Your new puppy is a furry ball of energy. He will run around the house for 20 minutes like a bull in a china shop and follow that up with a 3 hour nap. His little spurts of energy can make him destructive if not redirected into something more productive. Your new dog needs stimulation and entertainment, but how? If you have a backyard, there are a few things your puppy can do to keep active.
Sounds simple, right? Fetch is a fun game for your dog that teaches him how to respond to commands and lets him burn off energy as well. Teaching him is simple: Have a squeaky toy in your hand and some treats in your other hand. Toss the toy a little bit away (close enough that you can still reach it) and let the puppy get it. Once he has it, reach out and take it from him, saying “good puppy”. If he doesn’t want to give up the toy, bribe him with a treat. Simply hold the treat in front of him and he will eventually give it up. Praise him and give him the treat. Do this 5 minutes a day until you can expand the distance he will retrieve the toy and you will have him running across the backyard fetching in no time.
If it is summer time and hot outside, a sprinkler will entertain your pup for hours. He will chase the water and run around while keeping cool at the same time. Just make sure you don’t have the water pressure on too high or it could hurt him. Also be ready to dry him off when he is done or you will have a soggy pooch running all over your house.
Agility courses are the ultimate stimulation for your puppy. It exercises the body, but also stimulates his growing brain. You can find most of the equipment at your local hardware store. You can build “weave poles” which are tall PVC pipes stuck in the ground in a row so your dog can weave in and out of them. Think of it as the doggy version of slalom skiing. With PVC pipes you can build a few jumping fences as well. You can also put down a tunnel for your pup to run through and at the end of the course a big hoop to jump through. Teaching your puppy how to run an agility course is tough but rewarding for the both of you.
Toys on rotation are also a good idea to keep your puppy stimulated. See our article on Best Dog Toys For Puppies
No matter what you choose to do, always make sure your pup is well hydrated and not overexerting himself. Keeping him stimulated and safe will turn him into a great dog.
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