Ways to Tire Out High Energy Dog?

Ava goes at warp speed all day long. I take her to daycare, where she plays non-stop, tiring out all the other dogs until they need time away from her. She goes crazy in the car all the way home. She's still revved up, so I take her for a long walk, feed her, clicker train, then she's still going strong, so we play fetch and other games. I feed her in a kibble ball to keep even mealtime active and can get maybe a half-hour of downtime out of a bully stick. Around 10, she gets the zoomies and races around the house before finally settling down. She gets me up at 6, and we do it all over again. She won't nap.

Of course, there are many labels for this behavior. She's only six months old, so I'm hoping she will grow out of most of it. Has anybody had a dog like this? Any suggestions for ways to release energy or better cope with this non-stop activity? Maybe a different food? Some miracle toy that will occupy her? Herbal magic potion? (DAP and Rescue Remedy have no affect at all.) I don't have nearly as much energy as she does… and I'm afraid she's starting to wear out her welcome at daycare.

A bit young for it, but there are bike attachments. I've used the springer brand

You might try working to calm her down. It's possible to "teach" relaxation. Maybe she just doesn't know how to take it easy. I know from years of experience with Arabian horses that it is a losing game trying to tire them out with lunging or whatever so they will be quiet to ride. Best not to get them revved up in the first place, if you want a pleasant experience out on the trail. Maybe you can work on defining when it is O.K. to be crazy and when it is time to chill out and relax with the boss…..

I agree with eeeefarm, I was really worried about Basenjis due to all you read about them being let's say hyper, so when I got Kaiser and also having two cats to chase we tried hard not to get him excited about most things such as greetings/ cats/ people coming through the gate even going to the letterbox, I had to try and remember not tot rush for any sound or thing happening as he would pick up on my actions and could trigger a 500 or jumping. Time out in the crate when he got too excited and straight back out when he was calm and it worked but it took time and consistency. He has a few triggers that get him excited so he is not perfect but you can't take the 500 out of a Basenji and you wouldn't want to, I love watching him do it. I know Ava doesn't like her crate but maybe there is somewhere else she can go where she doesn't have any stimulants and she can calm herself. Also found Kaiser gets mentally tired from being able to stop and look at things and people, sniff and sniff on our walks, read that dogs also need mental exercise to tire them, maybe some hide and seek for rewards or following a scent to a reward. With Ava I think it will be trial and error. Another thought does she have a pleasure spot that you can just start to rub and bring her to relaxation that way speaking softly and calmly while you do it, Kaisers spot is between his front legs he just totally starts to go to sleep. Tha'ts my experience and ideas hope you can get some help out of it.

Jolanda and Kaiser

I'm not much help in this department but I would love to see updated pictures of the little fire bundle!!

You will shudder at this, but the thing that tires Butu out most is Dog Shows - I try to take him to at least one a week in Spring/Summer. Even though he's on the lead - he's thinking all the time and he's normally spark out for the evening… (Butu is not KC-registered or eligible to be, so I am talking 'fun' dog shows..)

Thanks for the suggestions! I will post again later. We had a typical crazy Ava day! The little bottlerocket got stung in the mouth eating a bumblebee. Her face and throat swelled up like a pufferfish, and I had to rush her in for a Benadryl shot. But awful as that was, it wasn't the worst part. I had just zapped the bee with wasp spray, and it flew away and dropped. Ava zoomed all the way across the yard like a heat-seeking missile and swallowed it before I could get to her. I wasn't sure if she got any of the poison from the bee, so we played it safe and induced vomiting. The vet just shakes her head now. I don't think anything will surprise her anymore.

I hate to use toxins and generally use organic products, but carpenter bees have started boring holes in my deck… hence the wasp spray. OMG, Ava-- Marley was a lamb compared to her!

I see you mention clicker training; have you tried teaching her tricks? Anubis was a high-energy puppy too (though Ava sounds like she's in a different league!), but starting 5 to 10 minutes of training silly tricks always got her focused. She's very food-orientated, which probably saved us there, but it's always been the best way to put an end to the zoomies. We start with tricks she knows well, then move onto more complicated stuff so she really has to burn some mental energy.

Ava has recovered from her bee "adventure" and most of the swelling is gone. Ah, the resiliency of youth…

I do try not to get Ava excited at home, but she comes out of daycare amped from all the zoom-zoom. I do calming signals with her, and that helps some, but massage and touchpoints don't work with her. My Spencer loved to be rubbed and brushed, but not Miss Ava. She doesn't seem to have an off switch. At daycare, they rotate dogs in and out, because Ava tires them out and won't let them rest. She wants to play-play-play all day! She's constantly moving-- she's even a restless sleeper, tossing and turning.

We do crate games from the DVD (thanks to agilebasenji's recommendation), along with other games, but I haven't really tried training tricks. Good tip-- thank you! Which tricks does Anubis like? Clicker training has worked well, because Ava is also food-motivated-- to a point. Her attention span is very short, so I try and do everything in short windows to keep it fresh and fun. I bought some of those IQ toys for mental stimulation, but that was a bust. She wants constant interaction with people or dogs and hates alone time.

I'll try and take some new pics this w/e, Chealsie. She's a big girl now-- hard to believe! She's grown so fast and no longer looks like a puppy at all.

I'm reminded of that song

Girls Just Wanna have Fun

Sounds like that might be her theme song

Same here - games that don't involve humans are no fun! There's a really good book on dog tricks that I highly recommend; it's clear and really fun:


Here's a few of Anubis's tricks 🙂

Oakley like sit, stay,lay down,roll over, paw (left hand), paw (other I call it)…and I play hide and seek with him...kinda nose work stuff- I take a piece of cheese or a hot dog and I let him see I have it then hide it..then I take him around the room and point where I want him to sniff until he finds it then click..he likes the game, hates waiting for me to hide it!! Perhaps u can get the daycare to take her out of play the last twenty minutes before u get her so they can start a calming routine with her so she's less stimulated when u pick her up?

the other thing to remember is that once she gets proficient with some behaviors, taking them on the road, can also be more tiring than doing them at home. (sort of a combination of what posters have suggested here.)

How about nosework/scentwork? Once she gets the hang of it, you can use it as a way to occupy her time around the house by hiding treats or eventually scented items.

Oops, just noticed Chealsie508 said that. :p

The advice offered here sounds all fine.
A question: are you yourself a calm person or do you have high energy also? (Your schedule with and without Ava sounds pretty intense…)
When Lela as a pup (and still occasionally) would go crazy, it would be because she was basically overly tired. One time, when corrections didn't work, I intuitively picked her up, and held her firmly, like a baby. She would settle down immediately and fall asleep in a minute.
On walks off leash I practice being active (stimulating their activities), and then settle down in a quiet place until Lela and Binti settle around me.

LOL– yes, that's her theme song-- Girls just wanna have FUN!

Here is an updated photo of the little funster looking innocent. She has turned into an excellent retriever (cause that's fun, fun, FUN!)

She is getting so big!!! How quickly time flies…one day they're little pups,the next big girls and boys!! Hopefully she will follow Oakleys path and one day just decided to be moderately naughty instead of extremely unbearably naughty...lol

I'm so glad she's retrieving for you! Zest loves it too! She really likes the egg babies. I found i can just get the replacement eggs adn that's much better. (here's what Z has: http://www.kingwholesale.com/Shopping/ProductInfo.cfm?Item=27733 but those "eggs" are dirt colored, so I got replacement eggs that are brightly colored. found out we really just like the "eggs" anyway.)

If it helps, Zest!'s agility theme song is "Train in Vain"

Unfortunately, Ava's not all that into scentwork– she gets easily frustrated and her frustration quickly turns to destruction when she can't find the treat right away, It's the same with those IQ toys-- if she can't figure it out pronto, she'll smash the toy... and damage floors, walls, furniture, anything nearby. It's like toddler tantrums. The behaviorist called it frustration intolerance.

And to answer kjdonkers' question, I'm neither super calm nor high energy-- I'm somewhere in the middle. I'm reasonably active and cool under pressure. But Ava can try my patience, and she knows exactly what will get my attention. Getting excited only revs her up, so I have worked at mastering calm. It's not easy-- and what's fun for Miss Ava isn't always fun for me. If I could just get her to do yoga with me...

BTW, Anubis' videos are amazing. They really are. All of you guys are doing incredible things with your Bs.

Yes, she's so big– I can't believe it, either! She is absolutely a teenager-- no more puppy!

Here are a few more photos. I had to resize them to upload.

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