Not all dogs are the same. Some can lounge in the house for hours on end, while others can spend an entire day playing outside. They’re a lot like humans, after all!
If you have a high-energy dog, it’s not always easy to care for it. Border Collies and Australian Cattle Dogs, for example, are used to being outdoors and need to spend much of their day exercising. They won’t be happy just lying on the couch all day.
Here are three ways to care for your high-energy companion:
Exercise, exercise, exercise
It’s not rocket science: The more you exercise, the less pent-up energy you’ll have. And the same applies to dogs. Tire them out. Don’t go overboard, of course, but you need to provide your dog with frequent opportunities to push the limits.
While long runs can do the trick, short spurts of running are even better. Whether it’s in your yard or the local park, a sprinting dog will get tired within an hour. Another option is to add one or two more walks per day. Even if your dog isn’t sprinting on the street, another 30 minutes or an hour of exercise will make a difference.
Train the mind
While physical exercise is important, you also need to push your dog’s mental limits. Think about it: Isn’t mental exhaustion more taxing than physical fatigue sometimes?
Play games like “find it” or “hide and seek.” Practice a wide range of commands by offering rewards when your dog obeys. When your dog listens, take out a treat. If your dog needs more practice, then keep practicing. Eventually, mental fatigue will set in.
Positive reinforcement—in moderation
This is where the art of caring for a dog comes into play. When your dog exhibits restlessness, you have two options: Acknowledge it or not.
Sometimes, you need to respond by training your dog physically and mentally. However, if you respond too often, your dog will only become more emboldened to exhibit restlessness. At times, it makes sense to go about your day, teaching your dog that complaining and whining will not always be rewarded by exercise.
You want your dog to exercise the body and the mind, but not at the expense of becoming spoiled.