Dogs need both physical and mental stimulation, not unlike us humans. Without it, they get bored and may develop destructive behaviors just to have something to do. Luckily there is a wealth of products out there to help keep them occupied and stimulated, and thus stay out of trouble. We like to feed our dogs in a bowl, but dogs are scavengers and love to work for their food. So get rid of the bowl – and find other inspiring ways to feed your dog. Scatter her food in the backyard and tell her to “go find it’. Hide kibble/treats around the house, or simply toss her food on the floor. Imagination is your friend. Keep it interesting and rotate toys and chews every week.
Here are some great resources on enrichment:
KONGS are the number one recommended food enrichment source by most trainers. There are so many ways to fill it and it keeps your dog engaged for a long time. Have a few stuffed KONGS ready in the freezer, take one out and give to your dog when you sit down for your meal to prevent begging at the table, for example:
Bully sticks: https://bestbullysticks.com
Food dispensing toys:
See Products: Amazon wish list
Find your treats: Hide treats around the house: http://youtu.be/EJxG--4t3SU
Exploring a Busybox: http://youtu.be/iieNrrRNZO4
- Hide treats in old cloth (old t-shirts, etc.) along with a stuffed KONG and put it all in a box and let your dog explore. He will love it. Make sure some of the treats are yummy!
- Teach your dog rules of the Tug game in order not to arouse him. It’s a great way to interact with your dog: http://youtu.be/x9mPoWuvnLg