Do you find your dog has a lot of energy? Do you have trouble keeping up? We have three Labradors and a normal ‘walk’ doesn’t seem to cut it most of the time. So we have tried coming up with some fun ideas to engage them and use up that last bit of energy, physically and mentally.
So how to turn a ball of energy into a chilled out companion?
Play with a sprinkler
On a hot day playing with a sprinkler or hose can be such a fun game. It will cool your dog down and with the constant movement it makes a really fun game.
A word of warning – they will get soaked so keep all the doors closed to your house and have some towels to hand.
We’ve only recently tried one of these. A flirt pole is a long pole with a toy or lure attached to the end. As you move around the lure moves and your dog will want to chase it.
It’ll only take a couple of minutes for your dog to start getting tired!
Our toddler was recently given a bubble machine for his birthday but it was more popular with our dogs. We set it up in the back garden and it turned into a really good game which left them really tired! It’s a messy game so make sure to wash their faces down afterwards.
We use bubbles made for kids but you can find bubbles for dogs on Amazon – lots of lovely flavours your dog will love but make sure they don’t have too much as it may upset their stomach.
Our dogs love playing fetch but I’m rubbish at throwing toys far enough for them to enjoy it for long enough to tire them out and a frisbee can be much easier to throw. If your dog isn’t used to a frisbee try throwing it for short distances and build up the distance as you go.
Go for a run
Rather than a boring walk on the lead, have you ever thought of going for a jog? Make sure you tailor your jog to your dog’s ability and remember if it’s hot outside make sure the pavement isn’t too hot for your dog’s paws.
By simply engaging your dog’s brain with some training can be quite tiring for them. As humans, we quite often feel drained from having to really think about something and it’s the same with dogs. By training your dog you are not only using up some of their energy, you are forming a bond and instilling some good habits with them.
Have you got a doggie play area near you? Somewhere dog walkers all go? We find that when we go out for a walk at the same sort of time, we see the same dog walkers regularly. If you can encourage your dog to play with another dog of the same sort of age and size it will help them to take part in healthy and constructive play and by the time you get them home they will be ready for a sleep.
Hide and seek
Have you ever tried out your dog’s nose? Their sense of smell is amazing! Try teaching your dog to seek out their favourite toy. First try hiding it in an obvious spot and encourage them to find it but don’t forget to take them out of the room before you hide their toy and increase the level of difficulty as they start to pick up the game but it may take a few times of trying for them to pick up the game. Our dogs love this game!