As you will soon notice, your puppy has tons of energy! You will be tempted to run him ragged in order to wear him out and protect your valuables from being knocked over or chewed to bits. It is a great idea to encourage play with toys by either teaching your puppy to retrieve or playing a game of tug (just make sure you can start and stop the tug game and don’t give your puppy the control). Just running around with him in the backyard is another great way to help him release some of that pent up physical energy. Walks around the neighborhood are another way to give your puppy some exercise and also give you the opportunity to exercise and practice obedience.
Too much exercise can hurt your puppy
One thing you must know is excessive exercise can be damaging to your puppy. Prolonged runs around the neighborhood, for example, can damage your puppy’s joints as their growth plates are not fully fused until they are about one year old. Until this time, resist the urge to take him on a long distance run with you. Also if the climate is really hot and/or humid, you need to be watching for signs of exhaustion.
How to recognize puppy exhaustion
Your puppy may get lethargic and his tongue will start hanging out of his mouth. In fact, his tongue will begin to turn purple and get swollen and his gums will start to lose their natural pink color. He may be foaming at the mouth also. He may even become unsteady on his feet or fall over. If you see these signs in your dog, immerse them in cold water as soon as possible. Prolonged exhaustion or heat stroke can be fatal.
Puppy Mental Exercise
Mental exercise is also important. If you can’t always give them physical exercise, you will need to give them something to stimulate their minds. Training is the perfect way to exercise their brains. Two 7-10 minute sessions a day will keep your puppy’s mind moving and you will also see fast progress in training. A Kong (see toy section) stuffed with some peanut butter or squeeze cheese is a great toy to keep your puppy occupied for a time. Exercise your puppy daily, physically and/or mentally because a bored puppy is a destructive puppy!