Boredom Busters for Dogs
Bored dogs will make their own fun and this may be by destroying objects, digging and even escaping. Plan ahead to ensure your dog has appropriate items to play with, is mentally and physically active and schedule regular play and training exercises. The idea is to reduce the boredom, reduce the likelihood and level of damage and keep your dog happy.
Plastic cube toys that you can put food into. As your dog moves the cube, bits of food fall out for your dog to eat.
Tough rubbery toys that you can fill with yummy treats for your dog to get out. These can also be filled and frozen, then given to your dog for a great 'cool' treat. Fill with cheese spread, peanut butter and treats.
Don't forget to change your dog's toys over regularly, every two or three days. (You don't like doing the same old thing day after day for entertainment, do you?)
Hide your dog's toys around the garden or use a snack trail to lead it to the toys.
Sand or dirt pit
Give your dog a specific area where they can dig, scratch or bury their things.
In Warmer Months
Freeze some dog food and water in a big ice cream container or freezer bag. You have a big frozen cube/treat that will occupy the dog and help keep it cool. Always remove from the bag or container before giving to your pet.
This might be walks, fetch, jogs or dog play groups. An early morning walk will prepare your dog for a day left at home.
Play and Training
The mental stimulation of fun play and training sessions will leave your dog feeling good. Think about how tired you are after a day seminar – mental and physical stimulation is important. Teach tricks, join a training class, or set up a doggy obstacle course – these ideas can be fun and improve and maintain your bond with your dog.
Leave your dog with appropriate things to chew on or destroy. Most dogs have an inherent need to chew and safe and interesting toys may be rawhide chews, bully sticks, and Kong toys
Just like as kids, we enjoyed Pass the Parcel, and dogs enjoy exploring and finding small treats and toys. Start with a small box or toilet roll, add dry food and seal the ends. Put this into a bigger box, scrunch some newspaper in with more treats, seal again. Then add a bigger box. These can take some time for the dogs to destroy. You will end up with some paper rubbish, but that is better than the sprinkler system!
Take your dog out regularly to new and exciting places, even the biggest backyard gets mighty boring after a while.
Dog proof the area to make sure precious items are placed out of reach. Look around your house and yard and assess at the dogs point of view. For the dogs, a cushion can be such fun to pull apart! Some times with a new or young dog you may need to fence of out of bounds areas.
Be patient as your dog learns right from wrong in a human world. See Home Alone handouts for more ideas.