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Hi everyone! How much play is too much? I've got a dachshund/terrier mix that I adopted about 2 months ago. He's gated in the kitchen M-F for about 6-8 hours a day depending on when my husband gets home. When I get home I take him outside and then we have play/training time. I've noticed he wants to continue playing when I'm worn out. I feel like I'm playing/training all evening long. I've tried different games, toys, puzzle toys, fetch, etc. To break up the play time I will do some training (obedience and trick) for about 15 minutes; sometimes a couple of times a night. He responds very well to this! However, when I'm tired and ready to relax he will whine, huff and bark at me. He's starting to jump on me and huff in my face. Is this normal? I tell him no and he will entertain himself for a few minutes and then we repeat. By the time 8-9 pm rolls around he is crashed. This is my first dog ever so I'm not sure if this is normal or I'm I turning him into a hyper-active dog.....Any advice would be really appreciated!
 

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Yes, it is normal. Especially with terriers, who are higher energy. Dogs were selected to be forever young... from a species that is also forever hungry :) Given a choice, some dogs will play all the time and eat everything in sight :)

Set your ground rules and schedule, stick by it consistently, and he will learn it. Understand that he is like an athletic "adolescent" ... that is cooped up for most of the day. He does need a baseline of exercise, which is about 30 min., twice a day. And, when he's young, 2 training sessions of about 10 min. each.

I imagine that he 'goes crazy' when you first come home. Help him to burn off that energy with exercise, Fetch, Tug, Or a walk. Then, you might do 10 min. of training and feed him. Then, you can relax. Take what time you need to decompress, then do a little mindless, not active cuddling, petting. Give him a hard rubber bone, a Kong, or some other toy, if he's still wired ... Try to keep this schedule... or something like it for about a week to give him time to get in synch with you.

On the other hand, he is a learning machine. He can learn as much as you have patience for at this stage... Consider what type of behaviors you'd like....

In the morning, can you walk him? Then, leave him with a Kong or a Buster Cube?
 

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What hanksimon said ... for sure!!! :)

And ...........

I have Eddee ... Schnauzer/possible Cairn and something else Terrier mix! He is a "live wire" ... big time! He does not have much of an "off" switch. I too ... must exercise him and keep him busy at all times ... or he will find things to keep himself busy and they are mostly destructive things. :/

I walk him three times a day ... play outside (weather permitting) and when in the house I always have a stuffed Kong or a stuff-a-ball ready and .... being he enjoys "balls" in general ... I will get him all hyped up on one. He will chase that ball and throw it himself and run for a good 10 minutes at a time mumbling and growling at it! This is simple physical exercise for him. Training commands are mental exercises.

So ... for my Terrier ... his "on" switch is a ball. For my other dogs ... their "On" switch is a tug rope. :)

In fact last evening I had a camp fire at home and I forced Eddee to stay outside all night long ... he actually was begging to go inside and sleep! Hahaha! I wore him out! ... for once! Lol!

If you can find your pups "on" switch .... you may be able to find the "off" switch also. Like is always stated ... a tired dog is a good dog! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your replies! Abbylynn, your Eddie reminds me of my Twister! They have a similar look. Both your replies have made me feel better! The only other dog history I had to go on is my Sister's pretty low key bullie breeds. They seem to be content laying around!

I'm working on the walks. Twister is a maniac when we go out the front door! If we don't go directly to the car he just goes nuts! Wants to pull and tug to go anywhere. So we're slowly working up to it. I live in the south and the heat/humidity has been so oppresive this year. He seems to tire out and want to be inside after about 5 minutes. It's been getting cooler so I can't wait to start our walks. Lately I've been taking him to our Town Square on Saturdays for a change and he seems to like being there and exploring.

I've been giving him the stuff kong & kong bones but I thought I might be giving him too many treats just so I could get time to decompress! I've noticed that he can get those kong bone treats out faster and faster each day! It maybe time to change it up again :)

I guess I need to adjust from being able to do absolutely nothing to being on the go all time time :) I think I can handle that! I just miss watching my movies whenever I felt like it. I really appreciate all the advise!!!
 
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