When you bring a puppy home, you surely expect them to be a little wild and unpredictable while they adjust to life with you and your family. However, their high levels of energy can become quickly overwhelming, and can make you feel like you’re in over your head. It’s okay! Having a puppy can be a stressful period of time. Thankfully, there are some ways you can minimize the stress. If your dog has a lot of pent up energy, they may be taking it out in ways that are unfavorable, so using some of these tips to help your dog relax and be better behaved can be very beneficial.
Use Toys That Require Thought and Mental Energy
Most dogs are pretty receptive to food as a reward, and what better way to offer food as a reward to a high-energy dog than to put it in a toy that requires the dog to work to get to it? There are a lot of toys on the market that involve making your dog work a little extra for a few bits of kibble or a treat. This will help wear your dog’s mental energy out, and it feeds them at the same time!
Make Sure You’re Implementing Downtime Right After a Walk
Of course, high-energy dogs will need a lot of exercise. However, right after a walk, after exercising, the dog may simply be keyed up and ready for more action. If this isn’t something you want happening, it’s important to work in a cool-down period for your pooch. This can involve things like grooming, obedience training, or the aforementioned puzzle toys—right after you come inside, go through a calming routine so that your pup knows that the walk and playtime are over, and it’s time to be calm and relaxed.
Incorporate More Exercise Into Their Day
Another way to tire out your overly energetic pooch is to simply introduce more exercise into their day. If you work full-time, that can be tricky to do, but hiring a dog walking company can help. In fact, many puppy walkers in Chicago will visit with young dogs twice in one day for short walks, instead of coming once for a long walk. Dog walkers will help your dog get the exercise it needs as it grows up, and you’ll feel less stressed out from having a puppy that’s sufficiently tired out by the time you get home from work.
Get the Dog Involved in a “Job”
Another way to expend some of your pup’s mental energy is to give it some physical AND mental exercise. That can include things like agility courses, playing Frisbee or fetch, or playing nose work games for sniffing. These intense tasks will help tire your puppy out, and they are also good for teaching and training diligence and tricks, so they’re multi-benefit activities.
One important thing to remember is not to give up! As your dog grows up, he’ll likely grow out of his rambunctious ways, and will calm down a bit. Keep at it, and try not to get too stressed out about your high-energy dog: Puppies are only puppies for a short time, and then you’ll reminisce about when they were “so small and cute!”