9 Wonderful Ways To Tire Out Your Labrador


Tiring out my Labrador is actually a lot of fun, and doesn’t have to take a super long time either. Whether you’re going for a stroll together, playing fetch, swimming or making your own obstacle course, the sky’s the limit! Today I’ll share the things that have most successfully chilled out my busy fur baby!

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 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!

Yellow labrador retriever running towards the camera on a sunny day.

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!

Labrador Retriever standing in the lake in summer

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 backyard, 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!

Dog pulling rope

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!

labrador retriever dog


Labradors are energetic and lively dogs. They enhance our days by passing along this enthusiasm for living life to the full.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson(paid link)
9 Wonderful ways to tire out your bouncy Lab

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 Programย 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website


  1. These are great tips for wearing out any dog. My rescue cockapoo, Henry does great especially with playdates and running. He also gets tired out on a long hike.

    I’m sharing with my dog friends. d๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿถ

  2. Got a rescue part lab part terrior he runs around the garden constantly can’t get him to stop he has three acers to run all fenced have two other dogs the just look at him like he’s crazy I’ve tried almost every thing is this normal??? Help

  3. Daycare at a really good facility is another way to tire out your Lab. My boy goes two half days a week, and is still worn out the next day!

  4. Sharon, I’m not sure if you’ll ever see this, because I’m just seeing your message above and therefore my reply is arriving late. But, may God truly bless you (and Noah). And, may you ALWAYS remember that there is NOTHING that can separate us from the love of God – neither death nor life (Rom 8:38-39). And, the same God that keeps us on this side is also the same God who will love us and keep us (including your wonderful son) on the other side of life. Please keep your hand in His hand, in Jesus’ name. God bless you forevermore.

  5. Our kids play hide and seek with our lab! She loves sniffing them all out when they finally yell out the โ€œSeek!โ€ command.

  6. Tracking was the only way to tire my lab puppy out! 2 2hour walks and he would still be ready to go, but to track 10 yards would knock him out for an hour????

  7. We utilize the Kong toys and place her kibble meal in it. Chasing that toy around for dinner mentally stimulates her to a nice point of exhaustion!

  8. My chocolate lab was neutered on Thursday…he is 8 1/2 yrs old. His father was a champion and my son wanted to breed him…but he died suddenly. So finding him such a handful..I thought it was time to neuter Noah. Today is the 5th day since surgery and I know he has to be kept quiet…the vet gave me enough meds but he is already (with the help of wooden stairs) jumping on a queen size bed…It is my son’s bed where they slept together every nite.We both miss my son so much, as he died Dec 20 2016…it has been traumatic for Noah and then to abandon him at the vet (not really) I did leave him there 3 nites because of his energy and chance of infection…it is raining for 5 days. I cannot walk him…I am old but hearty. The vet said it will take 2 wks before the cone comes off his head…I don’t think that is possible…what is the minumim time to take the cone off…I gave him extra meds to keep him from jumping on the bed…I fixed up his cage with the door open..my son’s comforters for a cushion.Love my chocolate lab, Noah because he belonged to my son…whom I love and miss deeply. I have a fenced in backyard…but it is so muddy and hasn’t stopped raining.

  9. Doggie daycare is another wonderful way to tire out your pup, and socialize him at the same time! Labs thrive in a good daycare, and you have a guarantee of a relaxed evening at home after.

  10. I had a Lab who was my Masters agility dog and went on to have a second career in hunt testing. She was fixated on the tug rope (to the point that you could helicopter her) but her mouth was perfect. She never mussed a feather on a bird – even one that was badly shot up.

  11. Just can’t believe some so called “experts”! Tug of war with a lab?? We need it to keep its natural “soft mouth”, please think!

    • Don’t panic Paul! There are now numerous successful gundog trainers (helen phillips, author of clicker gundog for example) who have demonstrated that playing tug does not cause hard mouth. On the contrary, some modern trainers are actually using techniques like this to resolve mouth issues once thought incurable. ๐Ÿ™‚