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Boredom Busters for Pups

In Issue:

Bored dogs are bad dogs. Break the cycle with these four fun and stimulating activities from Claire Arrowsmith’s Brain Games for Dogs (Firefly).

  1. Box o’ Fun. Fill cardboard box with scrunched-up paper, treats, and toys. Fido will do the rest. Tip: Use dry treats to keep mess from getting out of control.
  2. Balancing Act. Ask Fido to sit. Balance flat treat on his nose, pick it up, and tell him to “take it.” Gradually increasing the time treat remains on nose teaches urge control and focus.
  3. Treasure Hunt. Fill child-size swimming pool in your backyard with clean, fine sand, rubber toys, and large dog biscuits to allow insatiable diggers to burrow to their heart’s content.
  4. Splash Down. Using the same pool, this time filled with water, toss in a toy for dogs to retrieve.

Pets aren’t the only ones who will benefit from these games: “Happy dog, happy owner. The more time you spend having fun training and playing with your pet, the stronger the bond between you will be,” Arrowsmith writes.

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  • Very good feature on busting doggie boredom, Wendy. My bigger problem was keeping him entertained while I was at work. I had a Boston Terrier just like the one pictured a number of years ago. He was very smart and perceptive.

    It only took one time of my holding up cash in front of him stating THIS is why I’m gone for all those hours. Very shortly after that (never before) he destroyed some ones and a five I’d carelessly left within his reach one weekday not long after. Cash HAD been left prior to this, and had never been touched.

    I asked him if he did that naughty thing holding up the fragments. He looked guilty then played me by licking my face then jumping. I took it as an act of frustration due to boredom and love. I said I wasn’t mad in baby talk and we rough-housed with the rope. I later found a minority of it that he’d eaten later during plastic bag time during the walk. Keep your shoes, purse/wallet and cash out of a determined and resourceful dog’s reach.

    As far as water goes, this dog LOVED attacking the lawn sprinklers getting all wet and muddy then rolling in it. My friends and neighbors had a blast watching. That was a long time ago now; the ’90s and 2000’s. I’ll always miss Hardy.