My dog has insane amounts of energy! Help!

saraberaJuly 9, 2013

So I can't say I wasn't warned. We have had our rescue dog for three weeks and love him dearly, but he's wearing me out! According to his paperwork, he is about 1 yr old (so I guess still a lot of puppy in him), and I am now guessing he is a Papillon/Italian greyhound cross. Kind of a very leggy, largish Papillon that likes to climb all over things.

I had the silly notion at first that I could tire him out. But after a long session of fetch, he is still following me around with a ball in his mouth. If it is not a ball, a stuffed toy to play tug with. A long walk seems to tire me out and energize him. He never sits still! It is like watching a very fast toddler. Fortunately he has done well with house-training, but I feel like I can't trust him if he's in another room (for instance, he figured out how to use the bar stools to get on the counter).

Is this puppy or new dog energy that will settle down, or is this pretty much normal for his breeds? (Any Iggy owners to weigh in?)
He's super smart, so I'm trying to put together ideas to keep him busy while kenneled (about 4-5 hours a day) so he doesn't just sleep and store up energy. I'm intrigued with the idea of working off "mental energy"--does that really work?

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calliope

Welcome to the iggy world. I have a shelter rescue who is an iggy and the other half is likely a Jack Russell. If anyone knows JRTs they can just imagine what a cross between those two will result in. If he were human, he'd be in Mensa and on ritalin. We do not crate or kennel ours because I worked at home until I retired two years ago and hubby is retired. Ours shifts from neutral to sixth gear as the situation presents itself and can revert from couch potato to olympic runner effortlessly. It's typical of iggies and has nothing to do with storing up energy. It's built into their mitochondria. Normal for the breed. He is walked numerous times a day on a lead to allow him to zoom along and small enough he gets plenty of exercise on his own in the house which is huge and has a lot of open space. Can and does jump effortlessly from floor to counter tops, and it's a behaviour we can't and won't ever be able to break because he does it surreptitiously. Therefore fences will not contain him and if he breaks loose is gone with the speed of light.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 8:47AM
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christine1950

What about a tread mill? Are there any doggie day care places in your area? Just a couple of thoughts.
Kudos to you for rescuing, maybe he was kept kenneled and is enjoying his freedom now. Good Luck :>)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 6:55PM
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sarabera

Yes, that is exactly how ours is--from zero to sixty in no time flat! No in between gears. A JRT cross with IG sounds like a real handful! It does seem like he is either getting a bit more mellow, or else I am just getting "broken in" to life with a dog.

My husband is adamantly opposed to day care ("dogs can take care of themselves!") but I think it would be great once in a while, and also keep him socialized.

Right now he is sitting next to me with those pleading eyes, asking me to please throw the ball one more time, even though I've done nothing but fetch for the last hour. He's killing me!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:29PM
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sylviatexas1

play date?

My big puppy (Lab mix, 5 months, 52 pounds) cannot be tired out before I'm ready to drop, & when I get that tired, it ruins my personality.

Luckily the neighbors have a cute young 1/2 Jack Russell 1/2 Pit Bull;
he has springs in every joint in his body, so he goes "boing boing boing" all the time.

Every day one of them goes on a play date to the other's fenced yard.

They love one another.

It helps.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 3:50PM
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robertz6

My whippet husky mix has a very high energy level. At about four years old, he still dances/twists/darts/jumps when we go for a walk or do anything at all. He chews all things including rubber and plastic.

There is a boxer next door that he loves to roughhouse with. They grab one another by the neck skin and have a great time. If I am in the back yard they slam into me one to three times. I do not invite the other dog over now since they will destroy my garden without even being aware of it. And the neighbors yard has a inflatable pool that would not last even a minute.

You need to find a suitable dog/yard/neighbor for your dog to play with. Maybe more than one dog. There is a doodle dog down the street that outweighs mine 2 to 1, so a active third dog would need to be added to that situation.

Are there any 'runners/dog lovers without a dog' in your area? Consider stuff outside the box. Dog parks. Kids that love dogs but have a allergic person in the house.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 4:49PM
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mazer415

Yes, two of the best advises here are another dog - they know how to wear each other out the fastest and mental games. Teach your dog stupid pet tricks, one of the mistakes alot of people makes is that they think if they say use a motorcycle instead of roller skates and have adog run alongside is going to wear them out, but it is not STRUCTURED excersize, the more they hafta think the faster they will tire out. You might even try a whippet or greyhound rescue near you for a playmate. Good Luck

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 1:39AM
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sarabera

I do like the idea of doggy playdates--I'll just have to find the right situation for him. My next door neighbor has a small dog that would probably get along well (A yorkie), but neither of us has a fenced yard area that would work for both of them. (They put up an 18" high fence that would be a joke for my dog). I'm going to have to scope out the neighborhood!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 11:55PM
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christine1950

There are never enough dog parks, I wish our village had one...

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 10:26AM
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annkh_nd

I agree with mind games. Get a puzzle cube for feeding. Teach him to play hide and seek (we hide toys for our dog to find). Teach him lots of goofy tricks, and practice a lot. Teach him to fetch and swim.

I've had a lab and 2 Corgis. The big dog was a teenager until he was 3; the smaller dogs mature by a year, so I don't think youth is the problem in your case. You have a high energy dog!

Of course walks and aerobic exercise are wonderful too.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 3:29PM
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daisyinga

We found the best way to wear our Australian Cattle Dogs out was to swim them.

I took them to the river at the top of a bank and threw sticks and balls downstream, so they had to swim against the current to bring them back, and climb up the bank. The ACD who grew up with my kids loved to swim in the pool with them.

We also biked them, but your dog may be too small to bike.

I do think my ACD puppy I have now gets tired from using mental energy. Teaching her tricks and obedience commands helps a lot. Another thing that helps is taking her to new places. Sometimes we go to the square downtown where there's a lot of traffic and practice walking the sidewalk politely on a leash. That helps a lot, since the traffic is noisy and fairly close. We also go to plant nurseries, pet stores, playgrounds and farmers' markets.

I keep a big ball I got at Wal-Mart in the kitchen, and when I'm cooking dinner I kick the ball around for her.

This might be a good time for you to learn a new skill with her, like frisbee or agility?

Good luck with your new dog.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 12:05AM
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sarabera

We have just started agility, (second class today) and he is doing very well. I do need to work more on socialization, so finding places where we can walk with a few people around would be great. The pet store has been good--but how often can I go there? (How long before I'm the nutty lady?) Swimming would probably be great--I don't think he had ever seen a body of water before, but he is fascinated by it, slowly getting used to it.

So now I'm thinking that the other half is not italian greyhound, but perhaps rat terrier--that would explain a few things such as the ball obsession. And, of course, non-stop energy!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 11:44PM
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robertz6

One nice things about long walks around the neighborhood, you meet many dogs and dog owners. Don't take the same route all the time.

My hyper active whippet mix has three possible play pals -- two boxers next door, a doodle dog thirty pounds heavier but with a similar energy level, and a beagle/bull terrier mix of the same size. They chase each other around, holding onto neck skin some times, but very seldom is there a yelp of protest. They all get very excited when they know play time is coming. They do tear up the ground when it is wet. And they do drool on the other dog(s).

There was some getting acquainted before play was established. If one dog is on the shy, wary, reserved side, maybe that animal should be off-leash in a back yard while the more confident dogs should be on leash. None of the dogs I mentioned are submissive, fearful, or wary.

Energy level might be more important than breed or size in selecting dogs for play. Nails should be kept in reasonable care, although many are too long in my experience.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 5:24PM
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