There are so many ways you can reduce boredom in your dog and thus, prevent a lot of the damage they might do to your home and your sanity! Lets dive in!
Ditch the Bowl!
The easiest way to boost the level of enrichment your dog gets each day is to change how you deliver his breakfast and/or dinner. There are several ways to change it up.
-Scatter the food around the yard in a 'trail of breadcrumbs' manner so he has to go on a hunt.
-Use a 'snuffle mat' to scatter the food. This is usually a shaggy style of mat that makes it tricky for the dog to get his food
-Deliver his food in a Kong or other treat delivery toy (Bob-a-lot, Busy Buddy are other brands you might find) so he has to work for it
-Freeze the food in a giant ice-block in the summer months, they can bite, chew and lick as it defrosts in stages.
Provide Natural Chews
There are just so many options out there for natural, preservative free dog chews. These not only keep their teeth clean, but provide enrichment that a predator can only get from consuming natural parts of prey.
Be careful of commercial rawhide or anything not made or produced in your own country.
- Cow hooves and dehydrated bones
- Tendons, Skins and Fins
There are a number of fantastic companies delivering high quality items.
If these things gross you out a little, make them a crate time treat so that you don't have to deal with any mess and add value to your crate at the same time.
There are quite a few places that provide nose work or scent work for pet dogs. They teach your dog how to use their nose to find things. You can do this yourself and train your dog to find things like your wallet or keys, but if you can find a facility that specialises in this it is is a calming and enriching activity for you and your dog to participate in.
Dogs were bred to work for people and they love it! Dogs are so intelligent and thrive when asked to use their minds for things like trick training or problem solving.
Tricks you can teach are - Spin, Sit Pretty, Bow, Jump into my Arms, Jump through a hoop
Shaping games are fantastic, check out 101 things to do with a box for some ideas on how to have some fun with a clicker.
Play is one of the most rewarding and enriching activities for dogs and their people!
Learn what kind of games your dog likes to play and find ways to play those games too. Try to figure out exactly what thrills your dog gets out of the game, what part of it they really like, and play it the way he likes. Use toys for tug or fetch, wrestle and have them chase you, throw food or have them chase it.
If you have any questions about these things, maybe you've tried them and are still having trouble with your dog? Get in touch with me and we can organise a one on one training session to get to the bottom of your dog woes!