How to tire a puppy out?

oceannaFebruary 23, 2008

Why does nature see fit to give puppies 20 times the energy of their caretakers?

I know it would be ideal, but I can't take walks with my puppy right now due to health considerations of mine (I'm in PT and undergoing medical care, working on it). So... I can get her to fetch a couple of times before she loses attention span -- she's only 12 weeks old. I have one of those fishing pole toys (they're fabulous!) and I'll stand there and play with her with it for a long time before she finally loses interest. She leaps and spins and runs. At other times she races around the house.

But... she still has too much energy. I feel sorry for her. My old dog is too old to play with her and my little dogs don't want to, so she drives them nuts.

Do you have any more ideas on how to wear her out?

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Could someone else in the family or a neighbor walk her? Maybe even a responsible pre-teen would like to do it.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 6:43PM
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Tread mill.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 6:50PM
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How about a dog walker and/or dog nanny who will come in once a day for play and walks. You should be able to find a college student willing to do this. The puppy needs the stimulation of being outdoors sniffing and learning about his environment, and interacting with people, so not sure the treadmill is a good solution in this case. What a shame that the new puppy came home at a time when you were dealing with medical issues.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 7:17PM
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Have you tried a laser pointer? Both my dog and cat love it. If I really want to tire the dog out I can run him in laps around the living room with it. You have to be careful not to shine it in their eyes, but you can keep it moving fast enough so that's not a problem. I used to have one of those small cylinder shaped ones, but the button you have to continuously hold down on was small and it went through batteries so fast. I had a laser tape measure in the garage that I've been using that works so much better. The on button is larger and it uses a 9v battery that lasts forever.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 10:27PM
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Thanks for your answers everyone!

Cynthia, yes it was. I didn't plan the timing. I thought it would be in a year or two actually. But then the phone call came and there she was, too good to pass up.

Handymac, if I could put her on a treadmill she could power the house. :)

Socks (and Cynthia) that's not a bad idea to ask a neighbor. I'd feel a lot better about that were she trained, though.

Msventoux, that's an interesting idea. I wonder if I could just use a flashlight. How did you get them interested in chasing it?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 3:58AM
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Take caution! You should not over exercise a puppy, especially one that young and definitely not on a treadmill. It could lead to dysplasion and other structural problems. Puppies tend to have bursts of energy and then sleep a lot. Just make sure you don't push a puppy and let it tell you when enough is enough. Try adding some mental stimulation. During play do some "sits" and "comes". Then you will have a happy and well behaved puppy.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 11:16AM
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Yikes! Nix on the Laser Pointer and Flashlight idea!

Laser Pointer to tire puppy thread.

Even though you don't have German Shepherds you should join that group. They are full of excellent information.

Here is a link that might be useful: Laser Pointer and Dogs

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 2:23PM
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A 12 week old puppy doesn't have all of its puppy shots yet and should not be walked off your property until fully vaccinated.

My 8 week old foster puppy just died last week from parvo, which she picked up at the shelter before I brought her home.

Parvovirus can live for a year on grass, sidewalks, etc. It is resistant to almost everything except bleach. I could have it on my car tires and not even know it.

Good luck with your pup. I know it is hard to keep up with them at times. If you play fetch, she may lose interest after a while, but try switching toys and see if that helps.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 3:05PM
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She is going for some walks, though, right? Dogs need to walk every day, partly for exercise, but mostly to see and explore the world and learn about stuff. If you cannot walk her yourself, by all means, see if you can get someone to walk her at least 30 minutes a day.

Mental challenges can also help tire out a puppy. Do a few minutes (2-3) of fetch, then do 2-3 minutes or so of training basics (sit/stay/down/come) then another session of fetch then training, until you have done about 1/2 hour total. Having short sessions keeps their attention span from waning.

Another thing that helps are interactive toys...the ones you stuff with kibble and the dog has to figure out how to get the treats out of the toy, you can find them at any pet store. Just be sure to count the kibble consumed as part of dinner!

Finally, when you do walk her, consider using a dog back pack. Load it lightly at first, since she is a puppy, but gradually add some weight in the form of plastic bottles filled with water.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 5:17PM
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Clg7067, I know, thanks. Some here may not know, so it's good that you said that. Lasers have always scared me around anyone's eyes so I don't use them. As far as a puppy chasing a flashlight, it would be the same as with everything -- all things in moderation, nothing overdone. An hour to the point of exhaustion is overdone. Five minutes of fun isn't.

Share_oh, I'm sos sorry for your loss. I've always been one to bend over backwards on caution about exposing a puppy to anything. I've been ribbed about that.

Cindyb -- well, not exactly as I'm suffering from sciatica right now (herniated disk, pinched nerve). I can make it about a half block if that is all. But yes I have had her outside a little. I have a big fenced yard and she plays with my other dogs some now (though I wish they'd be better about it). Good idea on the interactive toys -- except what you don't know is ALL toys around here belong to Cubby (he says!) so I have to work around him all the time. It's okay; I am with them all the time. I'll trow a toy for him and while he's getting I throw one for her in the opposite direction. She gets a kong ribby thing with peanut butter when she has to be crated if I'm gone for an hour or two. Otherwise there would be fights over that.

I'm not going to hire someone to walk her at this point as she's not trained to walk on lead yet and I'm particular about how I train. In addition, it just takes a heartbeat for her to have a bad experience in the wrong hands and that's the last thing I want for any dog of mine. Right now she's more interested in just exploring everything than in walking, so we go out and I let her goof around on leash, and she gets clicks and treats for every time she looks me in the eyes. That's step one. We're doing a littlepreliminary heeling inside the house off leash in preparation for the real thing outdoors.

I've never thought about loading up a back pack. I wouldn't do it on a 12 week old pup at all. But I can see some wisdom in it with a two-year old dog whose structure is mature.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 12:40AM
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oceanna, re: sciatica, so sorry you are suffering from this. Been there, done that. I hope you get better soon.

For the backpack, duh! what was I thinking? You do need to wait until Cubby is grownup dog sized, definitely. Plus, one that would fit now will not fit when Cub is full sized.

Is doggy daycare an option?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2008 at 1:33PM
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I was so glad to see someone mention NOT to use the lazer and or flashlight. Not only has it been known to cause complusive behavior but also has been linked to bringing on seizures.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2008 at 6:09PM
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