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Advice From Dr. Lindsey: Keeping Your High Energy Dog Busy

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Authored by: Dr. Lindsey, DVM

High energy dogs need lots of exercise, playtime, and keeping their mind’s active. A few of the high energy dog breeds include German Shepherds, Shelties, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, Huskies, Labs, Golden Retrievers, and Belgian Malinois just to name a few.

First, these dogs need to be getting enough exercise. If they don’t, they will become bored and thus may become destructive. Some ideas for exercise could include long walks, hiking, swimming, hunting, dog parks, or doggie daycare. These types of dogs like to have a job to do so other ways to stimulate them would be to enroll them in obedience classes, agility, or herding classes. It’s very important for these high energy dogs to go through some serious obedience training. Obedience training helps a dog have impulse control and helps them focus.

Secondly, there are indoor ways to help stimulate high energy dogs by challenging them mentally. Frequently these dogs are food motivated and may also be a type of dog that inhales their food very quickly. They may enjoy having their food hid around the house and they must find it or having their dry food scattered out in one room to make them work for their meal. Again, these dogs like to be mentally challenged and to work for things. There are all sorts of puzzles and toys on the internet that help dogs do mental exercises as well. It’s also a good idea to reward a dog when they are having calm behavior.

Lastly, there are prescription medications that may be a last resort for dogs that have behavioral problems. Talk to your veterinarian if you think your dog has a behavioral problem. There are also supplements like the Pet Honesty Calming Hemp chews that may support dogs with hyperactivity as well. Ask your veterinarian if the Pet Honesty chews are right for your dog.


Dr. Lindsey graduated from Colorado State University in 2009 and works in general practice, shelter medicine, and more recently as a civilian contractor veterinarian for the Army. She is also certified in acupuncture and resides in Palm Springs, CA.