*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.
So, you’ve recently brought your puppy home and you’re the happiest person in the world right now.
Congratulations! That’s such a special time in your own and your pup’s life!
However, there’s this one thing that’s bothering you, right?
Your little doggo seems to have boundless energy. How do you manage to tire your puppy out?
Well, that was definitely a question I’ve asked myself countless times when I first brought my Mini Poodle Baloo home.
He had an insane amount of energy. And I was so confused because I knew that puppies shouldn’t get too much physical exercise at a young age. However, I was desperate for him to finally start sleeping more so that I could have my life back!
So, if this sounds familiar, I totally get you!
This is why I’ve put this guide together where you’ll learn how to tire out a puppy without harming his health.
One more thing before we get started: If you’re serious about getting your puppy to calm down, I’ve got something for you!
I’ve just released the Hyper Puppy Training 101 that includes all my knowledge of hyper puppies and how to calm them down. Stop losing sleep (and your sanity) over all that hyperactivity and get the Training Guide now!
Why Does My Puppy Have So Much Energy?
Your new puppy is unbelievably cute! Those eyes, those ears, those feet that are just a little too big for his body! It’s hard to stop paying attention to him—and good thing, too, because your puppy has plenty of energy you need to help him burn.
So why does he have all this energy? How can all of that activity come from something so small?
It all comes down to how new the world is for your puppy. He’s curious, and just learning how to properly use his body. He’s starting to experience the world beyond what he experiences with his mom and litter mates. And exploring everything out there is just so exciting!
The good news is that as your puppy grows up, he’ll start settling down. But until then, there are a few ways you can work with your puppy to tire him out.
If you want to get on track right from the beginning, make sure to get my free guide for a calm dog. It took me years to figure out how I can get my hyper dog Baloo to calm down. You don’t need to do the same. All the information you need is packed up in this guide!
How Much Exercise Does a Puppy Need?
Since your puppy is so full of energy, you might assume that they need a lot of exercise every day.
However, exercising your puppy too much can actually damage his health. Tiring your puppy out so he relaxes is one thing. But overtiring him and overexerting your puppy can lead to future health issues, like early arthritis. It can even impede his overall growth.
Since that’s the case, how much exercise should you be giving your puppy? Luckily, there’s a good rule of thumb. Take how old your puppy is in months, and multiply that by 5. That’s how many minutes of exercise he should be getting at a time up to twice a day!
So, for example, if your puppy is four months old, then he’ll need 20 minutes of exercise at a time (twice or maximum 3 times a day). If he’s five months old, he’ll need 25 minutes. Continue to follow this rule of thumb until your dog is fully grown, about 12 to 18 months old.
How Much Should a Puppy Sleep?
While your puppy might spend part of the day exploring and full of seemingly endless energy, the fact is that puppies do sleep a lot. Sleep is when their brains process all the information they got during their waking hours—and puppies get a lot of information.
You can expect your puppy to sleep for about 18 to 20 hours during the 24-hour day cycle. So, if your puppy seems to be spending a huge chunk of the day sleeping, don’t worry! That’s completely normal, and very healthy.
Overtired Puppy Symptoms
Here’s something to consider: high energy isn’t always a sign that your puppy needs to be more tired. A lot of the time, having too much energy can actually be a sign that your puppy is overtired.
There are symptoms that your puppy is a little too wound up. Biting, panting, lip licking, excessive thirst, and suddenly being very vocal are all signs that it’s time to get your puppy to settle down and have a rest.
The thing is, it’s hard to calm an overtired puppy. He’s exhausted, but has way too much adrenaline going through him. For some tips on calming down an overly excited dog, check out Dogpackr’s previous article on the subject.
13 Ways to Tire Out a Puppy
Now, for the puppies that aren’t overtired and really do just have some excess energy to get rid of, here are a few tips for tiring out a puppy.
1. Teach Him to Calm Down
While exercise is the best way to help with a dog’s energy levels, sometimes you’ve given your puppy all the exercise he can have for the day, and he’s still not calming down. In this case, there are ways to teach your dog to be calm.
Using positive reinforcement methods, you can teach your dog to calm down. In essence, you do this by ignoring him when he’s being too mouthy or energetic, and rewarding him when he’s settled down.
Training a dog is the easiest while he’s still a puppy. There are several ways to do that. But the most cost-effective is definitely to get an online course.
I’ve spent hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars on dog training classes and private dog trainers. In most cases, that’s not necessary at all, though. You can get the exact same information in an online course.
My all time favorite course is Braintraining4dogs. It’s based on positive reinforcement and focuses on improving your dog’s intelligence so that he can basically solve his own problems.
This is honestly the course I wish I had when I first got my dog Baloo. It contains everything you need to know to own the dog of your dreams! Make sure to check out Dogpackr’s review of the course to see if this is something that could help you and your dog too.
2. Let Him Sniff on Walks
It’s not just physical exercise your puppy needs, it’s brain exercise too! One of the best ways to help your dog exercise his mind is through sniffing.
A dog’s sense of smell is incredibly strong. While you’re out walking your dog, he’s smelling all sorts of things that you have no idea about! And while he’s sniffing, his brain is working, trying to piece together what all these smells are.
So, next time you’re walking your dog, let him work his brain by sniffing. It’s perfectly fine to stop for a minute or two to let you dog work his nose and mind.
3. Walk Different Routes
We all know how boring it is doing the same thing every day. The same is true for your dog! If you visit the same routes on your walks, he’ll know what to expect, and that can be boring.
Instead, try taking new paths, at least once in a while. Your dog will be able to sniff new things, which will get his brain moving along with his legs. Plus, there will be new sights for you too!
4. Get a Long Leash
Long leashes are great tools for training—and for getting rid of energy!
They allow you and your puppy to get some distance from each other, while still allowing you to stay in control of the situation. So, order yours on Amazon before heading to your nearest park. Your puppy will be able to run around, but you’ll still be able to rein him in if you need to!
5. Feed His Food with Food Puzzles
This is something that will get your puppy’s brain working, and keep him occupied. There are lots of food puzzles you can buy for your puppy.
These puzzles are great for two reasons: the first is that they force your dog to think which tires him out mentally.
The second reason is that they slow your dog down when he’s eating. Bloat is a medical condition that is often triggered, in part, by eating too quickly.
6. Freeze a Kong Toy
Try putting treats or peanut butter in a Kong toy and freeze it. Your puppy will get to spend some time licking his frozen treat, which means less time pestering you!
7. Play Brain Games
This is something that will be fun for both you and your puppy!
Brain games can include the “which hand” game. You can play this by showing your dog a treat, and then placing it in one hand. Close both your hands and hold them in front of your puppy, asking “Which hand?” If your puppy picks the right hand, he gets the treat! If he picks the wrong one, then you can play it again!
For more inspiration, check out these 21 fun things to do with your dog at home.
The cool thing about brain games is that you can even train your dog using them. By playing these games regularly, your dog will become smarter and training him will become so much easier.
That’s exactly what my favorite dog training course does. Braintraining4dogs goes through 21 games, each teaching your dog a different skill. This will result in a well-behaved and smart dog that loves working with, and not against you. Make sure to check it out now to profit from the 60-day money back guarantee.
8. Get a Flirt Pole
You know those cat toys that consist of a pole with a string attached to one end, and a little toy attached to the string?
You can make or buy one for dogs too! They’re also a fantastic way of tiring your dog—without necessarily tiring yourself out too!
9. Organize a Puppy Playdate
Socialization from an early age is very important for your puppy. Playing with other puppies is also a good way for everyone to burn off energy!
If you have friends with puppies, give them a call and plan your next puppy playdate—which has the added benefit of being the cutest day ever.
10. Teach New Commands
If physical activity isn’t a problem for you and your puppy but brain activity is, try teaching him a few new tricks.
It’ll be both fun and rewarding for you and your puppy. As a bonus, you’ll get to impress your friends and family with all the commands your puppy knows!
It’s actually really easy and much cheaper to train your dog dyi style. Check out these 11 tips to successfully train your dog at home to learn more.
11. Play Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is a game that’s super fun for dogs and humans. The first thing you’ll want to do is get your dog to sit and stay. Then you can find a place to hide. Once you’ve hidden, call your dog. He’ll start trying to look for you, and when he finds you, make sure to celebrate!
Here’s some inspiration:
12. Let Him Sniff for Food
There are a few ways you can try this tip. One is getting him a snuffle mat, which you can hide treats in. You can also spread his food out around the house or outside. This will force him to use his nose to sniff his food out!
13. Give Him a Chewy
Giving your puppy a chewy will give him the opportunity to use his mouth on something that isn’t you or your clothing or furniture.
It will also keep him preoccupied for a while, which means you’ll be able to get some time to yourself.
A new puppy is both adorable and exciting.
But as much as puppies sleep, in their waking moments they can be a bit of a handful!
If you’re trying to find ways to tire your puppy out, remember that it’s important not to overexert him. Consider both your puppy’s physical and mental energy, and make sure to use a variety of physical activities and brain games. This will help your puppy learn to settle down, and you’ll find activities that both you and your puppy will enjoy!
Don’t forget to get your Hyper Puppy Training 101 today to get your puppy to calm down the quickest way possible.