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How Can I Tire Out My Dog?

Learn some of the best ways to make a dog tired.

Have you ever heard the saying that a tired dog is a good dog? What that means is that a dog that's been satisfied with lots of physical and mental activity is less likely to engage in behaviors humans don't like, such as destruction of property. They're also more likely to let you sleep all night without trying to entice you to get up and spend time with them.

But many dogs seem to have an endless supply of energy. How can you tire out your dog when you need him to be calm?

Here are a few sure-fire ways to get your pup tired out and ready to rest.


Tug-of-war takes a lot of energy. It's physical and mental, as your dog figures out how to use his weight and position to win the game.

Many people feel that dogs shouldn't play tug-of-war because it can trigger dominance aggression toward humans, but there's no evidence that's the case. However, dogs that already exhibit dominance aggression or that growl or snarl during tug-of-war shouldn't be allowed to play it (and should have behavior training for their aggression).

Some dogs seem to know what tug-of-war is all about automatically, but others don't appear to understand how to play. If you want to train your dog to play tug-of-war, you can check out this article to learn how (as well as the rules for playing it, which include your dog never allowing his teeth to touch your skin): "How to Teach Your Dog to Play Tug-of-War."


Fetch is one of the all-time best ways to run the energy out of your dog. If you have a nice big space where dogs are welcome, and your dog responds reliably to the Come command, you can have him run out his energy with this game. Learn more: "How to Teach a Dog to Fetch."

And, to save your arm, you can try an easy-throw tool like this one: Tennis Ball Launcher.

Chasing Bubbles

Playing bubbles with dogs pretty fun. Dogs love to chase bubbles. Of course, some of them don't know what they are intuitively, but once you show them how, you will see much chasing, leaping, and pouncing with tongue lolling.

And chasing bubbles can tire a pup out because there's so much physicality to it. Plus, it's interactive play with a human, and dogs love that.

Swimming or Chasing Sprinkler Water

Swimming is a tiring activity for humans and dogs. If your dog likes to swim and there's a body of water nearby, you can use it as a regular activity to tire your dog out.

It may not be a good idea to use a pool for this because the chemicals may be too harsh for routine exposure, especially if you don't rinse him off thoroughly every time. Of course, you should do that when your dog swims in any body of water and use an ear cleaner containing a drying agent to help keep the ears from getting infected.

Dog doesn't know how to swim? Find out how to teach him: "How to Teach Your Dog to Swim."

If swimming won't work, playing in a sprinkler might. Dogs love chasing the moving water, snapping at it, and leaping and twirling in the droplets.

Train on an Agility Course

Agility is a fantastic pastime for high-energy dogs. That's because it gets out both physical and mental energy. You can sign up for an agility class and take it with your dog or do it at home. The running, leaping, and paying attention that are required to learn and perform a doggie obstacle course can be tiring, and your dog will probably settle right down for a rest after each session.

You May Also Like These Articles:

How to Teach a Dog to Fetch

Tug Of War

How to Teach a Dog to Heel

How to Tell If Your Dog Is Bored

Obesity in Dogs: Overview of Causes and Dangers

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