Category Archives: Dog Behavior

Canine Boredom and Dog Toys

We all utypes-dog-toysnderstand boredom, we have all experienced it.  As humans though, we have options when bored.  We can watch TV, play games, go somewhere, work on puzzles, etc.  When our dogs are bored they also look for “new” activities to engage in and search out fun, new items to play with.   Unfortunately for humans, this usually involves our shoes, our decorations and even our furniture.

High energy dogs tend to get “bored” more often and need lots of activity.  Intelligent dogs get bored even quicker and if your dog is both, like mine, you HAVE to provide safe activities and toys for your dog.

Toys for dogs are not just “treats” for them, or silly human indulgences.  Toys are a necessary part of development for any dog and necessary to protect your house.   Dogs have a natural instinct to chew–especially puppies and younger dogs.  If you don’t provide them with acceptable things to chew on you could incur some heavy losses in your home.  Chew toys for dogs can get pricey, but they still don’t cost as much as a new sofa or new dining room chairs.127_Orka_Jack_in_use._V401504478_

And you can find inexpensive ways to keep your dog happy.   Empty plastic water bottles are great for dogs–they make noise while the dogs crunch them and they are pretty tough so it takes a while for the dog to rip it up.  Place some treats inside and put the lid on for added interest.  For teething puppies try adding water and freezing first.

Stuffed animals from the local Goodwill are super cheap and super fun for your dog.  As long as your dog just destroys them and doesn’t actually eat them, this is a great option.  They do cause a lot of mess and you’ll be picking up stuffing and stuffed animal “hair” off the carpet daily, but it’s well worth it!

I bought my dog a hard plastic child’s piggy bank from Goodwill–it has a fabric covering over it and she loves it! She carries it around, throws it around, rips at it, etc.  It cost me 50 cents and she’s been playing with it for 2 months already.

Just get creative with your choice of dog toys.  The important thing is to keep getting new ones.  Just like with human children, your dog will get bored with some toys after awhile.  What I do is put them away for a month or so, and bring them o  ut again and my dog is overjoyed with the “new ” additions to her toy box.   Everything old is new again!

For your high energy dog, you should also take them on walks, take them swimming, put them on treadmills, do training drills with them,  do agility games with them, anything that will engage their mind and body.

If you do not offer enough different toys and activities for your canine partner he or she may start : barking incessantly, digging holes in your yard, destroying your house, getting into the garbage, eating electric cords, and even escaping from the yard and chasing cars, animals and bicycles.Dog-Chewing-CouchdiggingGoldenRetrieverDogDiggingH22554335

Some dogs are naturally better behaved or more calm than others but most dogs can be excellent pets if given the proper tools and guidance.

Controlling Canine Hyperactivity

hyper-little-dogAll dogs, but especially puppies up to one or two years old, need good, focused exercise on a daily basis.  Walking at heel with controlled “sits” at intersections and whenever owner needs to stop are excellent.  Playing fetch is good if it has a controlled element–”bring it here and drop it”.  Always engage the mind as well as the body for complete workout.

Doing 10 minutes of obedience training once or twice a day will also work your dog’s mind and physically engage him/her to a certain extent.  Work in an open space, inside or outside and practice “sit”, “down” and “stay” and for added benefit, do short drills of “heel” with lots of turns and stops in your small space.

Besides burning off excess mental and physical energy, dogs need LOVE!  They crave our attention and affection.  Sometimes the quickest way to get your dog to settle down is to make them sit or lie down, then pet them, give them a tummy rub, hug them, etc. for a few minutes.  This will usually content them.  Make sure to pet them in a calming way, not all rough and silly–as this will have the opposite affect.

So, give your dog equal parts of discipline, exercise and affection and you’ll have a happy, well adjusted and calm dog on your hands.