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Sorry if this is a dumb question but I was just wondering how you can tell if you have a high or low energy dog? My minipoo puppy is 6 months old so she is currently high energy because she wants to play all the time like a typical puppy and is intrigued by everything. When can you tell if this is due to being high energy and no longer puppy energy? Would it be at the 1 year old mark? And what constitutes as being high energy during adulthood? Is it that they don't nap very much during the day or that they don't sit still and are always on their feet? Will it just be obvious at the time? I'm thinking that if she ends up being high energy will I be able to tell and give her what she needs or if she is low energy will I be trying to make her do too much when she doesn't want to do it. Not sure if my question has come across correctly. I know what I want to say but found it hard to put into words.
 

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I have known my puppies were high energy as soon as their personality came out after settling in my home. I guess it’s hard to know if it's your first dog and you have nothing to compare with. High energy dogs need a lot more exercise and stimulation than a middle ground or calm dog. They want more, they need more. But again, compared to what if you only know one dog ?

Depending on the size, dogs will hit maturity from 15-18 months for a toy to 3 years old for a standard (as spoo owners of this forum have said). At this age you will notice your dog has calmed down, to a certain point. With some dogs it’s very noticeable, with others, not so much.
 

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It’s a perfectly fine question. :) If you’ve not taught your puppy when and where it’s appropriate to settle, they’re probably going to seem high energy even if they’re quite average. Tired puppies, especially, can be overwhelming.

I know Peggy’s not high energy just by comparing her to other dogs we’ve met who are the same age. After puppy classes, she was completely wiped out. Now, as she approaches adulthood, a vigorous hour-long play session with doggy friends will leave her quite relaxed for a day or two.

That said, she is mentally alert by nature and requires regular mental stimulation. That’s fairly typical for a poodle. She is by my side for much of the day, and if she doesn’t get her evening training—just 5-10 minutes of basic obedience or training games—she’s very restless.

I think as you get to know your puppy, her needs and temperament will reveal themselves to you. Observing other dogs will tell you a lot, too.
 

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I'm thinking that if she ends up being high energy will I be able to tell and give her what she needs or if she is low energy will I be trying to make her do too much when she doesn't want to do it.
Is this the heart of your question? How do you know if you're meeting the exercise and stimulation needs of your dog (without over or under doing it)? If so, welcome to my world. I have an older dog who is slowing down, and nearly every month her needs change. Luckily poodles are pretty good about telling you what they need, especially when they need more exercise.

As long as she is settling well in the home and is getting a good romp most days, she is getting enough. When my dogs wanted more, they would ask to stay at a playdate by staring intently at me when I told them it was time to go, or stop and give a deep sigh before turning home on a walk. When we overdid it they would act just like an overtired kid: bratty, difficult, refuse to go to bed, so I'd sit with them for a while until they conked out. Mia's eyes get a little bloodshot when she's tired, which is often the first sign I get that she needs some quiet time.

Mental stimulation is as good as physical exercise. It's obviously not a complete substitute, but if you feel like your dog needs just a tad more, or when the weather is a challenge, 5 minutes of a game of "Find It" or a training session can suffice.

For the first few years I enforced crate time of at least an hour after hikes in the woods. They always emerged more calm, more relaxed then on days when we skipped the crate rest.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have known my puppies were high energy as soon as their personality came out after settling in my home. I guess it’s hard to know if it's your first dog and you have nothing to compare with. High energy dogs need a lot more exercise and stimulation than a middle ground or calm dog. They want more, they need more. But again, compared to what if you only know one dog ?

Depending on the size, dogs will hit maturity from 15-18 months for a toy to 3 years old for a standard (as spoo owners of this forum have said). At this age you will notice your dog has calmed down, to a certain point. With some dogs it’s very noticeable, with others, not so much.
It’s a perfectly fine question. :) If you’ve not taught your puppy when and where it’s appropriate to settle, they’re probably going to seem high energy even if they’re quite average. Tired puppies, especially, can be overwhelming.

I know Peggy’s not high energy just by comparing her to other dogs we’ve met who are the same age. After puppy classes, she was completely wiped out. Now, as she approaches adulthood, a vigorous hour-long play session with doggy friends will leave her quite relaxed for a day or two.

That said, she is mentally alert by nature and requires regular mental stimulation. That’s fairly typical for a poodle. She is by my side for much of the day, and if she doesn’t get her evening training—just 5-10 minutes of basic obedience or training games—she’s very restless.

I think as you get to know your puppy, her needs and temperament will reveal themselves to you. Observing other dogs will tell you a lot, too.
Ok I think I understand a bit more now. Training and games do wipe her out and I can tell when she is starting to tire as she starts losing focus and stops responding and gets fidgety so I always stop and make her settle for a while to recover. After recovery she can be quite chilled but will happily play a bit of fetch. Fetch and kill she loves. She does stick by my side most of the day but seems happy just to watch what I'm doing. When she gets bored of me doing chores she will settle wherever she is and just lie there until I finish and I reward her for being calm. So I suppose she is more on the average side rather than high energy even at her age.
 

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Is this the heart of your question? How do you know if you're meeting the exercise and stimulation needs of your dog (without over or under doing it)? If so, welcome to my world. I have an older dog who is slowing down, and nearly every month her needs change. Luckily poodles are pretty good about telling you what they need, especially when they need more exercise.

As long as she is settling well in the home and is getting a good romp most days, she is getting enough. When my dogs wanted more, they would ask to stay at a playdate by staring intently at me when I told them it was time to go, or stop and give a deep sigh before turning home on a walk. When we overdid it they would act just like an overtired kid: bratty, difficult, refuse to go to bed, so I'd sit with them for a while until they conked out. Mia's eyes get a little bloodshot when she's tired, which is often the first sign I get that she needs some quiet time.

Mental stimulation is as good as physical exercise. It's obviously not a complete substitute, but if you feel like your dog needs just a tad more, or when the weather is a challenge, 5 minutes of a game of "Find It" or a training session can suffice.

For the first few years I enforced crate time of at least an hour after hikes in the woods. They always emerged more calm, more relaxed then on days when we skipped the crate rest.
I do worry sometimes that I may not have done enough. I can be guilty of doing too much as well and then she gets bratty and zoomie. I guess I'm still trying to find the right balance.
 

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I do worry sometimes that I may not have done enough. I can be guilty of doing too much as well and then she gets bratty and zoomie. I guess I'm still trying to find the right balance.
The fact that you've noticed all of these cues means you're doing a great job. It's normal. You'll keep searching for the balance as she grows, using those cues as guideposts.

Just remembering my male who would fall asleep on top of his toys on days when he didn't quite get enough. They didn't happen often, but I felt like I let him down on those days. Nonetheless he always woke up happy, and I woke up ready to do a bit better by him.
 

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I judge energy based on how exercise affects the dog. If a dog is chill and happy to sleep all day whether or not they get to run at the park, they are low energy. If they are bouncing off the walls and going crazy if they don't get their daily romp (or two!) they are high energy. Any dog should be taught to have an off switch whether they are high or low energy. The difference is just how much exercise it takes to maintain that good off switch. When Misha was younger I couldn't go a day without considerable vigorous exercise. Now that he is older he is ok with occasionally missing his hour-long off leash hike. But he still needs a couple good length neighborhood walks. I would say he is higher energy for a miniature poodle, but still very manageable. I know dogs that need twice the amount of exercise he gets to be calm. The amount of exercise needed is also modulated by the type. A jog or bike ride around the neighborhood doesn't do nearly as much as an off leash hike because there is so much more mental stimulation when they are hiking. Training is also very mentally exhausting. Misha will sleep very soundly all evening after an agility class. You can build more mental stimulation into daily walks by incorporating training into them.
 

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What kind of training would you incorporate into a daily walk? I currently do sit at each kerbside and she must not cross until I say. Is this enough?
No such thing as enough... you can incorporate as much as you like! My dog especially enjoys obstacles so I'm always looking for benches, rocks, or low walls to have him hop on. Practicing a down or sit while on an obstacle is more fun than on the ground. You can also start teaching a heel position and reward your pup for returning to your side when asked. And another good thing is to find a busy area and simply practice settling and watching the people, bikes, dogs, etc in a calm polite manner. You can find many things to do if you are creative.
 

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No such thing as enough... you can incorporate as much as you like! My dog especially enjoys obstacles so I'm always looking for benches, rocks, or low walls to have him hop on. Practicing a down or sit while on an obstacle is more fun than on the ground. You can also start teaching a heel position and reward your pup for returning to your side when asked. And another good thing is to find a busy area and simply practice settling and watching the people, bikes, dogs, etc in a calm polite manner. You can find many things to do if you are creative.
Ah ok, I do some of these things already but never thought of them as training. I never thought of doing a sit on a low wall, to me its just for walking on. I need to start thinking like a dog. :)
 

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Ah ok, I do some of these things already but never thought of them as training. I never thought of doing a sit on a low wall, to me its just for walking on. I need to start thinking like a dog. :)
For sure! To them everything is an adventure. And doing training exercises while out in public will really help a dog to get used to behaving well despite distractions. With a puppy it is good to have a goal of letting them experience new things, so I'm always on the lookout for things my dog hasn't seen or smelled before.
 
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