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You’ve probably heard the saying “a tired dog is a happy dog” before. Those of us with hyper and super energetic dogs have probably heard the saying frequently…
I’ve definitely experienced this saying first hand with my hyper Mini Poodle Baloo. Plus, a tired dog makes also a happy owner 😉
But what exactly does it mean?
Well, it doesn’t mean exercising your dog to the point of being unhealthy or unsafe. Rather, it means giving your dog the right amount of exercise to burn off excess energy and to keep him from getting bored.
Once I’ve finally found the sweet spot for Baloo’s exercise, he has calmed down a lot!
Why is a Tired Dog a Happy Dog?
But before we get into some of the best ways to tire your dog out, here are the specifics of why this saying is so important.
It Means He Got Enough Exercise
Exercise is really important for your dog’s overall health. Dogs are fairly active animals, and making sure that your dog stays physically fit will help prevent potential health issues.
But remember that all dogs are different. Depending on your dog’s age, breed, and overall health, he might need a different amount of exercise than your neighbor’s dog!
What’s important is that your dog is getting the right amount of exercise for him. This will keep him happy, healthy, and in good physical shape.
Dogs Love and Need Lots of Sleep
Even though most dogs do enjoy being active, the opposite is also true. Most dogs love sleeping, and they need a lot of it too.
So how many hours a day should a dog sleep? The answer is around 12 to 14 hours on average. If this seems like a lot, then consider the fact that dog sleeping patterns are different than human sleeping patterns.
Dogs tend to take frequent, shorter naps throughout the day. In order to get the full benefits of sleep, that means that they have to take these naps more frequently.
He Won’t Get Himself into Trouble If He’s Tired
One of the most common causes of behavioral issues in dogs is boredom!
If a dog is bored, then he’ll start looking for his own ways to entertain himself. Unfortunately, they may not necessarily be ways that you approve of.
Making sure that your dog gets enough exercise during the day will ensure that your dog is too tired to get himself into trouble.
So not only will having a tired dog be beneficial to your dog. It’s also going to be beneficial for your sanity!
11 Tips for a Tired, Happy Dog
Now it’s time to get into what you came here for! If you’re looking for some useful ways to tucker out your pup, here are 11 tips to help you get the tired, well-behaved dog of your dreams.
1. Have a Clear Daily Routine
Your dog may not necessarily understand what 2 o’clock means, but he still has an internal circadian rhythm. This means that dogs have a general sense of when during the day things happen.
It’s why your dog already knows to wait by the door for you to come home from work at the same time every day!
Having a clear daily routine in place will help your dog know what to expect throughout the day. He’ll know when it’s time to exercise and play, and when it’s time to settle down and relax.
To help you get started, I created a free daily puppy schedule planner. This works just as well for adult dogs and will help you set up a routine that works for you and for your dog.
2. Make Inside a Calm Space
Some dogs may have a difficult time determining when it’s time to relax and when it’s time to get up and move.
You can help your dog tell the difference by designating some spaces as calm-only spaces.
If your dog is constantly bouncing off the walls, then transforming inside into a calm space will train your dog to be more relaxed indoors. It’ll take some work and consistency to train this behavior, but if you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll be surprised by how effective it is!
You can do that by ignoring your dog when he tries to play rambunctiously with you inside, and only engage is playtime behavior when you’re outside.
3. Play Brain Games with Him
When it comes to exercising your dog, many people only think about physical activity. And while that’s definitely necessary for his health, you can’t forget to work on his brain too.
Playing brain games is a great way to prevent your dog from getting bored. And one of the best things about brain games is that working your dog’s mind is surprisingly tiring for him!
That means you don’t need to play with them for particularly long periods of time for your dog to get tired. Plus, brain games are super fun for both you and your doggy.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are 10 brain games for dogs to play at home.
Mental stimulation can also be a wonderful training tool if used correctly. Check out Braintrainingfordogs to learn how to train your dog to be the best dog he can be by using mental stimulation! Or have a look at Dogpackr’s review first to see if it’s a fit for you and your dog!
4. Take Him on Hikes
There are lots of ways you can exercise your dog that will also get you some good exercise time in as well. Going for hikes is one of those ways!
Hiking is a great way to get away from busy city life and get out and explore the world. It will also help your dog burn a significant amount of energy.
Plus, getting outside on a sunny day and soaking up that vitamin d is good for both of you.
Of course, it’s important to put in the research and find appropriate hiking trails for you and your pup.
If you’re wondering how far a dog can hike in a day, it’s probably more than you think!
5. Practice Dog Sports
If you’re never considered signing yourself and your dog up for a dog sport, then maybe this will change your mind.
Dog sports are great ways to exercise your dog physically. Since many of them require your dog’s attention and focus, they’re also good for exercising your dog’s brain too.
Playing dog sports can help strengthen the bond between you and your dog, since both of you are putting a lot of trust into each other.
For super active dogs, sports like flyball or agility are great options. Obedience or tracking are particularly good for dogs who like to use their brains.
6. Let Him Sniff as Much as Possible
Dogs have incredibly powerful noses. A dog’s ability to smell is several times better than our own vision is for assessing what’s going on around us. That’s why your dog is so interested in sniffing everything he comes across!
If you’re looking for a good way to keep a dog’s brain busy, then letting him sniff is a great way to do that. When the two of you are out on a walk, let him take the time to sniff all the interesting smells that are out in the world.
7. Give Him Something to Lick or Chew
Dogs are very mouth-focused. When you consider how powerful their noses are, and the fact that their sense of smell is so closely connected to their sense of taste, it makes sense!
Chewing and licking makes your dog’s brain work hard. This makes it a great way to help tire your dog out if you don’t have the time to play with him yourself.
Even better, chewing and licking makes your dog’s brain secrete a hormone called serotonin. This hormone induces feelings of relaxation and well-being, which results in a happy dog!
8. Organize a Play Date
If someone else you know has a dog, then getting the two dogs together for a play date is a great way for both of them to burn some energy.
As a bonus, it’s super cute watching two dogs play together!
Organizing play dates will also be beneficial for your dog’s socialization. Having a well-socialized dog is important for your dog’s health, as well as his safety.
9. Give Him a Job
Many breeds, including Labradors, Collies, and yes—Poodles, were bred specifically to perform jobs. They have certain traits and related energy levels to perform these jobs effectively.
But now that we own dogs primarily for companionship, these breeds still have all this energy without necessarily having any way to express it!
Giving your dog a job can help. And it doesn’t have to be a serious job like being a therapy animal or a police dog.
Even things like teaching your dog tracking or herding can be fantastic ways for your dog to have a purpose and burn some energy.
10. Teach Him Some New Obedience
Obedience training is really important for your dog’s health and safety. It’s also a fantastic way to work a dog’s brain!
But if you’ve gone beyond the basic “sit,” “stay,” and “come,” there’s still plenty you can teach your dog.
If you’re looking for some new tricks, here are 11 easy dog tricks for beginners.
11. Let Him Work for His Food
Meal times are a great time to work your dog’s brain!
You can make your dog do tricks for his food and reward him every time he does one successfully with a bit of his meal.
When people say “a tired dog is a happy dog,” that doesn’t mean exercising your dog so much that he has health problems. But it does mean giving him a healthy amount of exercise to keep him happy and in good shape!
There are lots of ways you can tire out your dog. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Once you find what works, you’ll love how calm and well-behaved your dog is.