Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Cure For Puppy Boredom

I came across a website recently that offered puppy toys that were guaranteed to eliminate your dog's boredom.

They ranged in price from $20 to $70!

Do dogs really like expensive, plastic toys better than a rubber chew toy filled with treats and peanut butter? I think not.

So, what can we do to make life exciting and fun for our furry companions...and keep them from destroying the house?

* Walk them every morning. A tired dog is a happy dog, and it doesn't cost a thing to walk around the block. Plus, you'll get a great, quick workout.

* Hide treats for a game of hide-and-seek. I've said this before, but this is a favorite in our house. Not only is it a great time-consuming game, but the girls have had to work to get their treats. (And they work them off running from room to room looking for more!)

* Don't put out all their toys at once. This may sound silly, but how often do we rearrange the furniture or change decorations for the seasons? Don't we get bored when everything looks the same day after day? Leave a couple of for a week, and then switch them out.

* Give your dog a job! Bailey has a backpack that she wears that holds our water bottles, their bowl, a small ball and a plastic bag. She knows when she wears it that we're going for a walk, but she also knows she has an important job. You can also use these backpacks around the house - Bailey can help me carry things from room to room. She'll follow me just to see if there's something she can help with.

* Make the outside as interesting as the inside. I realized the other day that the girls really didn't have anything outside to do. Well, Bailey chases the squirrels up the tree for hours on end, but that's not what I mean. I started taking a couple of balls into the back yard with us when they do their thing, and that's made a world of difference. We get some time in the fresh air together, and they're all worn out in just a few minutes.

*Take time for obedience training. In just a few minutes a day, your dog can keep her mind active and learn more about what you want from her. It's a bonding experience and schooling all in one!

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