Piper loves to run. And run. And run.
She loves to jump, too. Sixty pounds of Greyhound/German Shepherd mix, she leaves a wake of broken lamps and vases behind her as she bounds around the house.
She also loves guests. She loves to greet them. She loves to draw them into games and races. She loves to join them on the couch and stand on their laps.
Visitors depart with bandages from her rambunctious play.
Her person takes her for long walks, and he has taken her to obedience school more times than he can count. But she simply has more energy than he does. And on the cold or rainy days when their walks are short, something in his house will be eaten.
Gemini has more energy than her owner knows how to handle.
When you have a dog that has this much energy, you can run out of creative ideas pretty fast. A person can only play so much frisbee, and fitting a long drive to the dog park into a busy schedule is impossible some days.
Make her think
Is running enough? Probably not.
Many high energy dogs are also very intelligent; they need mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. Without the opportunity to concentrate while she’s working out, exercise simply makes your dog strong. A strong, bored dog is a recipe for disaster!
Make her think while she moves. Concentration takes tremendous energy for a dog. Giving her tasks to focus on will help her burn far more energy than a long, boring run.
Teach and play games like Hide and Seek, training her to find specific toys (or family members) somewhere in the house. Start out with keeping her in her crate while you hide several high-stimulus toys (each bundled with a treat) throughout the house, and then moving from room to room with her to find them. Side note: while she’s learning, be sure to count and retrieve all the toys you hid!
Also, activities that require focus and impulse control are good for using up mental energy, tiring your dog out much quicker. Teach her patience tricks like holding a treat on her nose. Teach her complex strings of tricks requiring concentration to get right.
Submitted by Kathryn Rutledge,
Invisible Fence of South East Ontario
1 866 804 1250, www.seoontario.invisiblefence.com