Is your wonderful Labrador just a little bit too excitable? Does he seem to need more exercise than he’s currently getting, but you’re not sure what more you can do? In this article we are going to look at 9 wonderful ways to tire out your Labrador.
Your Lively Labradors
Labradors are the most popular breed of dog in the UK and the USA today. And anyone who has spent five minutes with one of these wonderful animals can give you a truck load of reasons why. But sometimes the things that make them loveable are also a little bit wearing or even inconvenient!
Perhaps surprisingly, even the most devoted Labrador ‘parents’ sometimes tell us that they would love just a bit more down time at the end of the day. Ideally we want our lively Labs to enhance the fun of active daily life, then provide a relaxing partner in the evenings. But some Labs have more ‘get up and go’ than their friends. And that ‘get up and go’ just won’t quit.
So what do you do to get that well deserved down time at the end of the day, when living with a bundle of endless bounce? Here are some fun and fabulous ways to help your lovely but lively Labrador burn off that excess energy.
1. Don’t walk – run!
Instead of going for your daily plod around the park, pop on your best running shoes and take off at a faster pace. Good for you and good him too!
2. Play fetch as you go
Retrieving is a fabulous way of exercising your Labrador. Not only does it appeal to his basic breed instincts, it means he will get to rack up a lot more miles than you will actually cover. Bring a tennis ball or retrieving dummy and chuck it for him every few yards. Not only will he get more exercise, but he will feel even more inclined to stay nice and close to you waiting for his next turn!
3. Teach him to jump
Get some of that bounce out of his system by engineering safe ways for him to jump. Set up little jumps in the garden or when out in the fields. Just remember to follow safe jumping practices as described here!
4. Take him for a swim
Going for a dip is great exercise, and most Labs love the water. It’s also perfect for older dogs who want to exercise more than they are now able, as it’s not weight bearing. So not such a strain for sore joints!
5. Overcome agility obstacles
Agility is a fabulous exercise and a real bonding experience for you both. You don’t even have to attend a class to have fun with agility exercises. You can buy a basic kit to prop up in your garden, and give it a try all by yourselves!
6. Teach a new trick
Engaging your Labrador’s brain is another great way to focus his enthusiasm. Why not try teaching him a new party trick, like standing on his back legs or spinning in a circle? Great fun for you, rewarding and tiring for him!
7. Play tug of war
Lots of Labradors love to play tug. You can use a rope toy from the toy shop, or even an old towel. If he seems disinclined at the start, try wiggling it around on the floor and coaxing him into it. He probably won’t need a lot of encouragement!
8. Doggy play dates
If your Labrador is a social creature, and chances are he is, then inviting over a friend is a great way to tire him out. Go for a walk with a friend and her dog, or just invite them over to romp in the garden whilst you have a well deserved cup of coffee. Just make sure that if it’s a puppy they don’t get over tired, as young dogs are not great at knowing when to stop!
9. Two person recall
You will need a dog loving friend for this one! A fab way to practice your recall command as well as getting some miles under your Labrador’s belt is to stand in a field with a friend, calling the dog back and forth between you. Giving him a treat each time he arrives. You can gradually increase the distance as he works out the game!
Labradors are energetic and lively dogs. They enhance our days by passing along this enthusiasm for living life to the full.
Not only does exercising them sufficiently give them the happiness they deserve, it helps them to relax with the family at the end of the day.
What do you do to help your Lab bounce his beans away? Why not let us know in the comments box below:
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website