Our dogs are very good at finding things to do when left to their own devices and feeling ‘bored’. Some of these behaviours, while enjoyable to the dog can be not so nice for us, such as; digging, chewing, destroying items.
The first thing is to make your dog’s environment more interesting and mentally stimulating to her. A physically and mentally stimulated dog helps to release any excess energy that currently they are turning into other activities like running away, digging, chewing, barking etc. All dogs need to work their brain and utilising activities that mimic natural behaviours in a more productive (and less destructive) way will be extremely beneficial to their wellbeing.
Here are some ideas to try;
Lose the bowl!
Your dog’s daily ration of food is to come in some form of treat ball/toy/feeder etc. (See section below on examples of treat toys). Working for their food, will mentally wear them out and make them more likely to settle and sleep. If they have to use their brain to figure out how to get food out of a certain object that is time they aren’t doing less desirable activities.
Work their nose!!
This needs to be a combination of what dogs like to play with on their own and what they like to play with when you are involved. Make sure that if they are left alone with toys, they are something they are likely to interact with by themselves and secondly is indestructible enough to last the day.
Remember to also rotate toys – take away a couple of the toys and then bring them out a few weeks later – To your dog it will be like they have “new toys” all over again.
Other options include;