A month ago we adopted a Lurcher X Border Collie puppy. She is 4 months now and I'm struggling to understand if she is a very high energy puppy or just overly tired. My husband walks her for 30 minutes in the morning in the park, where she likes to play tug of war... during the day I do some basic training with heralong with some puzzles and in the evening she goes on another 30 minutes walk, this time with me. Needless to say that half way through the walk she starts doing what lurchers do best... she runs like the wind and does not stop for anything, eating leaves, grass, sticks, stones, jumping, biting, barking... (i use a 10m lead for this purpose) and when we get home, she starts the whole process again of running, etc in our backyard. Am I overdoing it with her? I tried doing less exercise but she just whines all the time and I'm lost on what to do because I've never had a dog like her :/

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    Two questions: Does she sleep well and enough? Are you familiar with the “five minutes per month of age” rule of thumb for walks?
    – Stephie
    Aug 26, 2021 at 10:42
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    Welcome to Pets! Please take the tour to see how this site works, it only takes a minute. I don't quite understand the "overly tired" part of your headline and question. Is the puppy tired? Are you? What about her behavior makes you think she's tired? You can edit your question any time to clarify things or add more information.
    – Elmy
    Aug 26, 2021 at 11:50
  • @Elmy for me the question is quite clear - puppy gets a specified amount of exercise, training and stimulation. Is that the right amount, because she whines a lot. Is the whining a sign of boredom or overstimulation?
    – Stephie
    Aug 26, 2021 at 13:38
  • @Stephie I read it as: "The puppy gets this amount of exercise. If we do less she whines. Is it too much exercise?" So I do understand Elmys question.
    – SerenaT
    Aug 27, 2021 at 6:23

1 Answer 1


What you have is a high energy dog. She needs lots of physical and mental stimulation to be happy.

The running around and whining if you don't offer enough training are good indicators that she has more than eough energy. If she were tired, she would be reluctant to go on a walk and would walk slowly instead of running around.

Maybe you got confused by her yawning a lot? A tired dog yawns mostly quiet, sometimes accompaied by some rumbling and mumbling. If she yawns excessively loud, maybe even with a whine, it's her way of communicating that she's confused or insecure what to do in a given situation. That can happen during training or in any situation she's not used to.

In general your schedule of 2 walks with short trainings and puzzles in between looks like a very good solution for this dog. If she loves training because she's basking in your attention, make it a habit of teaching her small tricks and then ask her to do a trick every time the opportunity arises. You can even do it during a walk to strengthen the bond between you. That has the added benefit of depleting more of her excess energy than a walk alone would do.

Another way to entertain her are food toys like puzzle feeders, food dispenser balls, Kong toys and even play fetch with a prey dummy filled with treats. Most of them require little of your time to prepare but entertain your dog for a while and offer some excitement. You can even feed her her entire meal in a puzzle feeder.

If you need some inspiration for different games and puzzles for your dog, please look at this compilation.

  • Stephie is right... I want to know if this amount of exercise is right or not because she whines a lot and i don't know if the whining along with the zoomies are a sign of pent up energy or of overstimulation. She sleeps well. Usually she goes to her crate at 10pm, wakes up around 1am for a minute or two and then sleeps again until 6am. I do know about the 5 minute per month rule, but if i do 20minutes of walking with her, she whines even more and becomes frustrated (nipping, barking, pacing). I hope this gives you a bit more insight.
    – Miran Muhn
    Aug 27, 2021 at 7:08
  • In regards to puzzles, she already has a Kong that i freeze and a Snuffle mat, i also play games like hide and seek, hide treats around the house, etc. And she does whine a lot, it's not yawning. I even took her to the vet but they told me there is nothing physically wrong with her.
    – Miran Muhn
    Aug 27, 2021 at 7:11
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    I don't know much about Lurchers, but Border Collies are infamous for being extreme high energy and high maintenance dogs. She's probably whining for your attention. My advice is to establish a strong structure in her every day. There are times for walks, situations when she has to follow the rules (my favorites are "no begging during meals" and "no play when I sleep") and then there are times when she can play and get your attention. If you cave every time she whines, she will soon manipulate you. if you never give in, she will start entertaining herself by destroying things.
    – Elmy
    Aug 27, 2021 at 7:20

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