4 Exercises That’ll Tucker Your Dog Out… And Have Him Behaving In No Time

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tired dog

I have noticed lately, a gamut of people having trouble meeting the exercise needs of their dogs.

This is pretty darn normal!

We, as humans, are just too busy!

We are pulled in by work (often taking several jobs just to make ends meet), family, social media, hobbies and many times we just don’t make time for our dogs.

Even I work full time with a few jobs lately!

And, I have high drive dogs that need a lot of exercise.

What are my favorite tricks?


In no particular order, except the last!

#4 Mental Stimulation

Solving puzzles and using your mind is exhausting.

Don’t believe me?

Take a college class or go to a continuing education class for a day or two.

Learn some new information.

tired dog

Thanks Soda Head for the Photo

And, try and tell me you are not tired when you are done!

Unless of course you are used to constant learning every day.

The thing is that learning is exhausting.

If you want a tired dog, teach him something new, or at least put a spin on the things that he knows by engaging his mind.

Don’t stick to the same exact training regimen with your puppy each day, in the same boring order.  Mix things up, make him perform faster and make it a game.

Mental stimulation is also crucial to his happiness.


#3 HIIT Exercise

Have you ever done H.I.I.T or High Intensity Interval Training?

Those are four of my worst dreaded words when they are strung together in a sentence. tired dog

I am currently getting back into shape and learning to deadlift, squat, and bench press safely.

My personal trainer believes in HIIT training and engages me both with weight training and cardio several times a month.

I HATE it!  But I also love it, because as difficult as it is at the time, it is worth it throughout the rest of the day.

  • I sleep better.
  • I think better.
  • And, I feel better about myself!

Your dog can benefit too!

I like to take my dogs for high intensity runs.

I sit in a lateral recumbent trike and I let them pull for several miles.

Most of the time, as long as it is safe I also allow them to set the pace.

Your dog is an athlete and he needs the ability to enjoy exercise, REAL exercise!

Exercise is also good for his heart and body condition and joints.

Please do your dog a favor and provide him with some real exercise each day!

His body, his waistline, his blood pressure and his mind needs it!

#2  Regular Physical Exercise

I can’t say it enough, your dog is not outside plotting his exercise regimen and planning to get fit.

A stroll around the block or a stroll for a few miles is not enough to tire your dog.

Occasionally I like to enjoy a several mile hike.

I also like encouraging my dogs to swim.

tired dog

I find that swimming will exhaust my dogs fairly quickly, whereas walking and hiking takes many hours of consistently rigorous exercise; swimming is fairly physically exhausting.

My dogs absolutely LOVE dock diving.

You can also teach your dog to pull weights

Pull a cart

Pull a scooter or yourself in inline skates (as well as skijoring in the snow).

Lure coursing is also another fun physical sport.

But the #1 Way to Physically Exhaust Your Dog?

Put all of these things together for fast and complete exhaustion.

My favorite go to when I want a tired dog is getting them to perform obedience commands in a fast paced manner and then I throw their ball to chase as a reward.

For instance, I grab my chuck it and ball (I often use these because I can throw farther) and my dog and ask for numerous commands; watch me, heel, sit, down, return to heel, down in motion and then I mark the completed series of commands with a click or a word and throw the ball as far as I can for them to retrieve.

As they rapidly return with the ball (or tug or whatever toy I am using), I decide whether I am going to ask for them to drop the toy and then throw it again, or if I am going to ask for more obedience before I throw.

I mix it up!

I don’t always ask for the same behaviors in a row.

And, sometimes I will throw the ball or toy multiple times before returning to obedience.

The running after the toy and retrieving is great exercise for my dogs, physically.

They are chasing and fast and returning as fast as they can.

I also sometimes bounce the ball hard, or toss it so they can catch it to give them variety with their play.

If I take them out for HIIT I throw in some changes of direction, some downs in motion or sits in motion and some heeling.

And, when my dogs are hiking or come back from swimming I also ask for downs from a distance, or some quick eye contact and focus and heeling so that I engage their mind.

The best stimulation comes when you engage all parts of your dog!







There are 23 Comments

  1. Karen Garofalo says:

    Wow, an impressive list of mental, physical, and loving agility training! I am going on this myself!! LOL Thinking is probably the last thing we exercise. Love your ideas and power techniques to improve the mind, body and spirit of our dogs!


  2. Darlene says:

    I have to use a scooter to exercise my dog. I set it on as fast as it will go. When he wants to slow down to investigate something (like who scented this bush last), I will put him through some obedience commands or tricks. He loves it. Next is teaching him to bring his leash.


  3. Carol says:

    So what else can I do. I’m 75, husband is 85. We live in Minnesota (cold, snow, ice) We can’t walk him enough due to the weather. I throw the ball inside. He runs after it but won’t bring it back no matter what so I have to go get it. I get more exerise than he does. He plays tug but WE get tired. We live on a lake but it’s frozen or it’s too green to let him swim. His only real exercise is barking and barking and barking whether it’s for attention, because he’s bored or wants something that I haven’t figured out yet. The rest of the time he hides from us in his crate or under the bed.


    Minette Reply:

    doggy day care, obedience classes, agility classes, trick classes, weight pull, lure course, flyball, indoor swimming pools.

    and running outside on plowed roads.


  4. Donna Villers says:

    I had lurched a ball in order to give my Sissy some exercise,when I am not able to take her out weather permitting..
    I do have issue with her not bring it back and wanting to take it off and chewing on it..
    I now am using a Kong calling it a treat ball when she dose bring it back to me I put a treat in it and give it to her and see if she dose get the idea ..what do you think?.


    Minette Reply:

    I prefer two toys and not using food as a motivator for play.


  5. Rachel Bair says:

    I would love to know your response to Carol from Minnesota. We, too, are older and our 9 year old new rescue doesn’t chase balls or play with toys.


    Minette Reply:

    sometimes dogs have to be taught to play. Use the search bar and search for articles on teaching your dog to play.


  6. Nancy Moisan says:

    Could you explain a “down in motion”. Megan’s good in a down stay while I bounce ball around her, roll the ball until she gets a release command. But if I say down when she’s on the run, she comes to my feet, do I accept this? Thank you


  7. Helen says:

    How do I get my jack Russell terrier to enjoy retrieving a ball? She will retrieve a toy 2 or 3 times but then gets bored!


    Minette Reply:

    use the search bar at the top of the page to search for articles on teaching your dog to play and retrieve using play drive.


  8. Line says:


    My dog, Tesla, a Flat coated retriever, loves to run ( on the leash) next to my bike and have a run. The best part is that she’s obeing the best when I’m with the bike. ( when walking she’s pulling in the beginning until she understand that I am the boss) 😉
    She’s quite good in coming when I call her, 8-9 times out of 10. But sometimes she’s looking at me and goes anyhow ( mostly if there is a dog or when she’s playing and then got thirsty or warm and go into the lake even if I call her!!) How do I stop her to go this one or two times out of ten?


    Minette Reply:

    I don’t let a dog off leash until their obedience is reliable. She is rewarding herself for not listening to you and that is a bad behavior and difficult to change because the reward (lake or playing) is much better than coming to you. You have to avoid the reward she is giving herself


  9. Ines says:

    My usually very obedient 5months ld golden poodle today when called sat down instead where she was.Frer repeating the command she just turned round and ran in the opposite direction. How do Ihandle this adolescent rebellion?


    Minette Reply:

    Use a leash and take some privileges away for bad behavior.


  10. Chrisb says:

    Everything Minette replied costs an arm & a leg, especially for people on a fixed income. If you can find a used treadmill someone wants to give away or will bargain for at a low price, that is the way to go. Wishing you the best.


    Minette Reply:

    Nothing but the treadmill costs money. Swimming can be free as can running and training.

    However, some things are worth the investment! My dog and his happiness as well as that of my family is worth it!

    And, a well exercised dog doesn’t eat the carpet or drywall or computers or cell phones or other expensive items. Exercising your dog is usually, actually, cheaper.


  11. Mickey says:

    May I ask what kind of harness and device you use with your dog pulling you on your recumbant bike? My Shepherd wants to pull so badly:) I tried her pulling a plastic toboggan sled with groceries from the car to the house and she was SO happy to be doing it !! On lead of course to control her..but what do you use to safely do this? Thank you



    Love it ! But sadly my puppy dog was involved in a car accident. He has instantly learned to cope on three legs (two front and one rear). All that exercise is now beyond him, but he is still full of energy. What do you suggest ?
    He is a very intelligent Jack Russell aged 15 months.


    Minette Reply:

    He can still exercise! But swimming is a great idea


  13. Pam says:

    For the people that live in places like Minnesota, I can understand how it’s hard to work your dog out in the winter. I would put my dogs on the treadmill, and they loved it. For my really high energy dogs a backpack with 3 lb walking weights in the pockets, then a little laser fun after.


  14. I can’t get my 9 month old rescue to stop jumping me,once she starts I have to turn around ^ go inside!


    Minette Reply:

    Search jumping and self rewarding behaviors


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