Regardless of the breed of dog you have, they need both mental and physical exercise to satisfy their needs. Whether you have a wild German Shorthaired Pointer or a lazy Great Dane, your dog has daily needs that need to be met. While there is not just one best way to tire out your dog, there are certainly some ways that will be more effective than others. In this post, we’ll examine seven ways to tire out your dog both physically and mentally.
Physical Exercise For Your Dog
Take A Trip To The Dog Park
Taking your dog to the dog park is one of the best ways to give your dog plenty of exercises. While you should exercise caution around dogs you have never met before; your dog will enjoy the thrill of frolicking around the dog park with their friends. They will be able to chase each other, wrestle, and play with toys and balls while playing keep-away. When you pair your high-energy dog with another dog of similar stamina at the dog park, they will be able to entertain each other for hours, and all you have to do is sit back and watch!
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Play Fetch In Your Yard
If your dog is not as social as others and would prefer alone time with you as their owner, head to the backyard for some quality fetch time. You may need to practice some trial and error until you find the perfect toy for your dog, but once you find it, you’ll be golden! Some dogs prefer to chase a frisbee, while other dogs are perfectly content chasing after a fresh, new tennis ball. Whatever it is, get outside and have some fun! When you are at the dog park, you normally have the added comfort of having a fenced-in area. If you are home and you do not have a fenced perimeter, you may wish to reach out to a local underground electric pet fence installation company like Contained K9 to help keep your pup contained while playing in the yard. The technology for electric fences has advanced considerably in the last several years, so you can rest assured your dog will not be going anywhere!
Get Flirty With A Flirt Pole
For those of you who don’t know what a flirt pole is, it’s a training and exercise tool to provide immense physical and mental stimulation for your dog. Essentially, it is made up of a strong pole or pipe with a rope and toy attached to the end. It has so many benefits that help tire out your dog. Your pup will love chasing the toy around the end of the rope while you swing the flirt pole around. They will get practice chasing and stalking down the “prey” at the end of the rope, building both prey drive and coordination. A flirt pole is also a great tool for keeping your dog close to you without running away with the object. Since it is attached to the pole that you’re holding, you may engage in a game of tug until you have taught your dog a reliable “drop it” command.
Run On A Treadmill
Whether you have an incredibly high-energy dog that needs to be walked/run multiple times a day or you live in an extremely warm climate, a treadmill can be great physical stimulation for your dog. While there are companies that make dog-specific treadmills, any human treadmill can do just fine! There is a little bit of a learning curve for a dog to learn to run on a treadmill, but with a little bit of training, your dog will be a natural! Take it easy, take it slow, have patience, and enjoy watching your dog run on the treadmill while you sit on the couch and watch TV!
Mental Exercise For Your Dog
Teach Your Dog Nose Work
Nose work, also known as Scent Detection, is a dog sport where dogs will use their nose to search for and find a specific scent, odor, or a specific object. Nose work requires the dog to use their natural hunting instincts to track down a specific odor by sniffing and smelling their surroundings. The dogs who participate in scent work use a lot of brain power to focus and hunt down the odor, so they are left mentally exhausted after a training session. While this may not be something, you can pick up overnight and does require a little bit of training, partnering with a local training company like Delaware K9 Academy can help you achieve your training goals.
Hand Feeding & Obedience
While most dogs eat their meals out of a bowl, there is another way to feed them their meals while drastically increasing their mental stimulation. Start by pouring their normal meal into a treat pouch or a bowl and hold it in your hands. Next, grab a few pieces of kibble at a time and begin luring and shaping certain obedience commands. These commands and tricks could include Come, Sit, Place, Down, High-Five, Roll Over, Front, and so much more. When your dog correctly performs the obedience command or trick, reward them with a few pieces of kibble. Continue to train your dog and provide them with the mental stimulation of obedience training to help tire them out. The more quick, short sessions you do a day, the more tired your dog will be throughout the day.
Use A Puzzle Feeder or Maze Bowl
Similar to the previous exercise, we can use food to help provide stimulation in another way. You can find puzzle feeders, maze bowls, or snuffle mats just about anywhere, and they provide another excellent way to feed your dog. It will encourage your dog to use its nose and brain together to figure out how to get the food. Let them struggle through the maze or puzzle to get the food, and they will finally be rewarded with a nice, tasty meal at the end.
There are an unlimited number of ways to provide your dog with adequate mental and physical stimulation. These seven ways are a great place to start when trying to figure out how to tire out your dog. Mix and match several of these recommendations to figure out what is best for you and your dog. Some dogs do better with mental stimulation, while others just want to run and play fetch all day. Every dog is unique, so get out there and enjoy some quality time with your dog!