“It’s just a phase,” they’d say as my 6-month-old Lab-mix, Riser, would rip up my carpet, shred my shoes and destroy toilet paper. I quickly became a frustrated Dog Mom, but it was all worth it.
I rescued Riser when she was just 12-weeks old. She was a timid little pup with a quirky personality. As time went on and she adjusted to my apartment, her true colors began to show! I will never forget the day I came home and found the padding and carpet shredded all over my apartment. I was devastated. I knew something had to change and that her behavior was caused by a bigger problem.
Riser is quite the mix of higher energy breeds. According to her DNA test, she is a Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Jack Russell Terrier and Pug. Whew, that’s a lot! Jack Russell Terriers have a very high energy level and are known for being “hyper”. Instead of being frustrated, I did some research. It is important to be patient and recognize that your pup is a baby. They’re growing, learning, and adjusting to their life with you.
While researching, the first thing that I noticed was that heavy chewing and destructive behavior can be a sign of anxiety in puppies. Riser was rescued at 12-weeks and came from a foster home. Because of this, I wasn’t too sure of what could have caused her anxiety. Riser follows me everywhere and will bark if she cannot see me in her line of vision. Jack Russell Terrier pups are known to have severe separation anxiety. I knew that based on Riser’s behavior, I had to find something to ease her mind that her Dog Mom was never leaving her side.
Throughout our day Riser would play with me at work. I took her on brisk little walks around my apartment complex and took time to socialize her with other pups and people. I began to crate train Riser at 12-weeks old. When we first started training, she would scream, bark, and jump in her crate. I introduced Riser to her Snuggle Puppy during our first months together. The Snuggle Puppy stayed in the crate and Riser’s destructive behavior was starting to subside. I noticed that she would spend time in her crate outside of my work schedule and that it became her safe zone.
When I wasn’t at work, I made sure Riser was super active. We have a dog park inside of my apartment complex that we would visit every day. I noticed that the more we walked, the less ‘crazy’ she would act. With high energy dogs, it’s important to keep their mind busy. When I would work from home, I would give riser puzzle toys that dispense treats. She loves her treats! The treat dispensing toys serve as exercise for her physically, and mentally.
As a high-energy dog mom, the best tip I can share is to be patient. Not every pup is the same. It’s important to recognize that your pup loves you and just wants to make your days brighter. Accidents and destructive chewing are going to happen and that is ok. Take time to get to know your pup, their habits and help incorporate activities that best suit their lifestyle.
From one dog parent to another, here are my tips to help your high-energy dog burn off their energy.
Take plenty of walks!
It doesn’t matter how long or short they are, just make sure your dog is out and active throughout the day.
Keep a variety of toys around to keep their paws busy
Puzzle toys and toys with indestructible squeakers are great for extended playtime. Riser loves Tender-Tuffs!
Get a Snuggle Puppy!
Snuggle Puppy helps keep your dog calm throughout the day. Puppies sleep an average of 18-20 hours a day.
The Snuggle Puppy Blog has many tips and tricks for new dog parents. As a fellow dog mom, I’d recommend checking out ‘How to keep your dog entertained indoors’.