There’s a myriad of reasons as to why you may have decided to adopt or buy a dog with high energy. They’re more likely to be very intelligent breeds, for example, and are great companion dogs, especially if you enjoy a more energetic lifestyle yourself. Yet dogs can easily match our outgoing attitudes by the thousands, and quite often require more than one, regular walk a day. If you find yourself struggling to discover the best ways to keep your energetic dog calm, then read on for some of our hints and tips- and to save your sanity!
Common Dog Breeds With High Energy
Some of the most energetic dog breeds according to Chewy and Discovery include:
- Huskies– with their raw power and working lines, Huskies have been bred for endurance and speed. Which definitely makes for a high-energy dog!
- Weimaraner– bred for the outdoor lifestyle, these dogs love to be by their human’s side, exploring the wilderness
- Pointer– this gun dog will become bored easily and enjoy chasing birds and wild animals, if not trained correctly
- Springer Spaniel- another working dog that aims to please. The spaniel will happily run wild if not kept in check by an experienced owner
- Terriers– Both the Jack Russel and the Airedale are outgoing and hold an infectious love-for-life that leaves even the most extroverted folk jealous.
- Border Collie– my personal favourite, these working dogs need extensive training and a lot of exercises to fulfill their true potential as amazing family dogs.
Of course, these are just examples of high-energy breeds. You may also be able to see a pattern emerging, in that most of these energetic dogs come from a working background, whether that’s for herding or as gun-dogs. If you’re looking into buying any of these pups, then read on to see how you can work with their natural instincts.
Training A High Energy Dog
Training is one of the best methods of utilising the energy that can become pent-up in your energetic dog. This is because, not only is their physical energy being used but the mental stimulation that training provides help use up the mental frustration your high-energy dog may be suffering from.
Dog training can be done anywhere, including in the back garden or inside the home and a dog of any age is always capable of learning new tricks- despite that old cliché. All you need is your dog’s attention, a few treats, and a dog toy.
- Always begin in a calm environment and have a routine in place so that your dog knows that it’s time to switch on their listening ears.
- Training should be fun, so focus on praising your dog and give them lots of treats during training periods and keep working periods short and sweet.
- Focus on showing your dog, rather than forcing your dog to obey. This will just cause him or her to fear their training sessions and disobey, neither of which is what you want
- Start with the basic commands; sit, stay, come and down. When out and about, focus on keeping your dog from pulling, using the “heel” command
You should continually reinforce good behaviour with regular treats or by playing with their toy. Bad behaviour should result in a stern tone of voice along with “no” or a similar command. Dogs can only understand basic commands, especially as puppies, so don’t be tempted to give a sentence of why they shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing, as it won’t help anyone, including yourself.
You’ll be surprised how quickly your pup picks up on their new commands, and the great thing is that you can advance to more complex commands as fast as your dog can handle them!
Agility And Advanced Training
If you’ve done all the basic training you feel you can do and you still aren’t seeing the results you want, it’s time to take it to the next level: advanced and agility training. Agility in particular is an amazing way of burning off all the extra energy your dog may have while stimulating their mind AND helping them to learn new commands.
Running through tunnels, bounding over bridges and zig-zagging their way into their audience’s heart. What’s not to love? If your dog likes to put every part of their mind and body into pleasing their master, agility is the way to go.
Check online for places local to you that offer agility training, it’s always good to have a dog whisperer nearby, especially for owners who aren’t sure that this is for them. Give it a try and see how you and your pup feel after a few sessions!
Playing With High Energy Dog
It’s hard to believe that people can forget one of the main reasons they decided to get their pup in the first place- to have a best friend who always wants to play! We do, of course, understand that after a hard day at work and an early morning, it’s easy to just want to curl up in bed and fall fast asleep. But dog owners should be mindful that their pups have likely been inside all day, waiting for their master to come home so they can spend some much-needed time together.
Take an hour to enjoy some playtime with your dog, whether this is with a hearty game of tug-of-war or even a sneaky game that allows your dog to do most of the work! Let you dog get the scent of their favourite dog and then either have them leave the room or go to another room without them. Hide their toy and then let your dog loose, using the “find it” command or similar to let them know they’re playing a little game of hide-and-seek.
It can be great fun watching your dog’s eye light up as they search for and find the dog toys. Our canine companions are so eager to please us that they eventually learn the usual places you’ll hide their playthings during this game, so be sure to keep chopping and changing your hiding places.
Some great, universal dog toys that are loved by all high-energy breeds include:
- A bit of rope- Ideally a tightly woven rope that has been designed especially for dogs, to stop any stray fibres getting into their system. This toy is perfect for hiding, throwing and playing tug-of-war
- A frisbee- Perfect for dogs that like to catch a bit of air! Using a frisbee is a great way to alter a typical game of fetch, since your dog will likely have a go at catching the toy mid-air.
- A soft toy- Every dog develops a soft spot for one particular toy and these tend to be of the teddy or softer variety than their other toys. You might notice they even take it to bed with them! This means that your pup will be extra motivated, should you decide to play hide-and-seek with their favourite cuddle-monster.
Walking High Energy Dog
It seems a little obvious but there are a few things to take note of when walking with a high-energy dog. For starters, dog breeds that are naturally more energetic are much more likely to try and herd up or chase strangers, animals, and other small dogs. This means that it’s generally better to try and find a quiet place for you to take your dog on a stroll.
You should also be aware that puppies and untrained dogs should also always be kept on a lead near busy areas. Dogs that are particularly energetic may get away before you have a chance to catch them, which can lead to accidents on busy roads, or even increase the possibility of losing your dog, in open areas.
If your dog hasn’t learned to heel when you’re outside just yet, or if their recall isn’t as good as it could be, be sure to take your dog for a walk in an enclosed space. One designed for dog walkers is perfect, especially if your dog is great around other pups.
How To Calm A High Energy Dog Using Holistic Remedies
If none of the above is working, it may be time to try some more holistic methods of calming your dog down. While it’s likely that your dog won’t take to all of these, it’s very possible that trying one of the following methods can help calm your energetic dog down.
- Dog coats – There’s a ton of different options out there for dog-lovers, including weighted ones and lightweight choices. These act in the same way as applying a little pressure to our back helps us relax. In particular, weighted dog coats can calm very anxious or highly-strung dogs simply because they feel comforted by the added heaviness surrounding them.
- CBD oil – Available in both treat format and in liquid form, CBD oil has been shown to lessen the anxiety of some dogs, while also relieving many symptoms of other health problems that many dogs suffer from. Please note that, for some dogs, this may actually increase their energy as their health increases, so do be sure to watch out for their response to this holistic treatment!
- Essences – there’s a variety of different scents available online that can help some dogs feel a lot calmer and more relaxed in their home environment and can even help with separation anxiety. Of course, you won’t be able to take these out with you and use them effectively- but they should still be a good alternative for those fur-parents who work through the day.
While each of these methods may not be fully versatile, you can use a mixture of them without any fear of repercussions, since they don’t affect your dog’s system too heavily. For example, using the essential oils inside the home can work wonders throughout the day, while a weighted dog coat can help your pup to burn off more energy during their walks and help them to feel comforted.
We hope that this guide has been helpful to any high-energy dog owners out there. Please do remember; if you see any sudden behavioural changes in your dog and can’t source the reason for them, it’s always a good idea to take a trip to your local vet, to receive an expert opinion and to rule out anything sinister.