Is a Tired Dog Really a Good Dog?

At Central Bark we blend socialization, enrichment, and exercise to promote a healthy balance of play, learning, and rest. We want to share with you why this blend of activities can be crucial for dogs to live healthy and happy lives! But is a tired dog really a good dog?

Balanced Lifestyle 

“A tired dog is a good dog” is a phrase you’ve likely heard before. But it’s a bit misleading. There is a fine line when looking at just enough or too much exercise.  That’s because a dog needs to have energy to make socially healthy choices. When you’re overtired after a social event, an intense workout, or a long day of work, inadequate rest means that you’re likely less sociable. This means you’re less likely to seek out social interactions. And you’ll probably be less tolerant during them. You probably just want some time to chill at home and recover.

Is a Tired Dog Really a Good Dog?

To have the best social experience, it’s important for dogs to rest throughout the day. Keep in mind it’s healthy for most dogs to get about 12+ hours of sleep each day. This should also include a few hours spent being awake but inactive or passively engaged. These sorts of activities include self-entertaining with toys, self-grooming, or just observing their environment.

The Central Bark Way

At Central Bark, we have strategically scheduled rest periods throughout the day. This practice is just like nap time for kindergarteners. It fosters appropriate play behaviors, better retention and rehearsal of skills, and healthier bodies during physical activity. In addition to impacting their social behavior, without adequate rest, dogs, just like people, are more susceptible to physical injury due to decreased coordination and motor control.

Because our goal with structured rest periods is to facilitate relaxation and promote positive associations with rest and confinement, each dog attending day care receives an enrichment item with a bit of food frozen inside. This enrichment item allows dogs to wind down, decreasing heart rate and respiratory rate through the act of licking, which is a self-soothing behavior.

Is a Tired Dog Really a Good Dog?

More is not always better! It’s quality over quantity. Practicing appropriate play behaviors matters much more than playing with an ever-changing group of dogs without rest. With our small group play model we can prioritize building and practicing useful skills such as recall, sits, stationing, and play pauses. These are the building blocks for emotionally and socially healthy day care participants. These playgroups are carefully structured, with considerations for energy levels, play style, and physical size, to create the most appropriate social atmosphere possible. We prioritize safety above all else.

Since every dog loves different activities and has the capacity to solve problems and learn tricks, we also have add-on options that stretch their brain. This helps to strengthen their mind through dynamic enrichment activities.

Central Bark Speaks Dog

Because we are so focused on supporting dogs with living their happiest lives, we delight in seeing new pups on their first day blossom into dogs who bound through the front door each week! The weekly participation commitment that we require of all our day care clients allows us to get to know ever dog’s unique personality. We understand their likes and dislikes. We get to know who their best friends are, their favorite games to play, and their favorite spot to receive petting. By getting to know each dog, we’re not only able to set them up to be as successful as possible, we’re also able to offer our expertise when it comes to grooming, training, and enrichment recommendations tailored to each individual dog and family.

Contact Information

If you have any questions about Central Bark or want to learn a little bit more about a location closest to you, please visit us at


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