How To Tire Out a Dog Safely and Effectively

Do you have an incredibly challenging dog? One who is extremely high energy, loud, and easily frustrated when things don’t go his way?

If you answer yes, perhaps they’re not receiving enough physical and mental exercise. Or, perhaps you have a breed that needs daily enrichment to be healthy and happy.

Don’t worry. There are ways to give your dog appropriate energy outlets so that they won’t have trouble calming down at the end of the day.

Below, we will share tips on how to burn your dog’s energy safely and effectively. Keep reading till the end to know how much exercise your dog needs and the typical dog overexertion symptoms.

Let’s dive in.

9 Tips on How to Tire Out a Dog Safely and Effectively

1. Play Games with Your Dog

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that alone time in the yard is an adequate energy outlet for your furry friend. 

To burn off your dog's energy, you can play fetch, treasure hunt (where you hide treats) tug-o-war, and even create an obstacle course.

A small white dog with a brown spot on its back playfully chases a red and blue toy

2. Keep Your Dog Mentally Stimulated

Aside from physical activity, mental exercise is also imperative to avoid problems in your dog. You can try scent games and nose work, which allow you to enrich your dog's mind while they channel their love for sniffing.

Nose introductions or “searches” are where you imprint a scent for your dog and train them to search for the object/item. You can start to train your dog by confining them to a smaller area and then hiding food in one place, and ask them to search for it by using a signal word, such as “seek”. 

Using puzzle toys and interactive games also allows for mental stimulation. These activities are guaranteed to tire out your dog safely and effectively.

3. Alternate Walking and Jogging

The most healthful and obvious way to tire out your dog is to make your dog exercise. Go on walks where you alternate between walking and jogging. Of course, the pace should depend on you and your dog’s health and age. 

A long walk, especially, will physically tire out your dog and will provide enough mental and physical stimulation.

Such activities include meeting new pups, new people, and new smells. 

4. Create an Indoor Obstacle Course

Another tip is to turn your living room into an obstacle course. Customize the area according to the space and create a challenging course.

Whether your furry friend has to weave through sofa pillows or jump over small barriers, your dog will appreciate the physical and mental stimulation. This training will improve your dog’s obedience and tire out your high-energy pup.

Looking for breeds that make the best indoor dog companion? Check out our guide on What Are The Best House Dogs?

A man holding a ball while playing with a small brown dog that is eagerly standing on its hind legs, ready to play

5. Teach Your Dog New Tricks or Commands

Dogs enjoy learning new things. Like playing games, learning new tricks and commands is also mentally stimulating for dogs.

Be mindful that they may be bored if you always use the same tricks and games. So, switch it up every time they master a trick.

Teaching them dog verbal commands will likewise be great for recall training, which will help prevent life-threatening and dangerous situations.

Communicating clearly with your dog is essential to the dog’s training. Here’s a guide to help you form a stronger bond of communication with your furry friend: Dog Training Hand Signals - All You Need To Know

6. Sign Up for a Dog-Training Class

If your canine friend lacks socialization skills with other humans or dogs, you may want to sign him up for dog training classes. These classes balance mental and physical activity, which will in turn tire out your pup at the end of the day.

In addition to physical and mental exercise, a professional dog trainer can teach your dog to walk better on a leash and feel more comfortable with other dogs. 

A man and his dog sit side by side  both wearing matching Sparkpaw's hoodies


7. Go on Trips

A walk oftentimes won’t be enough to tire out an energetic breed. Thus, our next tip is to go on trips with your pet.

A trip to the dog park will give your dog the combination of socialization and physical activity while allowing you to meet fellow pet owners. 

If you live close to a beach and it’s dog-friendly, take your furry pal along. This will provide an interesting excursion; The beach is full of new smells and has endless sand for your pet to run on. It’s a great place to throw a frisbee and let the dog catch it.

A bit of water, sunlight, and fresh air on the beach are likely to calm any nerves you and your dog may have. By the end of the day, both of you will feel relaxed and happy.

You may also want to visit dog-friendly campgrounds.

Interesting Read: Summer Is Here! It's the Perfect Time to Plan Outdoor Dog Activities with Your Canine Companion

8. Incorporate Interactive Playtime in Your Dog’s Routine

This is beyond just playing games occasionally with your canine friend. Instead, you incorporate interactive game sessions in their routine to keep them active and tire them out at the end of the day.

Use toys like interactive puzzles, frisbees, and balls to encourage mental stimulation and physical activity. 

You may also want to engage your pet in agility games, such as navigating obstacle courses, weaving through poles, and jumping over hurdles. Living near dog parks can offer a fantastic opportunity to easily incorporate playtime and physical activity into your dog’s routine.

9. Throw a Dog Party

Lastly, throw the ultimate dog party, inviting their doggy pals. 

Consider having frisbees, a doggy obstacle course, tennis balls, and a kiddie pool where dogs can splash. All these things can get the dog tired and more relaxed at night.

A Corgi wearing a colourful bow tie sits between a fluffy poodle and a white cat against a pink

But for a more practical option, you can take your high-energy dog to someone else’s dog party instead.

Just ensure you have a good leash or collar at the ready in case your dog is uncomfortable. 

Invest in a quality dog collar that’s made to last. Check out this comfort control dog collar set with a poop bag holder. 

Signs of Overexertion in Dogs and When to Stop

While exercise provides your canine friends with mental and physical benefits, it should not be an invitation to overwork them.

Here are signs to know your dog is getting too much exercise:

Joint Injuries

Joint injuries are strains or sprains in the joints. It creates a lot of stress on their limbs, especially toe joint injuries. A limp is a sign of a joint injury. 

Some dog breeds, such as Dachshunds and Basset Hounds, are at greater risk of developing joint injuries, especially those with unusually shaped joints and long bodies low to the ground.

Behavioral Changes

As a fur parent, we believe you know your dog inside out. That’s how you can quickly and immediately recognize behavioral changes. 

If your dog suddenly loses interest in their treats or playtime, you might want to give them a rest. 

Sore Muscles

Muscular stiffness and pain are also signs of overexertion in dogs. Common signs of sore muscles include refusing to walk up or down the stairs, refusing to jump, or whining when moving. They might also struggle to get up once they have laid down to rest.

Rough Paw Pads

Pad injuries are extremely painful for dogs. Overworked pads appear red, thinner than normal, worn away, and have tears with flaps of skin. If the paw pads are infected, you may see pus or swelling.


Heat exhaustion is one of the most common symptoms of the dog getting too much exercise. You’ll notice that your dog will breathe heavily, pant excessively, or vomit.  If left untreated, it can be fatal.

We suggest you take special care during winter and summer to moderate your pet’s activities accordingly. A quality cooling vest can reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses like heat stroke and exhaustion. 

A dog wearing Sparkpaws’ Dog Cooling Vest


Each to His Own: Understanding Your Dog’s Exercise Needs 

The amount of exercise or physical activity your dog needs depends entirely on its breed, age, and lifestyle.

High-Energy Breeds

Generally, dogs need at least 45 minutes of exercise daily. But if you’ve got an active and healthier dog, go for at least 60 minutes to eliminate their excess energy.

High-energy dog breeds include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Eskimo Dog, Beagle, Basenji, and the Australian Shepherd. 

If you don’t lead an active lifestyle, it may not be a good idea to adopt a high-energy breed.

Senior Dogs and Puppies

Puppies have more energy than adult dogs, so they need more exercise. They are also constantly growing. Still, proper training and activities are as important for senior dogs as for puppies.

Apartment or Small-Space Living Considerations

For example, if you live in an apartment, you might need to exercise your dog more than once a day. Especially if you have a high-energy dog.

How To Set Realistic Training Goals

To set realistic training goals, determine the activity levels your dog needs and reduce them when it has health issues. Consider your dog’s age and your vet’s recommendation, too.

Next, think about your dog’s individual preferences and breed. Remember that every dog, lifestyle, and family is different. 

Maybe you live in the suburbs, are an adventurer, or are a city dweller.  The trick, therefore, is to balance your dog’s exercise routine and lifestyle as the pet owner to avoid canine overexertion.

If you live with your family, ensure other members are on board with your dog’s training goal. Lastly, track your progress. A few simple notes after training will help you see your progress and let you know if it is slow.

A dog energetically jumps over a hurdle in an outdoor agility course

Help Your Furry Friend Find a Happy Balance

Having a dog is a long-term commitment. The moment you bring them into your home, they’re yours forever.

Keeping your dog well-behaved and healthy makes you happier as a pet owner. What better way to achieve that than by ensuring your dog receives great mental and physical stimulation?

Now, what are you waiting for? Step away from your phone or computer and have fun with your furry best friend.