Dog Exercise Ideas for Hyper Dogs (Finally Tire Him Out!)

This post goes over some dog exercise ideas for hyper dogs.

It should help you manage or maybe even TIRE OUT your hyper, high-energy dog.

Dog exercise ideas for hyper dogs

You might not successfully have a “tired” dog but there are ways to at least reel in that energy and manage the crazy.

I break it into 3 general categories that we should try to accomplish each day at a minimum.

1. Physical exercise.

2. Mental activities.

3. Teaching the dog to do nothing.

1. Foundation of physical exercise – 60 to 90 mins every day

60 to 90 minutes per day walking or running minimum.

So this is the most obvious – physical exercise.

Every dog is different, even among these high-energy, intense breeds, so this entire post is full of generalizations. You know what your dog needs.

I suggest a starting block of a 60- to 90-minute walk or run every single day as a foundation for your dog’s exercise.

This will not tire out most truly high-energy, hyper dogs. Don’t expect your dog to come home and crash afterwards. The opposite might be true. My weimaraner tends to get hyped up even after a long run.

But what this regular exercise does is meet your dog’s BASIC need for exercise and it will take some of the “edge” off.

So, don’t miss a day of walking! That’s when our hyper dogs tend to get a little nuttier!

What about puppies? It’s OK to walk your puppy, just start slowly. Also note that some puppies become very wild at night, even if they’ve had a lot of exercise. Often, they’re actually overly tired!

Dog exercise ideas

If you’re meeting this basic need for exercise, then when that rare day comes where you truly need to skip a day, your dog will be able to manage.

It’s funny, I’ll have people say things like, “I walked him for a whole hour yesterday, but he’s already hyper today!”

That’s because, my friend, you have to get up and do it all over again every single day.

Some basic dog exercise ideas:

  • Walks or running in your local area – a hands-free leash helps!
  • Driving somewhere else for a hike, walk or run like a trail or park or just a different part of town
  • Walking or running in different settings (urban, country, parks, suburban) to mix things up
  • Running in the snow or sand or in the water
  • Visiting the dog park for off-leash running, fetch or play
  • Walking with a dog backpack to burn extra energy and give your dog a “job”
  • Training your dog to safely run along your bike or while you skateboard or rollerblade
  • Using a long leash to give your dog a bit more freedom (in a safe area, of course)
  • Playing fetch or tug (limit this as it tends to get hyper dogs pretty riled up!)
  • Use a “flirt pole”
  • Swimming

More resources on exercising high-energy dogs:

2. Mental activity (training) – at least 10 mins per day

At least 10 mins per day.

Physical exercise is your starting point, but these intense breeds also need a chance to work their minds every day.

Training your dog

The easiest way to do this is to work on any type of training for just 10 minutes per day. It could be the basics like sit, down, stay, come. Or it could be more complicated behaviors like “spin” or doing a handstand, “playing dead,” roll over, etc.

I highly, highly recommend you sign up for ANY type of training class with your dog whether it’s obedience, agility, a basic manners class, a trick class, nosework, whatever. It doesn’t matter. The key is to get out there once a week doing something with your dog.

Puzzle-type toys

I recommend you feed your dog at least one meal in some sort of puzzle toy instead of a bowl. That way he has a small task to perform every day and he’s working.

Some options for food-dispensing toys include the Kong Wobbler, the Tug-A-Jug and Squirrel Dude. There are many others. I know, crazy names!

Visiting new places

Another easy way to add mental activity for your dog is to change your walking or running route. Since you should be walking your dog every day anyway, this is an easy way to check both physical and mental activity off at once. Walk in different neighborhoods, check out different streets nearby, drive to a park or visit dog friendly stores.

Dog backpack

I can’t recommend a dog backpack enough. It burns physical energy while giving your dog a job to do. I recommend Ruff Wear’s packs. They are a good quality.

Other resources:

3. Teaching your dog to do nothing – 5 to 30 minutes per day

5 to 30 minutes of relaxation every day.

These high-energy dogs need to learn it’s OK to do nothing.

We’re constantly trying to fill our dogs’ days with exercise and activities. Yes, they need jobs to perform. However, they also need to learn to just BE CALM. This is for your sanity and theirs.

So, how to do this?

I recommend teaching your dog to stay on a dog bed or blanket for 5 minutes in the evening. This is difficult for them at first, but you can use food and start with just 5 or 10 seconds, then 30 seconds and so on.

You could try giving them a Kong toy with peanut butter or a bully stick at this time. You could also put your dog in a kennel/crate if that helps or behind a pet gate.

Dog exercise ideas - then teach him to just be calm

The point is to include some calm, relaxing time into your dog’s regular routine. This should get easier and easier the more you work on it.

These high-energy dogs need to learn that even though they have energy to burn, they are capable of some self-control.

If you are doing your part by providing 60 to 90 minutes of physical exercise along with some mental activity/training every day, then your dog should be able to RELAX.

More info in our video (4 mins):

Here’s a link to my video, if you need it.

Let me know your questions or dog exercise ideas.

Now that you have my ideas, let me know your own questions or ideas in the comments. Let us know what kind of dog you have and what you’re doing to tire her out. What works? What doesn’t? Do you agree with my ideas?

Additional resources:

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Dog exercise ideas

13 thoughts on “Dog Exercise Ideas for Hyper Dogs (Finally Tire Him Out!)”

  1. These are helpful tips. Our springer is now old and no longer super active, but I remember those early days of trying to tire her out. I think #3 is especially important, though a tough one, to be sure. Reminds me of those people I know who can’t sit still either. Great video too. Thank you.

  2. Our labradoodle who turns 1 yr old next month is an active dog not really hyper, but he does have his moments. We do all three — exercise (walk & run for 20-30 minutes is as much as he can handle, playing fetch and tug); mental/training games (sit, stay, leave it, drop it, look) and doing nothing exercises (staying beside me as I prep for dinner). All three help him a LOT when done daily. An important component for us are the treats— he has 3 level of treats: like it, love it, and LOVE IT A LOT. Depending on what he need to work on, I use different treats for different activities. Love reading your blog, because it helps me reinforce what we need to keep on doing, and I get new tips too! Thank you.

  3. I have a 9 month old Chocolate Field Lab mix. Hiking and swimming work the best for her. She has puzzle toys, 2 cat brothers and lots of bones to chew. We always do a little training each day too. My issue, no matter what activities we do, she will not sleep if I am awake, she will lay down, but never sleep. She has done this since I got her at 11 weeks old. If I sleep, she will sleep. The vet doesn’t seem concerned. I am now used to it but at first it was difficult. Is your Remy like this? Thank you 🙂

  4. For physical exercise, we’ve used:
    -“Sniffing walks” (no heeling, just let her explore and process as long as she keeps up; this seems to combine the mental/physical aspects in a way that works for her)
    -Off leash parks/hiking areas
    -Empty fields (long line and a Chuck-It)
    -Doggy daycare
    -“Fetch soccer” in the house (2-3 big squeaky tennis balls, this is essentially keep away; my dog can carry one ball and dribble the other)

    Mental exercise :
    -Nina Ottosson puzzle toys
    -Her “go find” game (I put her in a stay and hide 10-15 treats)
    -Obedience exercises ranging from basics to tricks
    -Combining obedience with the treat searching and switching it up on her at random
    -“Go find [insert toy name here]” (this one’s fun for when I just want to sit on the couch and make her work)
    -Nosework classes

    She’s been trained on a “place” command, but because she’s also been taught to be quiet and still during the day while someone is working from home, she wants some kind of engagement during the evening, which I think is fair. She gets something to chew during the evening if we want a break from playing with her.

  5. We bought our pit boxer pup a tether tug last year when he was about 5months – it has worked for him to play by himself with a challenge ! I highly recommend it if u have space in your yard to install it. We had to get a heavy duty base !! Ours came direct from tether tug

  6. I have a split entry home and sweet Pit names Agnes. When I just can’t seem to get her wore out, I get two of her toys and take turns throwing them down the stairs. She will run up and down the stairs quite a few times, but it does the trick every time. Works as a great supplement for those days when the weather is too bad to get that walk in as well.

  7. The ideas for tiring out are great! Smoke and I are walking in various other places and I am taking him to another dog park, Mon, Wed, Fri; and we are walking.

  8. I don’t think there is a suggestion I’m not doing so I’m feeling quite pleased with myself. I have a 7 month old staffie who has a lot of energy and loves to run all the time when we go out. I make him work for his food giving him a job to do with stuffing the Kong, we have trixie and Nina Ottosson puzzle games, we do lots of training commands and tricks. I have also set up my own agility course in the back garden for him where he weaves in and out of chairs, jumps onto the table, crawls under a chair and jumps over a stick. When we walk I also try to find things to do such as getting him to go on the big rock, on any benches and practise tricks whilst I throw the ball for my other dog. Sometimes my staffie retrieves the ball for a treat but he seems to decide when that happens. I also have his name down at the doggy day care which is presently full. Hoping to send him for 2 days per week to run around with other dogs. I have a flirt stick which he loves and I have just started training him to walk/run on the treadmill. All of your tips are bob on and I thoroughly agree that all of these approaches should be tried and kept up with. There is so much satisfaction from having a Happy well trained dog, I just need to work more on the leave it command as he wants to eat everything non food including the dish cloth

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