10 Steps to (Quickly) Burn Excessive Morning Energy
We’ve had several progressions this past week, some more noteworthy than others. The big one I want to talk about today (because I know you’re struggling if you have puppies at home!) is ...
Six am wake up calls and full on anarchy.
The good news is that the buggs have started to sleep longer through the night. And I love it. The bad news is that they’re getting more rest through the night … which means absolute pandemonium in the morning.
The past few mornings have been so crazy, in fact, I’ve been just about pulling out my hair. The jumping, barking, biting, jumping, pulling, tripping, jumping -- it’s enough to make you lose your mind. And after 3 hours of mayhem, I felt frazzled and defeated.
So what did I do? What I always do! I headed over to Youtube in search of help. And I found it. What used to be a solid 3 hours of turmoil, has now been reduced to just one hour of controlled chaos.
Here’s what I’ve learned about dealing with excessive energy first thing in the morning ...
Step 1: Breathe. There’s no sense in letting the chaos set the mood for the entire day. This too shall pass.
Step 2 (2 mins): Quick potty break. I’ve stopped trying to walk the kidz first thing in the morning. They’re just too rambunctious. Instead, I make sure everyone has a pee out back on the potty pads.
Step 3 (5 mins): Breakfast. It’s been 12 hours since they last ate … and they’re starving!
Step 4 (3 mins): Another potty break out back on the pads.
Step 5 (5 mins): Fetch. If you have a fenced-in yard, use it! I don’t, unfortunately, but we make do inside. I grab 3 balls and start to toss them from one end of the condo to the other. Just as one is returned, I toss another one. This goes on for about 10 minutes. The kids are getting some great cardio (and burning off that energy!).
Step 6 (5 mins): Tug of war. Another great game to help your pups burn off that energy. Fortunately, with two dogs, they play tug of war with each other while I supervise to make sure no one gets too aggressive.
Step 7 (10 mins): Snuffle mat. Now it’s time to exercise the brain. I break out the snuffle mat, fill it with freeze-dried chicken, and toss it on the floor. This lets them use their foraging instincts to sniff out and find all the tiny hidden treats.
Step 8 (10 mins): More fetch and/or tug of war. Puppies need interactive playtime with you, too. They haven’t seen you since last night, and they’re super excited to be with you now. This playtime is a little less intense, as they’re starting to wind down.
Step 9 (15 mins): Independent playtime. By now, they’ve worked out some of their energy, but they’re still in play mode. Since I’m confident everyone has done their business on the pads, I let them run around together with a little less supervision (after all, mamma needs her coffee!).
Step 10 (5 mins): Gentle play. By now, these little guys have expended a fair bit of energy. They’ve been fed, they’ve peed, they’ve pooped, they’ve run laps, played fetch and tug, and they’ve foraged for treats. Now I put one of their beds under my desk where they can quietly groom each other and fuss about. I keep one foot in the bed so they feel like I’m snuggling with them.
And … naptime. Ahhh … the whirlwind is over. The buggs are asleep. Time for my second cup of coffee and start my work day.
It may seem like an impetuous morning, and it is, but the fact that I’ve cut the crazy time down from 3 hours to one is a victory I’m thrilled to celebrate.
Out of the Mouths of Buggs
I’m 14 weeks old now and I’m getting big. I weighed 9.4lbs on Tuesday. I’m getting a lot braver, too. I don’t shy away from other dogs I meet, and I was the first one to figure out how to go down the stairs all by myself. My brother was such a big scaredy cat.
I still don’t know what the hekkens mom wants when she says “down” but I’m really good at sit, leave it, high five and spin.
I’m not a huge fan of having my nails trimmed anymore, but mom just waits till I’m asleep, so I guess I’m cool with that. As for brushing my teeth … not too sure about that! Mom sure does want me to do some weird stuff.
I’m a big stud. That’s what dad calls me. I’ve grown to 12.2lbs this week and my legs are getting really long. I think I might be a horse.
I’m super chill, not like my wacko sister who’s always bouncing off the walls. She’s such a show off. I like to take my time to learn certain new things, like going down the stairs, but I always figure it out.
Mom keeps putting this weird brushy stick in my mouth and it tastes really good. Feels funny when she spins it around on my gums, but I like it. I like when mom trims my nails and brushes me, too, it’s like a full spa day just for me.
I know how to lie down (unlike my sister), and I spin, high five and I’ve even started to crawl. I’m so smart. My sister seems to know what “stay” means, but I’m still not sure. I’ll have to think about that one a little more.