If you have a high energy dog you know just have hard it is to try and tire them out. You can take them for a run in the park and play fetch for an hour and they still want more. If they don’t get sufficient exercise for their needs it can lead to problems. This can include destructive behavior, nuisance barking, escaping and even aggression. For a guide to how much exercise your particular dog needs on a daily basis see here.
Toys are a great way to help burn off some of that pent up energy from you energetic hyperactive dog. Some toys are great for you to play with your dog while there are many self-playing toys that your dog can use on their own. See Self Playing Toys for Dogs for some ideas.
High energy dogs also tend to be very intelligent. It is crucial to also provide mental challenges and stimulation for them in addition to daily exercise. Mental exercise can, in fact, burn as much pent up energy as physical exercise. To learn about the six categories of mental enrichment and stimulation see here.
There are many toys and categories of toy that are great for the hyperactive energetic dog. These toys not only help to physically stimulate your hyper dog. They also provide mental stimulation helping further to tire them out quickly.
Try some of these toys in your dog’ daily activity and I am sure your dog will be more energy and be a little more tired out and calmer.
A Jolly Ball is a nearly indestructible ball for dogs that they push and chase around. They come in a variety of sizes, styles and are also available with a handle or rope attached for tug of war. These are particularly popular with high energy breeds such as Pitbulls and Staffies and even small terriers like Jack Russells. They are also ideal for herding breeds such as Border Collies and Blue Heelers as they cater to their natural herding instinct. It is like sheep herding without the sheep.
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Check out the video to see what great exercise and fun they are for dogs.
Fetch is the favorite game of the majority of dogs. I am sure you have had the experience of your dog wanting you to throw the ball just a few more times. Try using a ball launcher that will help throw the ball a lot further than you could with your arm. Plus you can use the launcher to pick the ball up when your dog returns it to you. No more picking up balls covered in dog slobber. My personal pick is the Chuckit Ball Launcher. These are inexpensive and excellent quality so will last much longer than some other brands.
An alternative is to use an automatic ball launcher. With an Automatic Ball Launcher, they can play fetch by all by themselves. This will require training them to put the ball in the funnel initially, but once they know what to do they are away and fetching. Read “Automatic Ball Launchers for Dogs” to learn more
Frisbee or Flying Disc
Playing Frisbee with your dog takes the game of fetch to a whole new level. Most dogs can chase and catch a ball. But a Frisbee requires a little bit more skill, coordination, and timing.
If your dog doesn’t innately know to jump and catch the Frisbee in the air, start off small. Roll the Frisbee on the ground towards your dog. They will instinctively want to grab it in his mouth.
Once you’ve accomplished this, try tossing it at a very low level first to your dog. If you feel like your dog is ready to go to the next level, toss the disc a little higher and further. Great energy burner and you may be amazed at your dog’s agility and acrobatic skill.
The Kong Flying Disc is made from a durable rubber making it more suitable for dogs. A normal plastic frisbee will probably get trashed fairly quickly by a dog.
A Flirt pole is like a giant cat tickler for dogs. This is probably one of the best ways to burn energy for a dog in the shortest time. It has a long handle with a bungee type rope with a lure or toy attached to the end.
You simply move the lure along the ground around in circles or in different directions as your dog chases it. It works directly with their natural prey instinct. Be sure they have a good “leave it” command and don’t allow them to destroy the toy. This game is excellent for burning up that pent-up energy in a short amount of time. For a full guide to flirt pole exercise for dogs see here.
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Tug of War Toys
Playing tug of war with your dog is not only a good energy burning game but a great exercise to help build strength. Strength and muscle building exercise is great for your dog’s overall health as it helps build muscle to give protection to their joints and tendons. This may help prevent some painful and expensive injuries to your dog. For more about strength and muscle building exercises for dogs see here.
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An alternative to playing tug of war with your dog is to provide them with a spring pole. A spring pole is simply a spring connected to a rope that hangs from a tree branch or beam with a lure or toy attached to the end. This allows your dog to play tug of war with him or herself even if you are not there. Popular with a lot of dogs and particularly terrier type breeds like the Pitbull that love a good game of tug of war.
The Kong Wobbler will get your dog moving around and provide a mental challenge at the same time. It holds a good volume of dog kibble or treats to occupy your dog for a reasonable amount of time. Because of its unique shape your dog can bat it with their paws or nose sending it off in all directions dispensing food. It is also ideal for dogs that gobble down their food too fast as it makes them work for their food.
View Kong Wobbler on Amazon.
Dog Toys that Move
There is a range of dog toys that move on their own that will get your dog moving and burning energy. A lot of high energy dog breeds either have a high prey drive or are herding and working type breeds This type of toy stimulates their natural drive. They range from simple toys or balls that vibrate, jump, make sounds to the more high tech smart toys like the GoBone or Wicked Bone.
To find out more about dog toys that move on their own see here.
I have already emphasized the importance of providing mental challenges and stimulation for your dog. This is not only to cure boredom but also helps to burn off excess pent up energy.
Puzzle toys are probably the most effective and best ways to provide this much needed mental enrichment. It is important to select puzzle toys for your dog that are not too easy or too difficult for them. If they solve the puzzle easily the game won’t last long and provide the challenge they need. If the puzzle is too difficult they may become frustrated and simply give up.
For details about the types of puzzle toys available for your dog see Top puzzle toys for dogs.
Digging is a natural instinctive behavior for dogs. For some dog owners, a dog that digs can become a real problem destroying your yard or digging up the carpet. You can’t really train an instinctive behavior out of a dog but you can redirect that behavior.
There are dog toys available that cater directly to that natural digging instinct. Directing your dog’s digging to the toy not only solves the problem of unwanted digging but helps to burn off energy and provide mental enrichment.
For more information on dog toys for diggers see here.
If you have an energetic or hyperactive dog try to provide them with toys that help to burn pent up energy and provide mental enrichment. These toys are obviously not a substitute for daily exercise but will help to tire your high energy dog a little more.
For more ideas to tire your high energy quickly see here.