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Discussion Starter #1
I feel like my mini poo puppy isn’t getting enough exercise. She had cases of hyperactivity where she zooms around, growls at her toys. I try to take her outside to release some of this energy but then she either starts trying to zoom outside, and dig holes in the yard. I try to talk her on short walks daily but so far she has either completely refused to walk... or she sort of does, but has to sniff EVERYTHING. It pretty much becomes 10 minutes of sniffing while not even making it down the street.
How can I exercise her and make she’s properly expending her energy on walks and not getting these daily episodes of hyperactivity/slight aggression? How can I prevent her from destroying things outside? At a loss and would appreciate any insight. Unfortunately, do not have a fenced yard at the moment where she can run around safely. She’s 11 weeks and I don’t trust her to be off leash in a park to run around at the moment either.
 

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I'm no expert, I only got my tpoo a month ago (she's 12 weeks), but I have noticed that she has those moments where she is very excited (running everywhere at full speed, jumping on the couch, biting the sofa, growling at her toys, etc), especially in the evening. What worked the best for me is playing fetch with her in the hallway and playing tag with her in the house (I run after her and let her run after me). But be careful, I ran into a wall corner and busted my forehead while playing tag with her haha, now I have a big scar on my forehead! These two games burn her energy and after, she is usually calm for a moment :) Also, it is better to do many short play sessions in a day (playing fetch or tag for 10 min 3-4 times a day) than one long one.

As for the walk, I don't usually let her sniff whenever she wants. We keep the walks short and if she tries to sniff, I just continue to walk on leash and she usually follows me. There are only specific moments during the walk where I tell her "okay, you can sniff now" and loosen up her leash.
 

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Oh also, there are some toys made to dispense kibbles (such as a ball that he has to roll). That way, your dog has to work to eat and that can maybe help to burn some more energy. Personally, I haven't had any success with my kibble dispensing toy (my puppy doesn't really like it), but I've heard good things from other people!
 

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Let her sniff as much as she wants. If she only goes one block in 10 minutes that is still "exercise" for her. Brain games are as important as physical exercise, and sniffing is really important for dogs. Let her zoom around in the back yard and use her "walks" for sniffing if she wants to. A sniffing walk will probably tire her out more than a regular walk.
 

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Let her sniff as much as she wants. If she only goes one block in 10 minutes that is still "exercise" for her. Brain games are as important as physical exercise, and sniffing is really important for dogs. Let her zoom around in the back yard and use her "walks" for sniffing if she wants to.
Agree 100%. Sniffing and exploration is also great for building confidence. If puppy gets tugged away every time she discovers something new, that can lead to fearfulness.

Normal exercise for Peggy at that age was a (very) slow stroll around the outside perimeter of a big box store. Then home for a nap. And she had much longer legs than a mini. :)
 

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Over time we help puppies adapt to the lifestyle that we want. But we have to do some adapting too. Zoomies are typical for puppies, it's not just a poodle thing. I think of them as a useful way for them to tire themselves out. Our Aussie Terrier pup used to zoom each night at 6 PM, then conk out. The poodle zooms when he's happy.
 

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Simple answer: Make her think by as many short training sessions throughout the day as you can fit in. No more than 5-10 minutes duration and at least 4 or 5 times per day. Thinking burns a lot of glucose energy and teaches being attentive to you.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
How old is your puppy?

Edit: Oops! Just saw she's 11 weeks. Can you tell us what her average day looks like? "Zoomies" are very normal at that age, and can mean she's not getting enough exercise, but can just as easily mean she's over-tired.
I try to keep her on as much as a schedule as possible.
  • 8am wake up, potty, play
  • 830 am food
  • 9am-130pm potty nap play
  • 130 pm food
  • 130-630 potty nap play
  • (attempt to take her on walk around 3/4pm)
  • 630pm food
  • 630 potty nap play
  • 10pm bedtime
Her zoomies either happen in the morning after breakfast, or evening around like 7/8pm.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Agree 100%. Sniffing and exploration is also great for building confidence. If puppy gets tugged away every time she discovers something new, that can lead to fearfulness.

Normal exercise for Peggy at that age was a (very) slow stroll around the outside perimeter of a big box store. Then home for a nap. And she had much longer legs than a mini. :)
That is a good point! I guess I was worried that even just sniffing wasn’t expending any energy, because sometimes we have these sniff/walk sessions but she still zooms haha.

Another separate issue is where her sniffing quickly turns into “I want to eat that” so that’s another thing I’m trying to work on with her. She loves eating leaves and grass and god knows what else, have definitely had to yank her away from some icky stuff like rabbit poo haha
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I try to keep her on as much as a schedule as possible.
  • 8am wake up, potty, play
  • 830 am food
  • 9am-130pm potty nap play
  • 130 pm food
  • 130-630 potty nap play
  • (attempt to take her on walk around 3/4pm)
  • 630pm food
  • 630 potty nap play
  • 10pm bedtime
Her zoomies either happen in the morning after breakfast, or evening around like 7/8pm.
Forgot to add that short training sessions are sprinkled throughout!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Simple answer: Make her think by as many short training sessions throughout the day as you can fit in. No more than 5-10 minutes duration and at least 4 or 5 times per day. Thinking burns a lot of glucose energy and teaches being attentive to you.
That’s a good point! Definitely on some days when I’m busy with work I slack on the training sessions, need to up my game and incorporate these more :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Over time we help puppies adapt to the lifestyle that we want. But we have to do some adapting too. Zoomies are typical for puppies, it's not just a poodle thing. I think of them as a useful way for them to tire themselves out. Our Aussie Terrier pup used to zoom each night at 6 PM, then conk out. The poodle zooms when he's happy.
good way to put it! I don’t want to feel that I’m always shutting down her zoomies especially if it makes her happy, but she has had instances where she pees instantly after hahah. Such is puppy life. I hope I can build a fence around the house soon so she can have safe zoomies outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Oh also, there are some toys made to dispense kibbles (such as a ball that he has to roll). That way, your dog has to work to eat and that can maybe help to burn some more energy. Personally, I haven't had any success with my kibble dispensing toy (my puppy doesn't really like it), but I've heard good things from other people!
Have been eyeing those!! I might have to just bite the bullet and just get it
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Agree 100%. Sniffing and exploration is also great for building confidence. If puppy gets tugged away every time she discovers something new, that can lead to fearfulness.

Normal exercise for Peggy at that age was a (very) slow stroll around the outside perimeter of a big box store. Then home for a nap. And she had much longer legs than a mini. :)
I have not. Will check it out. Thanks for linking!!
 

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Have been eyeing those!! I might have to just bite the bullet and just get it
You don't have to buy a fancy puzzle to get started! You can roll kibble in a towel and have puppy unroll it. You can put kibble in a paper towel roll with ends folded shut and holes in the side so when puppy rolls it, kibble comes out. You can hide pieces of kibble and encourage her to find it while you watch. Throw kibble in a small cereal box and have her get it out. Put kibble under paper cups and have her lift the cups. There is SO much you can do that is free or super duper cheap. :)
 

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Hi, as you've heard, zoomies are normal (and generally fun to watch too), and a dog experiences a walk differently than a human does.

Learning to walk at a heel has it's place, but also allow your pup to explore her world. Keep high value treats or a favorite toy in a pocket at all times to trade out for a "drop it" item from her mouth, or a "leave it" item before she grabs whatever it is she shouldn't.

This article describe a walk more from your pup's POV, and the first two sections apply to what you've written. .

 
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At your puppy's age, she should be getting up to 20 hours of sleep per day. It's possible that a lot of what you're seeing is a sleepy, frazzled brain. In our puppy class, one miniature poodle was notorious for zoomies at the end of each hour. He was completely fried and had to be hurried home for a nap. Imagine his owner had instead assumed he needed more stimulation? Lol. Would be like taking a sleepy, cranky toddler for a jog instead of putting him to bed. :)

My suggestion would be to give your puppy time to digest after dinner. Then I'd let her run around a bit, as you've been doing, to jostle out a pee and poop (pottying often follows zoomies at that age). You can use a long, light leash for this, if you don't have a safe outdoor area for her. But then dim the lights and let her snooze in her confinement area if she can't otherwise settle. Take her out for one last potty (quietly this time, no bright lights or excitement) when you're ready for bed.
 

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As others have said, sniffing is how puppies learn - that and tasting/biting/chewing things. And zoomies are also very normal puppy behaviour. I would play the Follow the leader game at home - you run and twist and turn and stop and the puppy tries to keep up, while you laugh and praise and treat her for doing so. Then intersperse brief bursts of Follow with pauses for sniffing while you are outside - that way she gets the stimulation of sniffing and learning and the fun of some activity. Neighbours will wonder if you have lost your mind, but that is all part of having a puppy.

Most puppy walks are just noodling - walk a few steps, stop to sniff, another few steps, pause to be amazed by some new sight, check out an interesting clump of grass, be cooed over by a human, bounce along another few yards, discover cats don't like to be prodded... When mine were very small we rarely got more than 100 yards in half an hour!

And both Poppy and Sophy tell me rabbit berries are delicious - pre-digested vegetables!
 
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