Does your dog have quick bursts of hyper-active energy?  Or is your dog slow and steady?  Age, diet, health, breed, and personality all contribute to your dog’s energy level.  Here are some ideas for exercising a hyperactive dog versus a dog that’s slow and steady:

Hyperactive Dog

1.     High-energy Activities. One way to wear down an active dog is to focus on activities that require a lot of energy.  Running, biking, and even a game of fetch are great ideas for hyper dogs.  Biking alongside your dog, or playing fetch require more energy from the dog than the human—which is good, because the probability of a human tiring out before a dog is high!

2.     Frequency. Exercising your dog more often and for longer stints will help ensure your dog gets the exercise it needs.  It is not uncommon for a hyper dog to need to be exercised two or more times a day.

3.     Socialization. Still not tired?  Follow up your walk, bike, or run with a stop by the dog park, dog day care, or any place where it can tire while socializing with beasts of similar energy levels.

4.      High-intensity. Up the intensity of your dog’s workout by loading him with a pack during your outdoor adventure.  Start with an empty pack and work up to a pack filled with 10-15 percent of your dog’s body weight.

Idle Dog

1.     Mini-adventures. Low-intensity, slower paced, or short-duration activities are key.  Get outside and enjoy a brisk walk or short hike.

2.     Break time. If your dog prefers short-duration activities, but that long hike is calling your name, just add more frequent breaks to your hike to accommodate your dog’s energy level.  Just because they have less energy than other dogs, doesn’t mean that they can’t participate.

3.     Low-impact. If you have an older dog, or dog with joint pain or injury, focus on low-impact activities such as walking, (gentle) tug-o-war, swimming, or hide-and-go-seek.

4.     Weather. Your dog will probably be most motivated to participate in an adventure when the weather and daylight is at its best.  Weather that’s too warm or too cold, lack of daylight, or wet, windy conditions can discourage your dog.  If you are going out into inclement weather, consider the appropriate apparel to make your dog most comfortable (e.g. cooling coats, fleece jackets, rain jackets).

5.     Nutrition. Lastly, talk to your vet to see if a multivitamin makes sense for your dog.

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