Last week I was at a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® client in Sunrise helping him with his Labrador, Freddie. Freddie was “testing the perimeter” and needed a little more “don’t go here” training. He responded very well very quickly and the problem was once again solved. As we were finishing up, my client asked me if I could help him with a standard “dog training issue”. He said that sometimes Freddie just started to misbehave and be a big pain. I asked him what was going on before this bad behavior began and he said, “Nothing, I might be working on my computer for a while and my Freddie is hanging out at the other end of the room. He appears fine, just staring at me or looking out the window. Then out of the blue, he gets up and starts nudging me and whining.”
The reason that I want to discuss this in my blog today is because it is a situation that I have come across many times over my years of dog training. I don’t want to focus on the obvious issue of the dog’s bad behavior, but why the dog got to that point in the first place. So Freddie was sitting by himself with nothing to do for a long time. After a while he finally said, “This is enough”. He gets up and wants to get my client to do something to help break the boredom. Proper engagement will help with the behavior and strengthen your bond with your dog.
Sometimes you are just too busy with other things and you don’t have the time to engage and strengthen your bond with your dog. You must do something so you need to think of another way to get rid of your dog’s boredom. That will help remove the inappropriate situation requiring action that you cannot supply at the time. You must set up a scenario where the boredom does not have a chance to become established.
Here are some suggestions that have worked with my clients over the years to help keep their dogs occupied and out of mischief:
- Empty 12 Oz. Water Bottle: I love this one. The next time you finish with some bottled water, keep the bottle. Take off the cap, the ring around the cap, and the paper. Instead of a “store bought toy”, give him this. Dogs love the tactile feel of crunching the bottle and the sound that it makes. The sound isn’t that loud, so the crunching sound shouldn’t bother you. The bottle is very light, so it won’t hurt the walls if your dog bounces it off a wall or window. Most dogs will play with the water bottle for hours. When it starts to get a little worn out, simply switch bottles. Free, quick, and easy!
- Scatter Feeding: Turn your dog’s meal time into a treasure hunt. Scatter a variety of food (such as whole carrots, broccoli, beans, celery and peas) on the ground. This will give your dog something to forage for as well as some nutritious food to chew on (instead of your furniture). Never use raisins or grapes because these are very harmful to your dog.
- Deer Antler: This is my favorite “bone toy”. Deer antlers are all natural and very safe for your dog. They don’t splinter like many other “bone toys” and will last a very long time. I suggest spraying a little low sodium chicken broth on the antler to give it a little “zip” as you are giving it to your dog.
- Kong Toys: Kong is one of the great American dog toy companies. All of their products are made in the USA with nothing coming from China. I recommend the “Classic Kong Toy” which is a “goodie toy”. It is made of a very durable rubber with a hole and empty center. I suggest covering the hole with unsalted peanut butter and then freezing it. Give it to your dog and he will love it. Since the peanut butter is frozen, your dog will lick and play with it for a long time.
All we are doing here is giving your dog something to do and stimulate his mind when you are too busy to engage with him. Think of it as appropriate, planned, social redirection. Robin and I are always here to help you with all your dog training and invisible fence questions. Click on Dog Fence Training Help Lighthouse Point South Florida or call us at (954) 472-4724. Discover all about Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® and the solutions we provide by checking out Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers Lighthouse Point South Florida. We have been your local dog experts for over twelve years in Lighthouse Point and all over South Florida area. If you are in search of obedience or behavioral training, you need to talk with us. Find out all about our dog training systems by going to Home Dog Training Lighthouse Point South Florida.