Does your dog have a lot of energy? In the world of canines, the term “high-energy dog breed” often crops up, but what does it truly mean? Are they just untrained? Do they need a job? Are they anxious? Understanding the nuances of this classification is crucial for pet owners and those looking to bring home a new furry family member.
In this article, we’ll delve into the characteristics that define a high-energy dog and offer insights into how to meet their unique needs. Let’s jump into it.
What Is Considered a High-Energy Dog?
A “high-energy dog” can be a bit of a misnomer, at least when it comes to some of the stereotypes associated with this label. Pretty much all dogs are capable of high energy during play, excitement, and other powerful stimuli. This label can also be misused as an excuse for no or little training.
But it is true that some dogs are simply more energetic than others. A high-energy dog is typically characterized by boundless enthusiasm. One that requires a substantial amount of physical activity and mental stimulation on a daily basis. They typically appear very excited on the outside, perhaps jumping and nudging you to play often or increasing interaction in general. High energy can also mean it takes them a longer time to tire when playing or exercising.
Failure to meet the activity requirements of a high-energy dog can lead to restlessness and frustration. So, it’s crucial to invest time and effort into training and calming techniques.
What Dog Breeds Have the Most Energy?
Here are a few dog breeds known for being energetic and active that come quickly to our minds:
- Belgian Malinois
- Border Collies
- Australian Shepherds
- Australian Cattle Dogs
- German Shorthaired Pointers
- Siberian Huskies
- Jack Russell Terriers
- American Pit Bull Terriers
- Catahoula Leopard Dog
Work and hunting dogs are often cited as prime examples of high-energy dogs. But are we stereotyping by clumping an entire breed into one category? The answer is yes. For example, not all dogs that have Border Collie in them are high energy. So, let’s get to the bottom of what exactly causes a canine to require stimulation.
What Causes High Energy in Dogs?
The high energy levels exhibited by some dogs can be attributed to a variety of factors. Genetics plays a significant role, as certain breeds have been selectively bred for increased energy and stamina. For example, working dogs like Border Collies and sporting breeds like Labrador Retrievers. Also, environmental factors, including the dog’s upbringing and socialization, can influence their energy levels.
Insufficient exercise, lack of mental stimulation, or a sedentary lifestyle can lead to hyperactivity or restlessness in dogs. It’s important to note that while high energy is common in many dogs, excessive hyperactivity can become problematic. A dog can indeed be too hyper when their energy leads to destructive behavior, incessant barking, or an inability to settle down. So, it’s important to distinguish between normal exuberance and true hyperactivity.
In addition, the energy levels of puppies and older dogs differ naturally. Puppies are typically more energetic and require frequent play and exercise to develop properly. Whereas older dogs tend to mellow with age and may require less intense activity. But they still benefit from regular exercise to maintain their health and vitality.
How To Train a High-Energy Dog
High-energy dogs can absolutely be trained to be well-behaved members of society. For many dogs labeled “high-energy,” it may simply be a lack of proper training or a misunderstanding of your dog’s needs. If you find yourself struggling with training a high-energy dog, you’re definitely not alone! It can take a while to figure out, as we know from first-hand experience.
Training a high-energy dog starts with understanding their boundless enthusiasm and channeling it effectively. So first, figure out how can you keep their attention so you can redirect it in a productive way.
2. Consistent Positive Reinforcement
Consistency and positive reinforcement are essential in training, as these dogs are often quick learners but might also become easily distracted. It’s important to find what motivates them, whether it’s treats, toys, or praise, and use these incentives to reinforce desired behaviors. What will they work for? Are they food-motivated or toy-motivated? What methods successfully redirect their energy where you want it?
3. Short, Frequent Sessions
High-energy dogs may benefit from more frequent and shorter training sessions, as their attention spans may be limited.
Pro Tip: Check out our favorite dog podcasts for helpful tips on training and behavioral issues.
How to Tire Out a Hyper Dog
Tiring out a hyper dog may seem daunting, but with consistency and the right method, it can be surprisingly easy. Let’s look at some exercises and toys that are beneficial for high-energy dog breeds.
Exercise for High-Energy Dogs
Exercising a hyper dog effectively without exhausting the human can be a rewarding challenge. There are several activities that engage the dog in rigorous physical activity and you can participate without feeling overly drained.
- Fetch games – Games like fetch are great options as they engage the dog in rigorous physical activity, and you can participate without feeling overly drained.
- Flirt pole – We found that our high-energy dog loves a flirt pole to really get him exerting 100%.
- Play with other equally energetic dogs – If your high-energy dog is dog-friendly, getting them together with other high-energy dogs can be a wonderful way to tire them all out. Dog parks can be a great place to let them get their zoomies out, just remember that not all dogs may want to participate at the same level.
- Running alongside a bike, golf cart, or ATV, provided it’s done safely.
- Swimming is another excellent choice as it provides a full-body workout for your dog and a refreshing experience for you too.
- Hiking and running – For those who want to combine exercise with bonding time, hiking and running are fantastic choices. It allows you both to enjoy the outdoors and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
By tailoring the exercise routine to suit both your preferences, it’s possible to keep a hyper dog happily tired without wearing yourself out.
- New and improved V2 developed using customer feedback from...
- Comes with durable polyester webbing Lure pre-attached
- Regular size, 36-inch Flirt Pole is recommended for play areas at...
Toys for High-Energy Dogs
Tiring out a hyper dog with the right toys can be a game-changer. Interactive toys can be the perfect way to channel their exuberance. Toys like puzzle feeders, treat-dispensing balls, and other engaging puzzles that require problem-solving and strategy may provide stimulation that satisfies their needs.
Also, toys that encourage chasing and fetching, such as frisbees and durable rubber balls, allow them to burn off excess energy while getting daily exercise. Tug-of-war toys can also provide an excellent outlet for their playfulness, as long as they understand and respect the rules of the game.
Overall, choosing toys that challenge a hyper dog’s mind and encourage active play is a fantastic way to settle them mentally and physically.
What Are the Best Ways to Help My Dog Calm Down?
Similar to humans, routine, exercise, and mental stimulation help reduce a dog’s anxiety or stress. While not all high-energy dogs necessarily struggle with anxiety, the same methods for calming them down can be applied.
Routine, Consistent Physical Exercise
Calming a dog down through a routine of consistent physical exercise is a tried-and-true method. Dogs thrive on structure and predictability, so implementing a regular exercise schedule provides them with a sense of security and purpose.
By sticking to a daily routine of walks, playtime, and activities that match your dog’s energy level and preferences, you can help them release excess energy and reduce anxiety or restlessness. The consistency physically tires them out and mentally stimulates them, ultimately leading to a calmer and more content furry family member.
Mental exercise is a valuable strategy for calming down a high-energy dog. It can help redirect their boundless energy into constructive tasks and reduce anxiety or hyperactivity. Engaging your dog’s mind through activities like puzzle treat dispensers, Kong toys, and lick mats can provide them with intellectual challenges and brain stimulation.
These interactive toys encourage problem-solving, creativity, and focus as your dog works to retrieve treats or food hidden within them. It’s also an excellent way to keep your dog entertained during downtime or when outdoor exercise may not be possible.
Regular Socialization with Other High-Energy Dogs
Calming a high-energy dog down can also be achieved through regular socialization with other dogs, particularly those with similar energy levels. It may seem counterintuitive, but they can help each other learn appropriate cues and behaviors. When matched with a peer who meets their enthusiasm level, they burn off excess energy while developing vital social skills.
It can also reduce feelings of isolation and boredom, which often lead to anxiety and restlessness. However, it’s essential to ensure that these interactions are supervised and take place in safe environments to prevent any undesirable behaviors.
Work & Dog Jobs
Some high-energy dog breeds were developed for a job. And even if you don’t have a herd of sheep or go hunting, fulfilling your canine’s natural instincts is a great way to calm a dog. Engaging your dog in various activities like training, flyball, freestyle dance, nose work, or other tasks that combine both physical and mental challenges can be incredibly effective.
These “work” sessions not only teach them new commands but also stimulate their minds and provide an opportunity to bond with you. Hunting or scent-based activities, for example, tap into their innate skills and instincts. It allows them to use their senses and channel their energy into productive endeavors. These jobs provide a sense of accomplishment and can help reduce anxiety and restlessness.
Dog Foods for High-Energy Dogs
Fueling your high-energy dog with an appropriately caloric meal is beneficial. Otherwise, you may see your dog get thinner as their higher metabolism and all this extra activity burns right through their meals. Fortunately, there are specially formulated foods for these dogs.
We recommend checking with your vet to ensure the best diet for your unique pet. However, you can also browse places like Chewy that have a dedicated category for high-energy dog food. Just be sure to do your research and make sure you’re feeding your pup a well-balanced diet.
What Are the Signs of Dog Anxiety?
Recognizing the signs of dog anxiety allows for timely intervention and support. Some common indicators of canine anxiety include excessive barking, pacing, restlessness, trembling, excessive panting, and destructive behavior like chewing or digging. Dogs may also exhibit signs of anxiety through changes in appetite, increased aggression, or submissive behaviors.
It’s important to differentiate between high energy and anxiety, as they can sometimes overlap. High-energy dogs may display exuberance, but it’s typically coupled with excitement rather than distress. On the other hand, anxious dogs often exhibit behaviors that seem out of character, driven by fear or discomfort. Recognizing these signs will help you provide appropriate care and create a calming environment.
Be Patient With Your High Energy Dog
A high-energy dog can be both rewarding and challenging. These spirited companions bring excitement into our lives, but they also require a patient and understanding approach to thrive. It’s essential to remember that their exuberance is not a sign of misbehavior but rather a reflection of their vibrant nature.
By offering consistent physical exercise, mental stimulation, and structured routines, you can help them channel their energy constructively. Being patient, understanding their unique needs, and providing love and guidance will lead to a deeply fulfilling partnership. In the end, the journey of raising a high-energy dog is an opportunity for remarkable bonding.
Do you have a high-energy dog? What techniques have you used to call them down? Share in the comments below.
Stay Informed – Join the HypePets Community!
If you’re like us, your pets are like family. Stay up to date on the latest news, info, tips, and gear to help your pet live its best life!