High energy dogs need a lot of physical and mental exercise before they can be completely tuckered out. Sometimes, this means walking or playing in the park isn’t enough for your pooch.
A dog with excess energy can lead to unwanted behavior like damaging the sofa or chasing after strangers, so it’s a good idea to play with your dog to help them burn off the excess energy. You can utilize the help of different toys to facilitate safe interaction. Some toys are also great for stimulating their instincts and providing them with mental challenges.
So here are a few toys you should consider getting your pooch to give them a good workout and help them relax at the end of the day.
Toss and Tug of War Toys
You can invest in durable rope toys to play tug of war with your dog. Rope toys can also be thrown, encouraging your dog to run after the toy and bring it back to you. This activity will help them exercise and will also stimulate their hunting instincts as they search for the rope.
If you want a toy that will reach a farther distance when thrown, you buy a customizable frisbee rope toy. With a flying disc rope toy, you can also play tug of war with your dog before throwing. A frisbee toy like this will also stay afloat far longer than a rope toy, so your dog can practice his jumping skills.
Balls and Ball Launchers
If your dog prefers to chase after balls, you’ll definitely need to buy all kinds of balls. Soft toy balls are good for playing catch inside your home, so the ball doesn’t break anything valuable. Tennis balls, when thrown, can travel greater distances and are much more durable compared to other dog toys.
Once you’ve got balls for your fur baby, you can also get some ball launchers to help you throw these balls farther than your arms can. Your dog will surely enjoy running great distances just to chase after these balls. And if your arms get tired from all that throwing, you can also invest in a cannon-type launcher that will throw these dog balls for you.
Puzzle Toys and Treat Dispensing Toys
Puzzle toys help your dog exercise their brains as well as their bodies. These toys can come in different shapes and forms, and most of them can entice your dog with the promise of treats. As such, you can allow your dog to play with these toys on their own, with minimal supervision.
The way these toys work is that your dog will have to solve the puzzle to get the treat inside. By continuously performing an action like rolling the toy or nuzzling components until a treat is dispensed, your dog will have to focus on coordinating their motions. Knowing they can expect a reward also keeps the dog focused, attentive, and engaged. Some of the more popular puzzle toys include:
- Treat maze – You put a treat into a circular dome, and your dog has to tap, flip and roll the dome until the treat comes out.
- Small ball in a big ball – This toy encourages your dog to roll, tap, bite and dig to get the smaller ball out. While this toy doesn’t dispense treats, you can encourage your dog to keep playing by spreading peanut butter on the small ball.
- Interactive puzzle toys – These toys require your dog to move around parts and pieces of the toy to find the treats hidden inside. Some toys have blocks that your dog has to push up and down or flaps that your dog has to slide open to reveal the treats. Despite the differences in design, the objective remains the same: hide a treat for your dog to find.
Motion-Activated or Automatic Toys
Playing with a high-energy dog can be tiring, so you can make things a little easier by investing in some automatic toys. These toys move on their own to catch your dog’s attention. They can take on many forms, such as dog tails, balls and stuffed small animals to stimulate your dog’s hunting instinct. Chasing after the toy will not only encourage your dog to hunt but will work their legs. Some of these toys are motion-activated, so they only move when touched or when they sense your dog nearby.
Digging and Activity Mats
Digging is part of a dog’s instinct, so you shouldn't discourage them from doing it. But if you don’t have a yard or you can’t visit the park often, you can get them a digging mat or activity mat. These mats can stimulate their brains because you can hide treats or their favorite toys within the flaps or folds. The need to find the treat or toy will encourage your dog to dig and sniff around the mat, helping them burn some energy while stimulating their mind.
Running around and playing in your yard are fun activities for your high-energy dog, but these may not be enough exercise and mental stimulation. To prevent their hyperactivity from being channeled into bad behavior, give them toys that allow them to follow their instincts in a safe and productive manner. In this way, they can use up their excess energy and be ready to rest when it’s time for bed.
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