make one using PVC pipe that is about four to six feet long, a rope, and some stuffed toy
Like what this pole does to a cat, a flirt pole taps into the predatory instincts of your dog and will encourage it to concentrate on, chase and then attack its prey found at the end of the rope as you are flicking the pole around. This will definitely be a game changer for your highly energetic dog.
The main benefit of playing with the flirt pole is that will give your dog physical stimulation as they run back and forth trying to catch the toy. But at the same time, there will also be mental stimulation since they will try to outsmart you and anticipate the toy’s movement.
But what’s even better is that it will exhaust your active dog without exhausting you. Children can also easily stand still and wave the wand. It doesn’t take much. You don’t need to look for a huge yard to play with the flirt pole. You can play with it in your driveway or on a sidewalk outside your home. You can basically do this exercise anywhere and anytime. During rainy days, you can play indoors with a half-sized flirt pole.
I also suggest playing with the flirt pole before you go on walks. Five to ten minutes will do. This is a good way to expend some of your dog’s excitement. The more you tire out your pooch before her walk, the less excited energy she will have during your walk.
3. Set Up Obstacle Courses
Setting up obstacle courses will not only exercise your highly energetic dog but will also train her agility. This exercise provides physical as well as more mental stimulation. It is a fun way to give your furry companion something they can achieve and focus on.
There are professional classes available to instructors that offer obstacle course training for your dog, but you can also do it by yourself. There’s no need to shell out a lot of money. It is actually easy enough to create your own safe and fun home obstacle right in your backyard. All you need are a few cheap supplies or even things that are just lying around your home.
To make things easier for you, Everything for Our Pets will be sharing three common types of obstacles you can easily set up for your dog… these are weave poles, jumps, and tunnels. But just a gentle reminder, safety should be the most important feature for every obstacle course, so always keep in mind your dog’s well-being while you are setting up everything.
Weave Poles: It is very easy to make your own weave poles! All you need are inexpensive PVC pipes. Stick lengths of pipe into the ground, making enough space between the pipes for your dog to safely run or walk through.
Just watch out for any immovable and hard materials that could possibly injure your dog just in case she miscalculates the distance between two poles. Make sure to secure the poles properly so they won’t fall over whenever your dog runs through them.
You can also purchase orange traffic cones rather than PVC pipes if you don’t want any pipes popping out all over your yard. Traffic cones present more of a challenge that the standard weave poles.
Jumps: We will also be using PVC pipes for bar jumps. Set the pipes at different increments and make sure there will be enough room for your furball to comfortably jump over the bar.
Also make sure that the bar can be easily knocked down so your dog does not hit something solid and injure herself if she doesn’t jump high enough.
Tunnels: It is possible to make an obstacle course tunnel from scratch. But there are a lot of pet owners who find it much easier and even less time consuming to just repurpose an existing play tunnel. If you have kids you can use your child’s old flexible play tunnel, this will make an excellent obstacle.
If you don’t have any, there are plenty of inexpensive ones you can purchase at your local department store or online. Just choose one that is lightweight but is also heavy enough that it will not move when your dog runs through it.
4. Swimming and Water Play
During a hot day, swimming and water play can be just the ticket for your active dog. Take your dog for a dip in your local lake or beach. She will get a great workout, use up some of her energy, and the best of all, stay cool in the heat.
But take note that not every dog is made for swimming. There are breeds that are bad swimmers. Fortunately, there are life jackets designed especially for dogs. This will allow him to still be in the water even if he is not really the greatest swimmer. In this way your dog can get his much needed exercise while staying safe.
5. Catch and Fetch, Balls and Bubbles
You can play this with your dog in the yard or at the park. If you have ample space in your home, you can play more controlledforms of this game. Since balls have always been a favorite for active dogs, it is the most efficient tool for this activity. Just make sure that you get one that is the right size of your dog. A large dog might get choked on a ball that is too small while a small dog might it difficult to handle a large ball and will eventually give up playing. With proper training, your dog can even learn to play a dog form of soccer using large ball.
Another fun way to play catch and fetch is by using bubbles. Your dog should find bubbles to be fascinating, so she will absolutelyhave a great time chasing them all over the yard and trying to pop them.
You can use those with simple bubble wands that can release one or two bubbles at a time, but I one idea is to get a battery-operated bubble blower that can shoot many bubbles at once. This will really get you highly energetic dog running and leaping and generally going nuts. Remember that bubbles might get into your dog’s mouth, so make to use only non-toxic bubble solution.
6. Add Some Weights
Have you ever gone backpacking? Then you absolutely know how exhausting it can be to carry around 25 or 30 pounds on your back while hiking. For your dogs, you can buy a little doggie backpack and add a safe amount of weight. This is a great way to burn that extra energy on daily walks.
How much weight you should use? Just try about 10% of the total body weight of your dog. For example, if your dog weighs 50 lb., insert a 5 pound weight.
As long as you use your imagination, you can absolutely think of different creative activities and games for your dog to burn off extra energy. Take note that a highly energetic dog can get easily bored. They will find ways to relieve their boredom and may end up developing behavior you don’t want them to exhibit. A simple routine of daily exercise will help them remain happy and healthy.