This isn’t a puppy, it’s a Duracell Bunny!!
Sometimes it can feel like your puppy is always on the go, never wanting to settle quietly and chill out. They are either asleep or awake causing chaos
It can be tempting to want to get your puppy out for long walks as soon as possible to tire them out, because who doesn’t want a bit of peace and quiet!
We do need to consider the type of exercise we provide our puppies with, as we don’t want to cause any longer-term permanent damage to our puppies developing bodies.
You can read more about why carefully considered exercise matters in Morag’s recent Canicross blog.
So, what can you do while you wait for your puppy to be ready for lovely long walks?
Be inventive with your puppy’s daily food ration, you can;
- Use it in food activity toys, have their meals take longer than 20 seconds
- Scatterfeed their food outside now that Spring is here, let them hunt for every last piece
- Use some of their food in your training sessions, tire their brains out with a short clicker training session to practice what you’ve been learning in class.
Chewing is a great way to provide your puppy with an activity that not only keeps them out of trouble but tires them out too, consider.
- Meaty chews can be a great long lasting activity for you pup, you can get fish, chicken, lamb, beef, pork chews and plenty more besides
- Vegetables - Summer my Flatcoated Retriever loves to chew on raw carrot
- Stuffed Kongs - you can even freeze them to make them last longer!
Tug Games - a good game of tug can be a brilliant way to tire out a puppy, check out my video on playing tug with puppies
Hide and seek games can be great fun. Run off and hide and encourage your puppy to come and find you. Great for recall practice, be sure to reward your puppy generously when they find you
Ball play - Make sure you’re playing on soft ground, to reduce any impact on growing joints. Short sessions are best, just a couple of minutes so there isn’t too much repetitive play.
Food based scentwork is a really great way to tire your puppy out without lots of physical exercise
We have probably introduced you to the Sniffing Game using cheese in your puppy class, but you can play it absolutely anywhere!
If you want to learn how to harness the power of the nose for good you can book a 121 intro session if you’ve not done any sniffing with us yet
If you and your dog know the sniffing game (you have a word which means the dog immediately starts looking for cheese) join us at Sniffing School Level 1, you'll learn to work as an effective search team and learn ways to make searches more challenging for your dog.
Out and about:
Match your walk to your puppy’s needs, size, breed and age. Your walks don’t have to be super short but do make sure your puppy is going at their own pace.
Take lots of breaks to allow your puppy to stop and sniff, explore and observe the world around them. You can also carry your puppy some of the way if they are small enough and happy with it.
Consider where you walk your puppy, softer ground is better for growing joints than hard ground like concrete.
Play sessions with other carefully selected dogs with good social skills can be another appropriate way to provide some physical exercise, while at the same time teaching them some valuable social skills.
Include some settle practice in new places on your walks, being still on a mat is hard work and very tiring, plus it's a great skill to teach your puppy.
Clare and the Gang