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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!

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.

Dog exercise ideas

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, a snuffle mat or Kongs. There are many others.

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:

This post contains affiliate links

Dog exercise ideas

Michele Turnbull

Wednesday 21st of April 2021

Great advice. Now how do you apply it when you have more than one dog? Such things like: Walks or running in your local area – a hands-free leash helps! Training your dog to safely run along your bike or while you skateboard or rollerblade. My husband and I are in our seventies and he is the one that takes the dogs for walks as I am unable to keep up the pace. I have two Dachshunds who are two and six and we try to play with them as much as possible. They do play together such games as tug a war or run after each other in the house.

Can you give advice to coincide with people who have more than one dog and how to apply it. Your articles are great and I have shared them on multiple occasions.

Keep up the good work.

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 21st of April 2021

Hi Michele, thank you. I think most of these could involve the two dogs at the same time. Even with a hands free leash, you can get a leash coupler or a double dog leash to handle them together. Biking with two dogs would be a but much for me, however! When I had two dogs, I loved walking them together to save time but I had to walk them separately to really give the younger dog enough exercise.

Nosework games might work well with two dogs, such as hiding some dry dog food out in the grass they have to search for or hiding it around the house.


Sunday 18th of April 2021

What are your feelings on enrolling my 1yr old Yorkie in a Petsmart or Petco class?

Lindsay Stordahl

Sunday 18th of April 2021



Thursday 31st of May 2018

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

Alma Jimenez

Friday 25th of May 2018

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.

Lindsay Stordahl

Sunday 27th of May 2018

Lucky boy!


Thursday 24th of May 2018

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.