High energy Dogs

We are not sure why Biggie ended up in a shelter. He's adorable, doesn't bark, the opposite of aggressive, he loves people and other dogs. But one thing he does have is a lot of energy!
Being first time dog owners my wife and I had some ideas of what to expect but, the truth is, we didn't know much.
We gained a lot of our information from watching Dog Whisperer and if any of you watch too, you know Cesar Millan promotes draining energy.
We thought we'd be fine with a 20 min walk in the morning before work, one in the evening, then another before bed.
We were sure exhausted so we thought Biggie was too!
Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. He was hardly breaking a sweat (actually dogs don't sweat, they pant).
This all goes back to the genetics of dogs. Most dogs were domesticated as working dogs. In Biggie's case, his ancestors were bred to run and herd sheep or cattle for up to 12 hours a day! So 3 spread out twenty minute walks were barely scratching the surface. If you're like us, you don't have time for much more. But the good news is there are other ways of draining a dog's energy. And it's true, a tired dog is a well behaved and happy dog.
These are some of the things we use to help in draining Biggie.

We alternate between the Buster cube, premier busy buddy twist, or premier tug-a-jug

for feeding. These are great because they challenge Biggie to figure out how to get the food out then require him to chase these things all over the house to get his food. They take a little bit longer than a bowl to load but it's worth the effort!

Training with clicker and treats. Ever feel exhausted after a long day at work, after a hard test, or maybe even after visiting an interesting museum (anyone?) The same principle applies to your pet. Mentally stimulating exercises like obedience training are fun ways for you to interact with your dog, challenge them, drain their energy, teach them manners, and create some cool tricks. The clicker is awesome for training, do a youtube video search for clicker training and/or look up a local obedience class and you'll learn why.
Biggie on the way to training:

Laser light. I know. I know. There's that dog whisper episode that has the dog obsessed with the laser light. So I reluctantly, defiantly, hesitantly, yet confidently add this to the list. As with all things in life, it requires balance. It isn't a quick fix, nor a substitute for anything else on this list. But used occassionaly and in addition to walks and training this can be a fun game for your pet. Especially on rainy days when your time outside may be limited. Although this dog rain jacket helps for wet days.

Backpack during walks. Chances are your dog was bred to work and love it. So a doggie backpack serves multiple functions. It allows your dog to feel important as well as draining his/her energy. It is important to introduce the backpack to your dog slowly with lots of treats so they associate it as a positive thing. Then use it to get the mail, carry water on jogs/hikes, etc...
Biggie resting his back & pack

Dog park. Check out your local dog park for a romping good time fo your pup. There's no substitute for the amount of running, romping, and playing that Biggie gets with other dogs. We even walk a mile to and from the park to really drain him well.

Lets face it. Our dog aren't the only ones that are happier and better off with a little exercise. So take advantage of the situation to help yourself as well as your dog! Get out and bike, jog, rollerblade, and walk your dog. It's got my wife and I more active and it feels great.

Walking and Jogging. You don't need much more than you already have to start walking with your dog. Some comfortable shoes and a leash is all you need. A 4-6 foot leash is all you need or check out the buddy system leash for hands free jogging. For a leash & collar review check out my other post. And, especially if your dog is pulling you, see the link on leashes, collars, and another on walking the dog. So what are you waiting for? Get to it!

Rollerblading and Bike rides are a lot of fun, and to be honest, most of us walk and even jog too slow for our dog. You can hold the leash in your hand, use the Buddy system leash, or even the walky dog bike leash attachment. Be careful with your dog's pads though, they can get raw with the faster pace on pavement. Unfortunately Biggie and I learned that from experience. Poor guy was licking his paws and limping for a few days. I bought this Musher's secret soon afterwards to stop that from happening again.


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