Signs of Pent-Up Energy in Dogs

By Tammy Dray

Some dog breeds -- including fox terriers, cocker spaniels and setters -- are high-energy dogs who require lots of physical activity. If you don't exercise them enough, you might end up with dogs full of pent-up energy.

Chewing and Destruction

Dogs with too much energy will find ways to use it -- or misuse it, in this case. Chewed-up clothes or shoes, destroyed paper products and just overall chaos in the house could be a sign that your dog needs more exercise.


Outdoor dogs might dig in the garden as a way to release pent-up energy. This is especially true if you see obsessive digging which seems to have no purpose -- for example, your dogs are not trying to escape or making a hole to lie down in.

Short Temper

Pent-up energy can make some dogs short-tempered, making them snap at other pets or overreact when somebody rings the doorbell.

Running in Circles

Dogs that take off and run in circles around the yard as soon as you open the door could be just happy to see you -- but they're undoubtedly full of pent-up energy after you've been gone a while. Their delighted sprinting is a means of release.

By Tammy Dray


About the Author
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.