10 Ways To Help A Stir Crazy Dog!

March 2nd, 2010 by Dan

Having a bored dog is a recipe for unrest. If your dog isn’t receiving enough mental and physical stimulation, you’ll soon discover that the peace and comfort of your home is about to be shaken. Maybe your pup will decide to express his pent up energy by chewing that new pair of boots, or gnawing at the door. If you’re lucky, he’ll just resort to boomerang-esque bounces off the back of the couch. However your dog decides to make his needs known, he needs some amusement – and fast! Here are 10 great ways to keep him busy, even if the weather is cold or rainy outside!

Stuffed Kongs:
Rubber Kong toys are tough (they make model for chewers of all ages and strengths – from puppies to seniors ) and are a staple of every dog’s toy box. You can stuff the empty space in the Kong with almost anything – from wedging biscuits to peanut butter to layering your dog’s kibble and then adding canned sweet potato on top! For an extra challenge, you can freeze the items inside the toy into a Kong-cicle! If you’re going to use liquidity ingredients, plug the smaller, bottom hole with a piece of kibble or treat that fills it. Make sure to place your stuffed Kong in a mug or in a bowl before placing it in the freezer to prevent any leakage! Here are some of our favorite stuffed Kong recipes.

Photo by mrsLiz

Treat Dispensing Puzzle Toys:
There are so many treat dispensing toys out there, we can’t even begin to talk about all of them! The right toys of this type will provide challenge, but won’t leave your dog frustrated. Make sure to choose a toy that is providing your dog food rewards on a regular basis, but holds his or her interest. Some of the best treat dispensing toys have adjustable skill levels. You can see Sophie, one of our “dogs on staff”, demoing the Dog Tornado puzzle toy.

Teach A New Command Or Work On Old Ones:
It’s never too late to teach your dog a new command or trick and it’s especially wise to brush up on obedience commands! Many owners let training slack after puppy training is done, instead take these days to work with your dog on some rusty cues. If you don’t know where to start, check our training articles! Make it fun and work for short periods at a time. If tricks are your bag, there are always new and imaginative ones to teach your canine! Check YouTube videos for positive training methods on how to teach your dog to do almost anything!

Hide and Seek:
Just what it sounds like – the canine version of this classic game involves the help of a partner that will hold your dog on leash while you go hide somewhere in the house. Once you are hidden, your call to your dog will be your friends cue to release the hound! Then, depending on your dog’s skill, keep calling – or not – as your dog uses her nose to find you!

Stuffed Toy Fetch:
Most owners generally don’t want to throw hard balls inside the house, but if you have a long hallway or a clear room, stuffed toy fetch can be a great way to release some of that pent up energy!

Give Your Dog A Spa Treatment:
If your dog likes being bathed, brushed and generally pampered – use your time inside to give him some TLC. Many dogs find the repetitive steps of grooming to be soothing and if you’d like to take things a step further, why not give your pup a massage? Here’s some tips to get you started!

Photo by JackieBudgell

Chew Time:
Dogs need to chew, but they should always be watched while they are enjoying their bones and hides. There are many types of chews out there, so do some research before you give anything to your dog! Personally, we like bullysticks and antlerz.

Play Tug:
The game of tug has gotten a bad rap – there is nothing wrong with playing this game with a dog that follows the rules that you make! Click here to learn how to play tug safely with your dog!

Photo by gervo1865_2 – LJ Gervasoni

Road Trip!:
If your dog loves the car, maybe it’s time for a road trip to a local pet-friendly store, or even just a stop at a drive-through cafe! The mental stimulation of the ride often tuckers out even the most active of dogs!

Puppy Play Date:
If you’ve been stuck inside for days, chances are your friends that own dogs have been as well! Maybe it’s time you invite one of them over for a play date. If your dogs play nicely, it might be the solution to both of your problems! Just make sure you remove anything you wouldn’t want knocked over in the ruckus!





3 Responses to “10 Ways To Help A Stir Crazy Dog!”

  1. Chloe Says:

    Nice read! Thanks for all the info =) I love the pictures, too ;)

  2. Kaytie Says:

    Thanks for this–I will print and put it on the bulletin board for clients to get ideas. We are so often way too busy to give our four-leggeds the right stimulation when they need it–then make them bad a wrong if they let us know the only way they can!

  3. LaBellaDoggy Says:

    There’s also doggy daycare! My dog LOVES going & playing w/ all the other dogs (they have inside & outside). It’s a great way to socialize your dog.

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