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How to handle your high-energy dog

 by ben on 13 May 2019 |
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Having a high-energy dog can detract from the time spent with your pet, but more often than not, our companions’ excess energy is due to a lack of stimulation.

While some dogs are happy lazing on the couch all day, many breeds were designed as working animals. It’s no wonder, then, that so many pet owners experience problems with high-energy dogs. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to ensure Fido gets the mental, physical and social stimulation he needs to stay cool and collected. Here are a few tips for handling your high-energy pet:

1. Engage in play: This may seem like a no-brainer, but many owners don’t consider their dogs’ exercise requirements compared to the amount of physical activity their pets get day to day. If your dog can’t sit still, it’s likely he needs to spend more time burning energy running and playing. Engage in games like fetch or tug-of-war to help keep your dog calm back at home while actively bonding with your pet over some of his favorite activities.

2. Exercise his brain: Many dogs were bred as working animals, so giving your pet a task to complete not only exercises his body and brain but also boosts his sense of confidence. Nosework teaches dogs to sniff out a particular smell, giving them a task to complete that keeps them both mentally and physically active, but even practicing simple tricks can engage your pet and lead to a calmer companion. For more intense mind-body workouts, try competitive sports such as dock diving, herding, field trials, and agility training. All of these will help strengthen your bond with your pet, too.

3. Teach good manners: Energetic dogs tend to jump up on their owners and bark excessively, detracting from the time spent with your pet. Teaching your dog good manners is another form of training that will engage his mind while teaching him to impulse control. Next time you put on his leash for a walk, fill the food bowl, or throw his favorite toy, ask your dog to sit first. Once he’s sitting calmly, reward him immediately with the desired object. Soon, your pet will learn that good manners and calm behavior are the best ways to get what he wants.

4. Go for a walk: One of the simplest ways to wear out an energetic pet is to ensure he’s getting plenty of daily exercises. Breeds that are high-energy may try to chase other animals, so keep Fido on a leash and, when possible, walk in quiet areas. Dogs make for fast runners, so always keep your companion on a leash to prevent accidents or losing your pet.

With a few lifestyle modifications, you can help ensure your spirited companion is getting the stimulation he needs to be happy, healthy and calm. If you’ve tried these techniques or if your dog undergoes a rapid change in behavior, however, his excessive energy may be due to an underlying medical condition and you should seek your veterinarian’s advice.

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