Managing your dog’s energy

Have a dog that runs around the house in circles at 10:00 pm on a Tuesday? Have a dog that gets into mischief just to have something to do? Ever consider their energy needs aren’t being met?

Now, I’m by no means an animal behaviorist, I just know I have a dog that has a high amount of energy and I’ve learned what an amazing difference it makes in her behavior to tire her the hell out on a regular basis.

I call this “managing my dog’s energy.”

Maddie is a dog that needs regular and consistent exercise or play every day. When she hasn’t had enough activity in the day she practically bounces off the walls. But exercising a dog every day can sometimes be inconvenient – in rainy or really cold weather, sometimes neither you OR the dog really wants to go for that long walk outside. However, you can trick your dog into getting exercise in the form of playing.

 Managing your dogs energy

Maddie midway through a game of extreme tug.
Still more energy left to burn!

With Maddie, she is very motivated by toys. She LOVES playing ball, playing fetch, playing chase, playing tug, chasing bubbles, and generally running around. On a day when it’s too nasty outside to run around outside (quite often in Seattle) I can employ one of the above play techniques inside the house….then don’t stop until her tongue is hanging out the side of her mouth. That is my measure of success, as unscientific as it may be, when she is breathing really hard and her tongue is hanging out of the side of her mouth. Usually she starts to slow down a bit after that and doesn’t quite seem to mind when you put away the toy or ball.

I joke that I need to wear Maddie out to the point of “side tongue” at least three times a day. But it really isn’t a joke. When I make a point to do exactly that she is a different dog. She is happy from all the playing, and she is more mellow and well behaved in the evening. Win! Win!

fitDogFriday 180x150 Managing your dogs energy
This message is part of a Fit Dog Friday blog hop sponsored by SlimDoggy, makers of the SlimDoggy app (available in the Itunes App Store) for tracking your dog’s activities and food intake (calories in and calories out).

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  • SlimDoggy

    Thanks for joining our Blog Hop. Love the reference to the ‘side tongue’…any dog owner can totally relate to that picture!

    • Stefanie

      Thanks for heading up the Blog Hop! Good to see a focus on dog health and wellness. Our other dog (who is more of a couch potato) keeps in good shape by us tricking her in to playing, as well (and of course, monitoring her food intake).

  • Roxy

    Oh ya, Torrey needs a walk or good play time everyday. Roxy is a couch potato, but she still loves walking.

  • Bark and Chatter

    This winter has been terrible in terms of getting out every day! Indoor fetch is one of our favorites – we’ve never tried bubbles, but that sounds like fun!

  • Peggy Frezon

    Getting extra exercise is the best way to get a nice, calm, sleepy dog after! This is a great post. Thanks for joining FitDog Friday!

  • beaglesbargains

    When Luna hasn’t had enough exercise she gets the “zoomies” and sprints from one room to another. So we turn this into playtime and it is always a great way to get exercise.for both of us!

    • Stefanie

      Yes, the zoomies! They crack me up, but aren’t so fun when you’re ready to go to sleep and the dog is ready to party. 🙂

  • Cascadian Nomads

    Indoor play is SO different now that there are 3 dogs in our house. Sometimes I can get them started in a game of chase/tug/chase/tug then get out of the way as they get each other to the point of “side-tongue.” But I also have to get any breakable anything and often some furniture out of the way too!

  • Dog Scope

    Energy depends on the dog breed. Bulldog is less energetic and prone to drool and snore. Dogs like Chihuahua, Rottweiler, GSD are very energetic and need lots of daily exercise. lack of exercise creates both physical and behavioral problem in the dog.

  • Jana Rade

    Getting the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation certainly is very important. And it makes for a happy, calm dog.

    • Stefanie

      Exactly! And a happy calm dog makes me happy and calm, too!