5 Quick Ways to Tire Out Your Dog
Does your dog have a lot of energy? Looking for ways to give your dog more exercise each day? If so you’ve come to the right place.
When my dog was younger I struggled to keep up with her. Our daily walk didn’t even come close to tiring her out; if anything it seemed to hype her up even more. She made it quite clear to me that a 2 hour walk just wasn’t going to cut it. She needed a lot more exercise.
So I started experimenting with different exercises, trying to figure out which ones came close to tiring her out, and luckily I found a few. And the best part? These activities will give your dog a lot of physical exercise in a short amount of time, so perfect for a few quick exercise breaks throughout the day. Here’s 5 quick ways to tire out your dog.
1. Flirt Pole
If you want to really tire out your dog quickly a flirt pole is the way to go. A flirt pole (also called a flirt stick) is a long pole with a lure attached by rope to the end. As you move the pole around the lure moves, enticing your dog to chase. Flirt poles provide great physical exercise, and they’re quite mentally stimulating. (here’s a great video of one being used)
Flirt poles utilize your dogs instinct to chase in a non destructive manner. And for those of us who have a hard time keeping up with our dogs it’s great because it’s an activity where your dog does all the work. Your dog will be running around like crazy while you stand there moving the lure around for them.
A couple minutes of using a flirt pole are extremely tiring for your dog. And because it’s such a high impact activity remember to keep the sessions short to avoid injury.
Flirt poles are available at many pet stores, and there’s plenty available on amazon, or you can make your own flirt pole with some pvc pipe, some bungee cord and a dog toy.
Frisbee is like fetch on steroids, or really what fetch could be like if I could throw worth a darn. I can toss a frisbee way further than a ball, and that added running distance for dogs is great physical exercise. It doesn’t get much easier that standing there tossing a frisbee while your dog does all the hard work.
If your dog doesn’t know how to catch a frisbee I’d start out by using one that’s a soft disc. Traditional frisbees are pretty hard, so if your dog accidentally gets hit in the face with one it may discourage them from trying to catch it. Get your dog excited about the frisbee by tossing it short distances or rolling it on the ground and encouraging them anytime they show interest in it.
3. Tug of War
Tug is my favorite game to play with my dog Laika. It’s fun, it’s great physical exercise, and it’s a good way for dogs to practice good manners. When playing tug just remember to follow one rule: the game stops if your dog’s teeth touch your skin. Puppies who haven’t learned bite inhibition will struggle with this rule. If you want to save your hands from those sharp teeth remember to teach your puppy not to bite before attempting tug.
A game of tug can be physically demanding for your dog, and if your dog is big it’s great exercise for you as well. Since most tug toys are made out of rope or other materials that can be easily destroyed by dogs don’t forget to put it away after your game. (I’ve made this mistake a few times, hence why we’ve had so many different tug toys over the years)
4. Chasing Bubbles
One of the easiest ways to tire out your dog is to teach them to chase bubbles. It still surprises me how much Laika enjoys it, and if I had to guess I’d say it’s probably Laika’s all time favorite game (if she could talk I could confirm this). As soon as I start walking over to the kitchen sink where those bubbles are she starts to get excited.
If your dog doesn’t know how to chase bubbles start by blowing a couple at a time. Point to the bubbles and encourage your dog to chase them around. Catch some yourself to show you dog that there’s nothing to worry about, and that the whole point of the game is to get them before they touch the ground.
We use bubbles made for kids, but there’s plenty of bubbles made for dogs on amazon (bacon scented is the most popular choice). They’re non toxic, but they can upset your dogs stomach if they ingest too much. And because bubbles can be irritating to your dogs eyes remember to wipe off their face afterwards.
5. Playing With The Hose
If your dog doesn’t mind the water using the hose (or sprinklers) can be a great way to give them exercise. I found this out by accident the first time I tried to bathe Laika outdoors after she rolled in something gross. Rather than standing still for her bath she went crazy trying to chase the stream of water.
Some dogs love chasing (or in Laika’s case biting) water that’s coming out of a hose or sprinkler. She’d run back and forth chasing the hose hours if I let her, and it’s one of those activities where your dog (or water bill) is doing all the work.
Don’t Forget About Mental Exercise
A good balance of mental & physical activity can keep dogs busy & entertained. A lot of your dog’s physical demands and need for mental stimulation will depend on his breed and age. Laika (being a German Shepherd mix) needs plenty of both mental & physical activity, so I added in a new play and exercise sessions each day until I found the routine that worked for her. You’ll know you’ve found the right balance when your hyper dog starts to relax throughout the day.
If you’re giving your dog plenty of physical exercise and they’re still hyped up try adding in some mentally stimulating activities. Playing some fun games with your dog and using food puzzles are two of my favorites. Stuffing a Kong with frozen peanut butter might seem too simple, but it’s an easy way to keep dogs entertained for 30+ minutes.
Looking for some more ways to tire our your dog? Here’s some more articles with plenty of suggestions for tiring out your dog;
- 8 Sure-Fire Ways to Tire Your Dog Out
- How to Tire Out Your High-Energy, Hyper Dog
- 33 Ways to Keep Your Dog Busy Indoors
How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?
Is a walk good enough for your dog? Does your dog get a mix of mental & physical exercise? What are your favorite ways to exercise your dog?
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Lara Elizabeth says
Tug and Frisbee are favorites at our house! Neither dog is into water, but I am interested to see what they think of bubbles…
Jen Gabbard says
She loves them so much I even got her a fancy bubble machine…But someone got a little too excited and knocked it over a few too many times. So we just stick to the wand now, but it still gets her going 🙂
Scruffs Dog Beds says
My dog does all these too, so funny to read 😀
a weighted backpack and a short walk work here in a pinch too. Great ideas!
Jen Gabbard says
Thanks, I didn’t even think of that. You’re so right, a weighted backpack does such a great job.
Great article! I, for one, experience some difficulties with my dog ever since I’ve made him a new home with basically everything that he needs in one small, elegant home. Kinda spoiled him and I can see myself applying all these rules ever since my dog started putting weight.
Walks, and tug of war/chasing the toy is how we do it here, so that flirt pole sounds like a great idea for one of mine. I’ll have to get one for him.
I play tug of war with Remy and I still need to get him a backpack. I also think he would go nuts over bubbles. Have not tried that yet! Thank you for linking to my post too.
My 11-month-old pup loves all the above, except the flirt pole. I haven’t tried that but now I will. Thanks for sharing that idea.
His favorite changes periodically. Right now it’s bubbles, loves them and will chase them until I’m worn out.
Dog Walking Software says
My go-to for my extremely active German Shorthaired Pointer is to harness him up, slap on a pair of roller blades, and let him run wild. He gets about 4 miles of daily running time which doesn’t tire him completely (15 minutes after getting home he’s already bringing me his ball so I can toss it around the house) but it definitely helps.
It took much too long for me to figure out that you weren’t putting roller blades on your dog.
My velcro GSD is too underfoot for me to be on wheels, but maybe one day!
I need to try that Flirt Pole for my Toy Rat Terrier, she’s got tons of energy! She loves to play fetch and will go all day…I bought her an iFetch machine to save my arm from wearing out. She loves it and I taught her how to drop the ball into it so she can play by herself. =) She also has a small dog treadmill that she runs on. I wish I had 1/2 of her energy! Thanks for the great tips!
Anie Washton says
My dog helps me with my exercise as much as I help him with his. I always play Frisbee with my dog but after i throw it, i ran away and have my dog chase me to return the Frisbee. So so much fun 🙂
Justine Fox says
Frisbee is our most played with my dog. While i throw the frisbee i do my jogging also so it is owner and dog exercise.
Kathy Hughes says
My boy is my Service Dog so he gets a great deal of mental work which is wonderful but he always has energy to burn off. With that said we bought a treadmill and after I use it he uses it. I never leave his side while he is on it and I placed a baby gate to one side so he can not step off. Having this option has made life so much easier. He loves to swim, play with his friends at the dog beach and score his friends when they retrieve tennis balls. He refuses to chase them and bring them back. He loves bubbles and playing in the sprinklers!
D B says
my puppy is 47 days old. He is too naughty that he disturbs me throughout the night and never allows me to sleep well for at least 5 hours. Please tell me some idea to make my puppy tired and there are many ideas in google but don’t work with it as it is only 47days old.
Your puppy is still a baby. Most wouldn’t even have left their mamas at that age. Unless you are allowing him to use his kennel as a potty, he will need tending to during the night for a while just as a human baby does. He isn’t being naughty, He’s just very young.
Awwwww hes very young hes probably missing mum
I have a 6 month old and she has me up 6.30 every morning for a wee
Your puppy isn’t naughty!
I’ve got a pup that gets super destructive if he’s got too much energy and I’m not home to play with him. I bought an automatic lazer pointer (originally meant for my cat aha!) and it’s been amazing, he would chase it until he passes out if I let him.
I walk with my Betty every day for about 10 km, it helps me feel better and healthier! She likes to run while I’m riding a bike too, so she feels really exhausted in the evening 🙂
Beppie Trollip says
I came across this very helpfull artical by accident Thanks for the ideas my uppy is 14weeks now we do have lots of fun however the energy levels at night shes full of it..will try blowing bubbles almost house trained but that requires 2hourly visiting the secret garden.Thanks again for the helpful tips.
eva adams says
Play throwing a ball and fetch Many times, take to the beach or park, or get another dog to be his friend and they go everywhere together! We have had five big dogs ‘Pyrenean Mountain Dogs’ all living at home, in a residential area, and they were happy doing just what I’ve told you; all were healthy and lived to a ripe old age! Bill, my husband’s family, had a farm and allowed us to use a paddock while we lived in Scotland. Now we are back to Australia and breed Japanese Spitz, but I still want my ‘big’ dog again, so a Pyrenean Puppy is on order !! https://esacare.com/top-three-dog-training-myths-explained-by-14-renowned-experts/
Sarwar Abdullah says
I had a German Shepherd that was the most amazing tracker I’ve ever seen. I, too, never took it to the level that she could have excelled but I stimulated her by regularly tracking my young daughter and her friends. It was a game of hide and seek. We used walkie talkies and my pup would track them for miles. So much fun. So rewarding for my girl called Magic.
my little one like tug of war!!
This article provides helpful tips on how to tire out our furry friends when they have excess energy. The suggested activities are not only beneficial for the dog’s physical health but also for their mental stimulation. As a dog owner myself, I found the article informative and practical, and I’ll definitely be trying out some of the tips with my pup.