How to Tire Out a Puppy? 8 Ways to Handle Your Energetic Pup

Last Updated on June, 2023

Puppies need a lot of physical and mental exercise, and sometimes we don’t have enough time to give it to them. The end result is a hyperactive and mischievous pup. 

So how do you deal with a super-energetic puppy? By tiring him out!

Luckily, there are many simple and fun methods to tire out your energetic pup. You have a lot of options ranging from interactive games to play dates.

We will take you through the best ways to tire out a hyperactive puppy.

So keep reading to find out 8 proven ways to calm down your super energetic pup and get him on his best behavior.

Why Should You Tire Out Your Puppy?

A human giving ball to a puppy

Puppies need both physical and mental workouts. Things can get ugly if dogs don’t find a way to release their pent-up energy. 

Digging holes in the backyard, chewing out the furniture, destroying the toilet paper, and excessive barking are just a few annoying habits of a high-energy pup.

Living with a high-energy puppy is frustrating. Also, if your pup is too energetic, it’s entirely normal for him to be disobedient. You won’t be able to get any work done, let alone train your puppy.

Tiring your dog with plenty of physical exercises is the best way to deal with a mischievous, over-energetic dog.

How to Tire Out a Puppy? (8 Ways)

1. Play A Game

Puppies love nothing more than playtime. And there are some super fun and easy games to play with your dog. 

Playing games is a great way to interact with your dog while tiring him out. You can play, teach your dog new commands, and bond with him simultaneously. Also, you can play all these games with your puppy indoors, so they are also perfect for a rainy day.

Play Fetch

Fetch is the easiest game to play with a puppy. You can play fetch with a ball, chew toy, or even a stick in the backyard. It is also a simple game that puppies learn in just a few tries.

A big pro is that playing fetch will only tire out your dog. All you must do is sit back and throw the stick for your puppy to fetch.

Play Tug-Of-War

Tug-Of-War is the perfect way to exercise your dog, but only if you do it correctly. There are tug toys built for puppies, or you can make a DIY tug toy at home. Twist an old shirt/cloth to make a quick tug toy.

Make sure not to pull on the tug toy aggressively because it can teach your dog to be aggressive. Tugging too hard may risk damaging your pup’s baby teething as well.

Tug-Of-War of war is also an excellent time to teach your dog the “drop-it” command and impulse control.

Play Hide And Seek

Hide and seek is a basic but fun way to tire out your dog physically and mentally. It will also help your pup to develop his listening and sniffing skills. 

The only downside is that teaching a puppy to stay without following you until you hide can be challenging. But once your dog has mastered this, it’s a fun game for both of you.

2. Set Up An Agility Course

This method takes a bit of time and effort to set up. But afterward, you can relax while your dog burns off his excess energy.

You can build an obstacle course either indoors or outdoors. If your puppy is too young to be out alone, an indoor agility course is the best option.

Be aware not to use any items that could harm your dog. A good idea is to start building the course step by step and let your pup try out each step before moving on to the next stage. Some household items you can use to construct your agility course include empty cardboard boxes, hula hoops, and pillows. For example, a long cardboard box with cut ends would make a great tunnel!

Once your pup is older, you can move on to a more challenging outdoor agility course. You’ll have to spend a few bucks on the outdoor agility equipment, but it’ll be worth the money and effort. (1)

Agility training is an excellent exercise for your dog. It’s especially beneficial for high-energy working breeds, and helps in building up endurance, strengthens the muscles and bones, and prevents diseases.

3. Design A Scavenger Hunt

Dogs are natural scavengers. They enjoy spending time looking for food.

A scavenger hunt is a great idea to stimulate your dog both mentally and physically. It develops your dog’s sense of smell and keeps his mind engaged. And, your dog is bound to be tired after a few hours of scavenging.

You can set up a scavenger hunt either indoors or outdoors. It’s simple to set up. For example, rather than putting food in your dog’s bowl, spread it around the house and let him find it. 

You can use a kong toy filled with food, puzzles, and other creative ways to hide treats. This makes the scavenger hunt long-lasting and more fun for your dog. You can even use simple leftover items to vamp up the scavenger hunt. For example, stuff like cups, leftover paper towel rolls, and empty cardboard boxes are good hiding places for treats.

If your dog is too excited to wait until you hide the food, you can crate him or keep him in another room until you set up everything.

4. Mental Stimulation With Puzzles

Never underestimate the power of mental enrichment. Providing adequate mental stimulation is almost equal to a long walk. Dogs that get more mental stimulation are unlikely to develop behavior issues.

Getting your dog to play with puzzles will tire him out. Most puzzle toys reward your pup with treats. So you can feed your dog, and he’ll be tired afterward from all the focus.

Leaving around a couple of puzzle toys will keep your pup’s brain fired up and active. But if you have some time on your hands, you can quickly build a fun game for your dog all by yourself. Here are a couple of ideas for a DIY puzzle toy.

Treats in a bottle: cut out a couple of holes in a plastic bottle. Add a few small treats into the bottle and close the lid. Make sure the holes are big enough to let the treats out when you move the bottle. Let your dog roll around the bottle until he can get to the treats. 

Muffin tin and tennis balls: Place a small treat on each cup of a muffin tray. Cover each treat with a tennis ball. Allow your pup to find a way to move out the tennis balls and get to the goodies.

5. Teach Your Pup A New Trick

Teaching your dog a new trick is sure to make your dog tired and intelligent at the same time. Also, training your dog from a young age makes your pup more curious and eager to learn. Dogs start learning about their new world as soon as they open their eyes, so the sooner you start training, the easier it’ll be. 

Once your dog is around 8 weeks old, he can grasp basic commands. So this is the best time to start basic training. Then you can slowly move to new tricks. “Shake hands” is a good beginner’s trick. Later, you can move on to more complex tricks like “roll-over,” “drop it,” etc.

Most puppies learn new tricks fast. But don’t be frustrated if your pup takes a bit longer to catch up. Dogs learn at their own pace; the best you can do for them is to keep the training happy and consistent.

Training your puppy is also a way to connect with your dog. So regardless of which methods you use to tire out your puppy, it’s a good idea to set aside a few minutes daily for training. It’s an excellent way to use your pup’s mental energy and make him more obedient.

Also, keep your training sessions short and fun. And, don’t forget to reward your puppy for his good behavior.

6. Arrange A Playdate

Playdates are as important to dogs as they are to children. It is an excellent way for your pup to socialize and play games with other dogs. In addition, a fun play date is bound to leave your puppy tired and relaxed.

The secret to a great play date is preparation and planning. If you plan a playdate in your yard, prep the yard beforehand and remove objects that can injure the puppies.

You can also arrange some toys and fun games for the puppies. For example, you can build a sandpit for the pups if you have enough space in your yard. A sandpit is super easy to set up. Just get an inflatable swimming pool and fill it with sand. Then, you can bury a few toys in the sand for the puppies to dig out. This will keep the dogs busy and happy for hours.

You can easily plan a playdate with another dog owner. Most pet owners love keeping their dogs occupied for a few hours. However, if you find it hard to arrange a playdate for your pup, you can enroll him in a puppy socialization program.

Make sure your puppy is fully vaccinated before introducing him to other pets. Young dogs are ready for socialization about seven days after their first round of vaccinations. It would be best if you also dewormed your dog before introducing him to other pets. 

It’s much easier to socialize a young puppy than an older dog. So don’t wait too long before introducing your dog to new pets and people.

7. Visit A Pet-Friendly Store With Your Puppy

Dog-friendly stores are springing up everywhere, and I’m pretty sure there is one in your neighborhood. Most pet product stores like Petsmart and Petco allow you to bring along your pet. In addition, some supermarkets and cafes allow you to shop and dine with your pet.

Taking your dog to the store will introduce him to a bunch of new people and other pets. This increases your puppy’s social skills and teaches him to behave around strangers. Also, it’s deemed to make your shopping much more fun.

Remember to leash your pet securely and comfortably before taking him to public areas. Dogs get excited quickly, and you don’t want to risk your dog running away in a mall. 

Schedule your first visit to a pet-friendly store during a not-so-busy time. This way, your pup won’t get over-excited by a large crowd. Giving your dog a short walk and potty time before walking him to a store is always a good idea.

8. New Experiences: Walks And Treats

New activities, sights, and smells are the key to a well-rounded and healthy puppy. 

A daily walk is a super way to relax a dog with too much energy. Taking your pup to the dog park or just letting him walk in the backyard is a good way to burn off energy.

Start by heading to a new park or letting your puppy play with new objects. If there are a couple of different parks or walking paths, take your pup on a different trail whenever possible.

If you have some time on your hands, head out to a beach with your pup. A beach day is a fun and exciting way to tire out your dog. Your puppy will enjoy running around, and digging holes and you are bound to have a great time as well. 

Swimming is another great new activity for your dog. You can let your puppy swim after he is 10 weeks old. Swimming is an excellent exercise and a way to tire out an energetic dog.

If your puppy is going out for his first walk, he’ll experience so many new things like bikes, people, and other pets. Don’t rush your puppy. Give him plenty of time to check things out, and gently encourage him to keep the walk going. 

Puppies are extra curious in a new environment. Therefore, always use a long leash that allows your dog to explore while ensuring his safety.

Start by going on a short walk and increasing the distance daily. Don’t forget to take some treats with you to reward your puppy for good behavior.

After a long walk, your dog will be super relaxed, obedient, and ready for a nap.

Benefits of Tiring Out Your Puppy

Puppy running

Reduces anxiety: If your dog is clingy and gets frustrated whenever you leave them, he may have separation anxiety. A good way to address this issue is to make your pup busy and tired. A tired dog will settle down faster.

Makes your dog more obedient: A calm puppy is more obedient than a hyperactive energetic pup. Your pup will listen to you better and be easier to control and train.

You can do your household chores peacefully: A hyperactive dog will follow you around the house, begging for attention. If your puppy frustrates you by barking or pawing at you, he’s probably not getting exercise. Once you tire your puppy, he will leave you alone for a few hours, so you can finally get some work done.

Reduces destructive behavior: Dogs that bark a lot, chew on furniture, or dig huge holes in the backyard are just bored. They need a way to spend their excess energy. You can minimize destructive behavior by providing a safe outlet for your dog to use his energy.

Makes your pup healthier: Providing your pup with regular physical exercise tires him out and makes him healthy and fit. 

How Much Physical Exercise Does My Puppy Need?

A puppy exercising

Dogs are highly energetic, but how much exercise they need depends on the breed and your pup’s age. 

For every month of age, young puppies can walk for 5 minutes. So a 4-month-old pup needs about 20 minutes of physical activity. High-energy dogs like Border Collies and Huskies need much more physical exercise than less active dogs such as Pugs and Bulldogs.

Generally, a grown-up puppy needs at least 2 walks a day, especially if they live in a small space and don’t have access to a larger backyard. And a healthy adult dog needs at least 2 hours of daily physical activity. 

In addition to walks, a puppy needs constant physical and mental exercises to keep him occupied and entertained.



Puppies are bundles of joy. But, nobody wants to be around an over-excited, troublesome puppy. That’s why learning how to tire out a puppy is a must-know for dog owners. 

If you want to tire out a puppy without exhausting yourself, you can set up a scavenger hunt or a puppy play date. But if you want to interact more with your dog, a long walk, a game of fetch, or teaching a new trick is the way to go.

Tiring out your puppy is always a win-win situation. Your puppy will be happy and relaxed, while you will have some peace in the house. After all, a tired dog is a good dog.



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Thomas Villalpando is the main author of IPet Guides. He spends his time reading, training, and working with several Dogs' behaviors. You can find more about him here.

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