How Do You Make Your Dog Tired?


Honored Member
Holly, my (nearly) 9 month old PugX has far too much energy.

Walks seem to energize her so that when we get home she bounces around the room and upsets Paris.
The dog park does not make her tired.
Her hour long obedience class, followed by the dog park does not make her tired.
Her hour long agility class does not make her tired (although we do have to wait around a bit during class).
Training sessions do not make her tired (even learning new tricks).

Yesterday we went for a walk that was over an hour long (and included 4 off-leash opportunities), then did 20 minutes of training (tricks and obedience) to try and stop her doing her post-walk bounce around the room. It didn't work.
Then we had a puppy visit, and Holly showed off some of her tricks. The puppies owner did not understand how she concentrates long to learn anything because Holly was so hyper and bouncing around and only stopped long enough to do the actual trick before continueing to act crazy (and the puppies owner's kids said Holly was crazy when they used to have a young smithfield collie!).

I have never managed to make her tired enough to sleep (or even just rest). She recovers from all activities very quickly.

She has to have an edible chew or kong in the evening to keep her busy. She will eat the chew non-stop until it is all gone, this always takes less than an hour.

So, what does every one else do to exhaust their dogs?

And how long do you think the longest walk I should take Holly on should be, given her age?
(I usually take her for about 45 minutes, including off-leash time, and the walk is up and down hills - not on the flat)


Experienced Member
It's hard when they are young, because you have to be careful of repititious exercise and jumping to ensure that you don't damage the growth plates. When you think your dog has grown and the growth plates will be okay, then you can do other activities. The age at which a dog's growth plates have finished growing varies, a lot of that having to do with size. A very small dog may be done well before a year.

With that caveat in mind, when you are confident it is safe, try a bike. I have a Springer arm on mine and I can allow Sundog to run to her heart's content. When she was younger, we would often do 5+ miles. Our first mile was in 5 minutes and then the following miles were slower and slower. She has hit up to 25-30 mph, but that was downhill. I can't pedal that fast, lol. Of course, with a bike, watch out for: skinning the pads, heat exhaustion, burning pads on hot pavement, dehydration, etc.... Above all, be safe for both you and the dog. The device I attach to my bike makes running with a dog safe, even if the dog sees a bird or cat that it really really wants to chase. And also, of course, train the dog to stop, slow, turn right and left, and go.


Experienced Member
I have that problem with Zara, All dogs are different I think.

All 3 of my dogs have different energies.
Jenny my oldest who is 12 in july has supprisingly the most energy in some cases than the other two, she acts like a youngster however I need to watch for her as she will walk and play till she literally goes of her legs (shes getting arthritis in her back legs) so we have to stop before that point. But she loves fetch, going for walks and offleash playing that all tire her out, she is Ball OBSESSED.
Now with Bella as she loves fetch aswell she is exercised with Jenny as they play together often taking turns on who gets the ball, So she gets alot of her exercise offleash as she only gets short walks on leash at the moment till she gains more confidence.(She is improving on and off leash though YAY!) She also gets to play tug, learn tricks and play with her toys at home. She in general is a releaxed collie like Jenny but can be sleeping one minute then wide awake and wanting to play the next. She is okay with relaxing like Jenny is.
Now Zara is the most energetic of the 3 we call her the energizer bunny, she too bounces back after any exercise or play. She goes out with the other 2 but she doesn't play fetch she tends to circle the other 2 and us as if shes herding. She's hard to exercise off leash unless we are on a hike where we are continually moving rather than just playing fetch. She goes on walks too. She has a very quick recovery time aswell and she is very vocal in her demands for attention after. We have finally found a few toys she likes and so far hasn't destroyed, she also plays fetch in the house to make her tired. She needs to be kept occupied.
We tend to take them out for 2+ hours depending on where we go. I also like to call them back to us when they run ahead as this adds to the amount they are walking.


Staff member
Oliver was like that. I could never get him tired, so what I did instead was teach him self control/relax. He will go all day, if I had the time and energy... but I dont. So I taught him to relax. I first taught him to "go to bed" then worked on stay. I would use fetch as a reward for him. He learned that there is a time and place for play, and in the house, the only time he could play is when I wanted him to, or when Mouse wants to. otherwise he will sleep. But the second I ask him if he wants to play, he's there! LOL

Sometimes spending hours trying to burn them out makes it worse, as they just develop more stamina :) after you take her for a walk, maybe keep her on a leash and work on calming her down. ask for a down stay, and feed her supper while she is in the down stay. She should learn that being calm gets her attention and treats too :)

Good luck!


Experienced Member
maybe I'm totally wrong here, but aren't you doing to much with you dog for her age? I get the impression that thats the reason why she is so bouncy. Don't get me wrong, of course a dog should get walked and of course you can do training with her, but I'm getting the impression that you're getting the opposite effect now.
Like when a young kid stays up to long and gets bouncy/aggitated, when they get in this 'state' it will even be harder to get hem to bed, which will even make their behavior worse.
Keep in mind that an adult dog sleeps 18 hours a day, a young dog (pup) even more!
like pointed out by sara cycling and such will only increase her stamina (if you cycle every day 10 km after a while you will get used to it too).
If I were you I would work on setteling/being calm. you say that she doesn't sleep/want to sleep. but she needs it and maybe its an idea to use a crate? or just attach the leach to a pole in your house? so that she has to settle?
useally when determining the length of a walk, you use the 5 minutes per month rule (or 1 minute per week), she is 8 months old, so that means a 40 minute walk.
not that I want to interfere with anything, but isn't she also too young for agility? Here in the Netherlands you usually have to waite untill the dog is 1 year old (small dogs) or 18 months (larger dogs).
My Mazzel for instance could also go on the whole day and he is also ready for a walk, but he also needs his rest (although he thinks otherwise) so being inside means settling down and acting calm.


Honored Member
"what Sara said"

in truth, my dog is not really hyper for extended periods of time. He can be hyper, but, not for all day long. He settles nicely indoors, (most of the time.) *My* idea of "nicely" might not be your idea, though.. I do not mind the slightest bit that he herds large laundry baskets around...and around......... and around, inside of the house. His steering is amazing.

I rather enjoy the show. :D I notice visitors seem slightly bothered by that, though, and some even seem disturbed by the nonstop action, in which case i put the dog outdoors, ....where Buddy then herds his outdoor collection of laundry baskets instead.:ROFLMAO:
I could ask Buddy to go to his mat, though, and he would.

and i agree with those who say it can be challenging to balance between giving enough age-appropriate exercise,
creating a need for /endurance of
that level of exercise...


Experienced Member
Now Zara is the most energetic of the 3 we call her the energizer bunny, she too bounces back after any exercise or play. She has a very quick recovery time aswell and she is very vocal in her demands for attention after.
Sundog has a very quick recovery time also. Dead on her feet and a 15-30 minute nap brings her back to life. We call them her "power naps", lol.


Experienced Member
not that I want to interfere with anything, but isn't she also too young for agility? Here in the Netherlands you usually have to waite untill the dog is 1 year old (small dogs) or 18 months (larger dogs).
It depends on a couple of things. First, it really depends on what type of agility she's doing. Here in The States, puppies often start puppy agility classes quite young. The team starts building a relationship. Jump bars are not used or are, at most, no higher than the knees. Some equipment is modified or not used at all. But the puppy can still learn to follow directions, go between jump posts, etc.... This prepares the dog to begin adult classes later and for competition at 18 months, when most venues here allow a dog to compete. Also, if her dog is a very small dog, the growth plates will probably be finished growing soon and she will be physically fine to start agility in a regular manner. At this age, I hope her classes are still at the puppy level or the adult class is modifying the equipment accordingly.

I do agree that she should also be working on training things such as calm settles and such at this time too. Crates are a useful tool and she should work on getting the dog to settle in there. The dog is 8 months, so she is at that rebellious, crazy, wild teenage dog time. I don't think anyone mentioned that the dog may even outgrow this. Many dogs do settle down, at least a little bit, or at least kinda' get their brains back, around 18-24? months.


Experienced Member
One more thing to remember. Your dog is 8-9 months old. For many dogs, this is a crazy, wild, rebellious, wild teenage dog time. They are transitioning from puppy to dog. Patience will help a lot during this time. Many dogs will settle, at least a little bit, or will at least get their brains back a little, at around 1.5-2? years of age. (Dogs are individuals, so it's hard to say what will happen with your specific dog.) Continue with exercising her, and also don't forget the other things people have mentioned, such as working on settles and calmness.


Honored Member
One more thing to remember. Your dog is 8-9 months old. For many dogs, this is a crazy, wild, rebellious, wild teenage dog time. They are transitioning from puppy to dog. Patience will help a lot during this time. Many dogs will settle, at least a little bit, or will at least get their brains back a little, at around 1.5-2? years of age. (Dogs are individuals, so it's hard to say what will happen with your specific dog.) Continue with exercising her, and also don't forget the other things people have mentioned, such as working on settles and calmness.
Sounds a lot like what my health teacher says to us....:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:


Honored Member
If I do training straight after her walk to try and calm her down, but it doesn't really work (and I mean straight after, as in we go inside, she has a drink of water and then we start. By then she has already recovered from the walk without even sitting down).

She is crate trained, she sleeps in her crate at night and eats her breakfast/dinner in there. And lately (over the last couple of weeks) she sometimes gets put in there to calm down if she's acting too hyper/harrassing Paris or the cats, she gets put in there (without being told off) for about 10 minutes (she just sits there - no barking or whining) and then when she gets let out she will be calm for a bit. Before she started being like this the only time she got put in there during the day was if everyone was out of the house (not very often) so that's an obvious way to measure the change in her behaviour.

The trainers at her agility class know how old she is, most of the dogs in her class are under 18 months (although I think most of them are older than Holly - and they are larger breeds). So far the only equipment we have done are tunnels, wobble board, just started the chute and last week we had the jumps out for the first time, Holly doesn't get any poles put on her jump, she just has to jump over the cross bar that holds the jump together (a larger dog wouldn't count it as a jump at all and would just step over it). The trainer said that even when she is 18 months and able to compete her jumps will be very small anyway, like just about as low as they can go and still be counted as a jump :LOL:

I have worried that we are doing too much, especially since her obedience trainer wants us to start Rally-O. But she is so smart and if I did nothing with her I think she would be sooo much worse.
I thought about starting to take her for two walks a day (maybe a 30 minute one in the morning and then her usual 45 minute one in the afternoon) but I thought that would probably increase her stamina so that when I don't have time for both walks she will be even worse.

I'm not sure how a bike would go, although she doesn't get tired she only has short legs. Do you know of anyone who bikes with a small dog?

She does sleep during the day when I'm not home (my sister is home, Holly will sleep till about 2:30 or 3pm with a couple short periods of activity around lunch time). And even if I am home she will sleep in the morning and just wake up if I move and she starts to be active around lunch time (so earlier than when I'm not home) and then wont go to sleep again till around 9:30 or 10pm (earlier if I'm not in the room) without any naps. So I guess she does sleep for less than 18 hours most days.

When she is off-leash she doesn't fetch but she does run around and sniff a bit (I keep walking so she doesn't stay in one place for long).

Also (I think this might be down to her age as well), this week her recall has taken a nose-dive. Before this week she was very good at her recall (I would say 90% of the time) but now she is so much worse.
Yesterday she discovered chasing birds (little sparrows) around the soccer field and would not come back when I called her (thankfully the bird did not fly toward the road and seemed to be teasing Holly because it just went round and round the soccer field really close to the ground and would slow down so she could catch up O_o) and the day before that when she was sniffing something she didn't want to come and she wouldn't recall from a dog (before she always recalled from dogs)
So when we reached the second off-leash opportunity, I didn't let her off, and instead practiced some on-leash recall while she stared at the birds and sniffed around. She still wasn't tired when we got home despite the bird chasing :cautious:.

Hopefully she will grow out of the bird chasing (Paris did). But we will be working on her recall.


Experienced Member
The obedience sounds great, the agility sounds perfect for her age, and the tricks are great. For many dogs, especially at such a young age, a 45 minute walk is interesting, but not physically tiring. Even off leash, it sounds like she is just exploring, as opposed to really exercising. What does she do for heart-pumping, run her butt off, tongue hanging out, having lots of fun exercise?

My dogs are medium sized, about 30 pounds, and do fine with a bike. I would think with a short-legged dog, you would just pedal slower. Short-legged dogs like to run too.


Honored Member
Holly is 5.7kgs (that's 12.5 pounds), so a bit smaller than your dogs :)
She does run when she is off-leash, she doesn't just wander around sniffing.

She runs around the lounge and bounces off the furniture to get her heart really pumping and it looks like she is having fun (she does this at least once a day). She is allowed to do this as long as she doesn't make herself so excited that she starts launching herself at Paris and pulling her ears and jumping on her, because this makes Paris lose her breath and start coughing so we have to stop Holly.

She will pant for a bit at the dog park if there are other small dogs there and she runs around and plays with them (she doesn't really like big dogs (especially more than one at a time) and wont really play with them because they always seem to just put their paws on top of her head).
She was also panting after chasing the birds and seemed to have fun, but that's not to be encouraged :cautious:
But she still always recovers very quickly.

Because it's winter here and the grass is a mess (rains and then its too cold for it to dry out) we are a bit more limited on what we can do and we don't see very many dogs when we are out on walks (especially other small dogs).
But I did buy some gumboots today so the mud wont be as much of an issue (for me).

What activities would you suggest to really get her heart pumping?

The best one I can think of is playing with other dogs which is not always the easiest to arrange in winter. And I'm not sure how she would go with a bike.

I also bought a tunnel for her today and she loves tunnels, so once I've got some cones we can do some circuits with that which she will hopefully do at full speed.


Experienced Member
sorry, and I don't want to sound like I know best/it better, but I really think that doing even more high energy activities will help.
this is an article what explaines why (translated from dutch to english):

Aren’t we making his agenda too full?

Monday: agilityclass
Tuesday: appointment with the vet
Wednesday: to the city
Thursday: obdience class
Friday: playing in the park
Saturday: competing in a contest
Sunday: too the beach

If the glass gets too full (by Sheila Harper)
Stress everybody has been bothered by it.
A bit stress keeps us sharp, but too much (work)pressure, isn’t good.
Do we ask too much from our dogs?

Sheila Harper wanted a border collie.
Just as other people because they are intelligent.
‘not knowing that the dog would be smarter than me’

The English dog behavior expert looks back at that time.
Sam was a hyperactive dog, who had no moment of rest.
He was agressive towards everything and everyone, reacted too the littlest thing 200 meteres away and wanted Sheila her attention the whole day.

‘Get him tired’
The vet, her trainer, the dog behavior expert all said the same thing: Sam was dominant.

Give him more exercise was the advise.
Get him tired.

Sheila did all kinds of stuff with sam.
Exercises, playing, agilityclass, obdienceclass, going for walks, cycling.
She heard that a border collie had to walk 120 km a day, because on a farm they would do that themselves.
But she only achieved 56 km a day.

Only 56 km a day!
Now she knows what the advise did to sam: she put her dog in such high acceleration that he couldn’t stop.
‘We both got exhausted’, looking back she says.
‘I became a border collie myself, so hyperactive.
Racing heart

A bit of stress isn’t wrong, not at all. It keeps your body in a alert state, so that you can react to al kinds of situations.
The problem with the stress hormone is that it stays in your body for days!
Because the body is always under stress, the body won’t have time to recover and then the problems start.
You shouldn’t do this cold turkey, it has to gradually become less.

We don’t see it…

In our society there a lot of dogs with stress, but their owners don’t always see it. We don’t see all the signals.
Dogs really want to do things we want them to do. We have to look better.
Look around when dogs are having obdienceclass/agility, how are they behaving, what are their signals. For instance, humping a leg/yawning are signals that a dog uses to calm himself/his environment.
We have high expectations of our dogs, they have to learn 20 tricks in 4 weeks, socialize with all kinds of things, walk now, play now, they have to go in the car, go to training.

Recovery time

Shouldn’t we do anything with our dog?
Of course not, Sheila says.
But with enough time to recover and while over thinking what we are asking.

I'm not saying you are doing this with/to your dog, I'm only saying to watch out for it.
2 walks a day for instance is fine, but a dog hasn't have to be active the whole freaking time.
just 'reading the paper' as we call it her (sniffing around, walking a bit around you) is fine, for border collie, for a newfoundlander, for a shi tzu for all dogs.

so really would recommend not doing even more, but learning your dog to settle, becuase things like high-five and roll over and such are nice tricks. but what really is a trick is walking relaxed with you dog and having him/her setlle inside.

but that is my opinion and from behind a computerscreen it is hard to judge/evaluate....


Honored Member
I have been worried that I'm doing to much with Holly to soon. Especially when our obedience teacher keeps saying we should do Rally-O.

At the moment:

Saturday: Obedience class followed by dog park
Sunday: Drive somewhere to go for a longer walk
Monday: 45 minute walk
Tuesday: Agility class
Wednesday: 45 minute walk
Thursday: 45 minute walk
Friday: 45 minute walk

On each of her 45 minute walks she gets let off the leash at least once, but often twice.
She has a training session everyday (even on Saturdays we usually end up doing some training in the evening because her class is at 12noon) and she usually gets some random 5 minute lessons during the day.
She gets an edible chew or frozen kong every evening.

Then in the evening she often starts acting naughty, eg, harrassing the cats or Paris, trying to get into the rubbish bin, gets the tea towels off the bench and goes into the kitchen to scratch at the cupboards and splash in her water bowel (she just stays in the kitchen doing this on her own and makes a massive mess, we can't take the water bowel away because Paris is on diuretics).
When I talked to our obedience teacher about her being naughty she just said to keep her busy O_o
She gets more activity than most pet dogs so I don't see how she could be bored.

Sometimes I do feel pressured with Holly's training, she is smart and is the best in her class at most things so sometimes I feel like I have to make sure she stays the best.
Sometimes we have to demonstrate stuff for the class that everyone else hasn't been tought yet because Holly learn't it in her other class, or I just tought it to her without being told (usually I've seen it on this site), or it's the next part of an obedience thing and we just got ahead because it was too easy (eg, the rest of the class were still getting there dog to put their front feet on a phonebook for left turns, but by the next week Holly could do the turn in heel position without the phonebook). Or if it really is a new thing, Holly seems to pick it up quicker than the other dogs so the teacher often stops the class to watch Holly do it O_o

And I was aiming for her to learn 100 cues within the year (we got her at christmas, so I wanted 100 cues by next christmas). I think she is at about 50 so far.

I don't think we are doing to much yet, but maybe we are getting close.
I might at least slow down the trick training for a couple of weeks and maybe put her in the crate more for some calm alone time (maybe in the eveing when she starts being naughty).

And to think, my mum and my sister bought Holly to be a lapdog (that's why they got a pug cross, they thought she would be lazy), she doesn't even like sitting on laps or calmly being patted :LOL: and she has become my dog not theirs :rolleyes: .


Honored Member
I really don't think your doing too much. Holly is a puppy and will be wild and crazy until 2years old maybe younger different dogs mature at different ages, she'll eventually learn to be calm. Missy was totally crazy 24/7 she ran around the house like a maniac I never worried about it, she eventually learned their is a time to play and a time to chill. As long as she gets enough activity she is great. I wouldn't worry about her being naughty or being really hyper or any of that stuff I mean she is a puppy and will do it, not always she'll grow out of it. It's just a puppy thing.


Experienced Member
I would stick with 2 trainingclasses and not go for another one.
I would also (like you have now) make sure there is a 'free' day between the two classes.
for the walking you could choose to do something like this:
- 45 min walk in the morning, training class in the afternoon, 15 min walk in the evening (just for sniffing/short off leash walk with no other activity)
and on day with no training class:
- 20 min walk in the morning, 45 min walk afternoon, 20 min walk evening.
moments when she 'has to' rest:
- after walking
- after eating
- after training class
for the personal trainingssessions I would go for once a day, not on a day you are already going to training class and even choose for 1 day off (only walking).

keep in mind that chewing a bone also means being awake/active eventhough it doesn't take brain training/much muscle use.

the things you tell about her being naughty, I have to say that I interpret this as behavior due to too much activity (like explained in the article).

I know how its like to have a dog that is best in class, however I would pressure your dog because of that. so what if she isn't perfect. as long as she finds the exercises fun and you also find them fun, I wouldn't care if she was perfect or totally failing the exercises.

I have to say I find 100 cues in 1 year a lot, that means 1 trick in 3,5 days, without you going on vacation and training every day! I wouldn't aim for something like that.... just teach her tricks and see how far you come... maybe she learns a trick in 1 day, maybe it takes 2 weeks.

but like I said this is just my opinion...

also a suggestion:
do rear/awarness exercises instead of the tricks with these it isn't about the cue/behavior, but
about the dog being more aware of the body, it is also very tiring, so do very short sessions and not too much in 1 week
some examples: