Raise your hand if you have asked this question sometime in your life, especially if you live with a young dog or a working breed dog. For most people who have dogs, life is sometimes not easy with a common work schedule and a dog, or two… or three, restless at home, especially if there are associated behavior problems, such as anxiety, excessive barking, destruction of objects, reactivity, etc.
Many factors can influence the emotional state of your dog, from common factors such as age, breed, and health, to others such as temperament or even its diet. However, what is clear is that an emotionally balanced dog is a calm dog. Therefore, all our effort must be focused on achieving a calm dog at the end of the day, and for this, it is essential to understand what the physical and mental exercise needs are that our dog needs.
Undoubtedly, dogs, like us, need to perform daily physical exercise to feel well, but as in people, it is important to understand that tiring a dog involves much more than going down to the street to throw a ball, running along with a bike, or putting him in a canine area or dog park.
Dogs have been bred for many years, not only to withstand large doses of physical exercise but also to assist us with other activities that require mental stimulation, including hunting, herding, and guarding people and places. All of these activities require a learning ability as well as great mental and olfactory work.
So, what exactly do you have to do to tire a dog? How much physical and mental exercise should you provide to ensure a correct emotional state for your dog?
Tiring a dog by giving it a good walk
Why, on more than one occasion, have you been asked how long you walk your dog? But surely, almost nobody asks how you walk it. A good relationship between the amount/duration of walks and good quality is vital to tire a dog in a balanced way.
A good walk begins with leaving the house in a comfortable state, without harnesses or collars that cause pain or pressure. Next, the leash with which we carry our dog must be long, allowing him to sniff and interact without tension. Finally, we have to try to adapt the walk route to our dog’s interest: let him decide where he wants to go and sniff.
We must also program and adjust the walk to their needs: if we walk a dog that does not cope well with other dogs, bikes, children, or any other type of stimulus, we must try to avoid them since the calmer the state of our dog during the walk the calmer the dog will be when they return back home.
If you have a safe place where you can release him and interact with the environment or other dogs without a leash, you must let him loose for a while, so he can run and expend physical energy as well. Another of the most important aspects of the walk of our dog is your attention. You must avoid being aware of the mobile or other people to observe our dog and interact with him when necessary.
Without a doubt, a walk can become the best opportunity to develop with our dog all the facets that he needs to see his needs met: physical exercise, olfactory exercise, mental exercise, and the social relationship with the environment to ultimately tire out your dog. Physically exhausting your dog by focusing on throwing a ball or stick is not the most important thing when it comes to tiring your dog; proper mental stimulation and exercise are equally important.
Tiring a dog with smell games And Mental Stimulation
We all know that dogs have a powerful sense of smell, a thousand times better than ours. In fact, a dog depends on its sense of smell to interpret its world, in much the same way people depend on their sight. So it should not be surprising that one of the best ways to tire a dog is through its nose: dogs expend high doses of mental and physical energy using smell.
There are various games of smell that we can put into practice with our dogs, many of them with different difficulties and benefits. Still, if you want to start developing this ability in your dog, it would be worth it to drop a good handful of treats in the yard, inside the house, or during the walk so that your dog can find them using his nose; a fun game that he will surely enjoy. A food puzzle or a snuffle mat is also a fun game that you could introduce to your dog to tire him out.
Other benefits that smell games have On Your dog
Games that provide mental stimulation to your dog also have other positive benefits:
- In shy and fearful dogs, smell games help build confidence.
- Hyperactive dogs focus their energy on the trail and manage to concentrate, making it a fun activity for you and your dog
Tiring Your dog by teaching him tricks or commands
Believe it or not, any breed of dog is capable of learning. However, we need to have a little patience and spend a few minutes a day teaching him new behaviors in a friendly way through positive reinforcement training. Thus, the mental activity that learning new commands or behaviors implies for our dogs can be very effective for tiring a dog.
But this type of activity has some other great benefits, such as creating a bond and communication channel with your dog, the improvement of manners and the good being of your dog in society, and the development of its learning capacity. Who doesn’t want their dog to heed their call in any situation? Many tricks or commands, in addition to tiring a dog, can also improve their concentration and self-control, and it is proven that they help develop confidence in themselves and their owner or guide.
Tiring a dog through interactive dog games
Interactive games for dogs are a great solution for when bad weather arrives or when your dog suffers from some physical problem that prevents him from taking long walks, or even when you, due to lack of time or personal reasons, cannot provide them. In addition, tiring a dog that has not been able to have the physical activity and mental exercise it needs is much easier if we have interactive games at home.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there today and provide your dog with everything it needs to live a happy and healthy life; free of destructive behavior indoors. Allowing you to also enjoy some peace around your home.