You know you own a high-energy pup when your home looks like the scene of a train wreck and your puppy still has loads of energy to spare. Unfortunately, a crystal ball capable of accurately predicting the energy levels of puppies so they could be matched with the most appropriate owners has yet to be invented. If you're a couch potato, you'll need to do some homework before falling in love with the cutest hyper pup.
Taking a look at a pup's ancestors can help you predict high energy levels. A pup coming from parents with strong working lines and known for winning several titles in field trials will likely be blessed with a high level of energy and stamina. Don't expect to see these working dogs curl up and snooze in front of the fireplace all day; these dogs need daily structured activities. Cooping them up with nothing to do won't lead to innocent thumb twiddling, but if you're an active person, you'll love that these dogs are always ready to spring into action.
While no generalizations can be made, keep in mind that certain dog breeds have a tendency to be in perpetual motion. Get your energy drinks ready: Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, pointers and several of the spaniels and setters are high-energy sporting dogs with loads of stamina and determination. Without a job to do, they'll drive you up the wall. Among the herders, Australian shepherds, Australian cattle dogs and several collies can be quite power-packed dynamo dogs. If you like terriers, you'll need to accept digging, barking and listening to the pitter-patter of little restless feet around the house.
You may find it easy to identify high-energy pups from the rest of the litter, but keep in mind that generally all pups are quite rambunctious when young. The breeder who has seen the litter grow up from day one may be better able to point out the supercharged pups from the mellow fellows for you. As much as you would love to choose a pup or have a pup choose you, it's best to leave this important task for the experienced breeder.
If you're looking for a doggie couch potato, you may want to skip those pups who continually nip at hands, chase pant legs and fight back when you try to restrain them or control them in any way. This generally isn't just a mild struggle; rather, these little stinkers will put up quite a fight, according to The Whole Dog Journal. Instead look for a pup with a lower energy level, but without being forlorn or apathetic. Your ideal pup should remain calmly in you arms for at least 30 to 60 seconds without trying to nip, scratch or squirm away, according to veterinarian Ron Hines on his website 2ndchance.info.
By Adrienne Farricelli
About the Author
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.