High Energy Dog?
I have a 3 year old male, neutered Pit Mix that I adopted when he was 4 months old. I learned early on he was very smart. He was walking with me without a leash since 8 months. Not only is he smart but physically gifted.
I haven’t had to work since I got him and early on also noticed how my exercise he needed. Not uncontrollable Lab type exercise chasing a ball but more of a mental and physical collie type herding energy. But we don’t have a farm. Instead of sheep he seems to obsess about squirrels.
I’m having a hard time trying to condense my question.
I spend anywhere from 4-6 hours a day exercising this dog. From long walks (4-7 miles) to some ball throwing (which he is bored of after a short time) to him walking quickly beside me while I ride a bike.
I feel like I am in tune with him. What he really needs is a massive chunk of land to hunt on. Or at least mentally and physically seek out animals. He is dog friendly, not in a playful way but enjoys saying hi and is rather quickly on his way; in a I have more important things to do kind of way. Though I dedicate many hours a day to stimulating his needs it’s just too much. I’m all for a 8 mile walk in the morning or even 10 but that has to be it for the day. And it’s not. He recovers so quick.
My question is has anyone had a similar situation and medicated their dog and has it been positive? Like I said, if he needs 2 or 2.5 a day is acceptable to me. But this is too much.
- 3 weeks ago
Shelties are agile and naturally athletic. They have strong herding instincts, enjoying a good run in an enclosed area.
- OcimomLv 73 weeks ago
Have you ever considered agility training with your dog? You might want to look into that. BTW your dog should NOT be off leash (especially being a pit bull). And Pits do NOT herd anything - he just chases squirrels. If you think a large piece of land that your dog can run loose is the answer - your dog WILL end up dead - either from a bullet or a truck/auto on the road!
If you are smart, then consider agility. The dogs have to be neutered/spayed in order to train in agility.
- E. H. AmosLv 73 weeks ago
LOL! I am going to jump on the same bandwagon... as Simpson, Lorraine & Jojo. All you've done is build a super-fit dog but you've done NOTHING to work his brain. This already has... turned into a BOTTOMLESS PIT.
The higher the energy - the more intelligence most dogs have. Some are more compliant and easy to train than others, but most dogs were developed to DO A JOB. When they don't get a JOB (aka any mental stimulation) they can become destructive or difficult. You do not seem to have any any experience with such dogs, through prior ownership, doing any training or socialization. (There is more to exercising smart dogs than a 8-10 miles walk.) And smart owners who are less fit, or have less time THAN YOU - have learned some of the tricks. (PS plain walks regardless of speed - get BORING!)
Your dog needs to get some new activities (often easier to manage, if you get good instruction (per dog club classes; but many are doable on your own). I suggest you need to get "PLUGGED IN" to the inner dog world -like your local Staffy club or a group of owners or an all breed kennel club. (If in the USA, the AKC has a list dog dog clubs by state.)
Nose work can be learned off the internet & would be a fun thing to do (in the house or yard) as would the more involved, AKC tracking & yes... even mutts are allowed at tests, but you can learn the activity FOR THE FUN of it. Most dogs love to find stuff w/ their noses.
Your dog NEEDS to be in agility!!! He'd love it & it is a very active, fast-paced sport, so you'd like it, too. He may like more advanced obedience but if you do not TRY it -you'll never know. Some dog clubs or dog groups hold classes in BARN HUNTS (yes, the dog has to find safely enclosed critters or objects) and there is also lure coursing - open to all dogs not just sight hounds (if your dog likes to chase stuff).
As to exercise, get a doggie backpack you can put weights in, or learn the secret of "roading" done by most bird dog hunters (off season) where the dog wears a harness & pulls a length of chain, on each side... as he walks or runs across a field. (It doubles or triples the amount of exercise; over a given time period.) He may enjoy swimming & water retrieves (including dock diving.... for distance.) Swimming is a great hot weather exercise. Even drafting (weight pulling) - which is a dog sport, might be something he'd like if you use the correct equipment. And yes, he probably would enjoy one or two days a week in doggie day care, where he can play with OTHER dogs..... all day long. His mind will be VERY busy. Owning Weimaraners for over 35 years (who are not mindlessly crazy if focused on work) we gave the dogs 3 activities a week, aside from daily exercise.
- JojoLv 73 weeks ago
Yes, I`m of the same mind as Simpson and Lorraine. There is more to tiring a dog out than giving it loads of physical exercise.
Mental stimulation is just as important to high energy dogs, and you do not mention any training you do with your dog! Its said and accepted that just 20 minutes of tracking or other nosework like searching can make a dog feel more tired than an hours running about exercise.Tracking and finding objects on a laid track track can simulate hunting in a way and most dogs really enjoy doing it. Also a daily set routine can prove settling for a high energy dog as they learn when to expect the events of the day and what time they happen, so they are not uptight all day wondering when their owner is going to interact with them fully for a few hours. And yes, the fitter the dog, the more it will want to be `on the go`.Its not necessary to have an ultra fit dog unless its going to worked in competition regularly or do proper physical work like herding sheep or hauling sledges etc.I walk MY high energy 2 year old male GSD for between 2-3 hours daily rain or shine and he gets my full attention for that time. Almost every walk involves doing a multiple search of hidden articles in woodland or fields and of course this also incorporates essential obedience exercises like Sit, sit and stay, Stay down and wait.Come,(recall) Leave, and `seek backs`, where I drop an article and about 500 yards walk on, send the dog to seek back and find it. These exercises involve the dog using his brain and helps to tire him out mentally. Its also fun for the dog and for you.Of course you can still play fetch games with the dog and any other games, but do not allow the dog to take over the whole day and expect attention from you whenever he is feeling bored. That`s why routine is so important. My dog will sometimes do his utmost to engage me in tugging games etc when I am watching the TV in the evenings, but if I ignore him for long enough he gets the message and settles. Yes, he does recover from exercise quite fast but knows his daily routine now and accepts it. I hope my answer helps a bit, at least.Source(s): GSD owner for 56 years.
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- LorraineLv 73 weeks ago
I'm with Simpson completely... all you've done is 'build the athlete'. Think about it...
How does an athlete build strength and stamina ? To do a little better / quicker / longer each day. That's what you've done for the dog.
He needs, as Simpson says, MENTAL stimulation by way of games and puzzles, obedience work... a good lesson per day leading to something like agility etc. You could even try 'tracking' or 'mantrailing' as this will tire him out as well.
You are the one that has built the dog up to do this amount of exercise and therefore caused your own problems.
- AngelLv 73 weeks ago
Try challenging his mind with complex puzzles, or work on training above and beyond normal dog tricks. Things like picking up trash and putting it in a basket, same with laundry, pick up manned objects. Go to a mark and stay there. You could possibly work on dancing with the dog, there are many complex things he would need to learn ands carry out while focused on you or even running an obstacle coarse. For my obsessive high energy dogs that never tire we have tried lure chasing but the one they absolutely live the most is fly ball,high energy fast paced fun.
- PearlLv 73 weeks ago
maybe you should pay someone to help you take care of him
- Simpson G.Lv 73 weeks ago
What are you doing to *work* this dog? You say he’s a quick learner, but all you’re really doing for his brain and body energy is making him walk. That’s some exercise, but it’s not what this dog needs.
He needs puzzle toys and feeders. He needs to have obedience work an hour a day. You can also look into competitive obedience and agility. He may do well in daycare a few days a week also.