How do you keep your dog busy?
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Thread: How do you keep your dog busy?

  1. #1
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    How do you keep your dog busy?

    I am home during the day for what I would consider a decent amount for a single, working person. I am having a problem with my 2yr old Doxie Geno getting into things while I am gone.

    Normally, he doesn't destroy anything or gnaw on anything, but sometimes he does (like my surround sound speaker wires yesterday).

    I don't like to crate him because no matter what I try, he gets very upset and barks all day. I have even tried to make him sleep in it at night, etc (which he does, no problem). But as soon as you lock the door and leave, he barks.

    If I pen him up in the kitchen he also gets frustrated.

    He is generally on his best behavior when let out, although he will do things like pull place mats I have on my coffee table off, pull wires, pick up books/magazines, etc.

    He has quite a few toys, to include a Kong which I fill every day (adjusting his food intake to compensate), which he seems to play with. However, he is just a curious dog.

    Is there any suggestions you can give to keep him occupied with doggy things instead of people things?

    I have tried apple bitter, but that wears off and isn't something I like to constantly spray on electronics. Besides, if he just drags things about, it really doesn't stop him from doing so.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member BoxMeIn21's Avatar
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    Re: How do you keep your dog busy?

    Aside from limiting his access to the entire house, I would start getting him REAL tired, like maybe a 30-45 minute jog?? Frozen kongs work wonders. I blend up a mixture of apples, peanut butter, bananas and non-fat plain yogurt with a little water and freeze them in ice cube trays. Then when I leave I pop, two or three of the cubes in the kong.
    So you have tried the crate? Is it separation anxiety, where he's hurting himself or is he just barking his head off? If he's just barking, you might try and get him used to it again and only let him out when he's quiet. A crate is the safest place for him - you might have to endure his barking a little bit while he's getting used to it, but it's much better than burying your dog because he got electricuted.
    Here's a training article on crate training.
    http://www.clickersolutions.com/articles/2001/crate.htm

    Good luck

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    Re: How do you keep your dog busy?

    The Kong isn't quite the problem. Half the time he doesn't even dig out the treat? I might have to try the crate thing...

    The only thing about the crate is, I hate to have him in some crate for 8 hours per day. Maybe I am just being a baby, but he rarely actually destroys anything and never makes a mistake (unless he is sick) inside the house. I am just trying to occupy his time enough that he doesn't drag stuff around.
    Last edited by Matth3w; 05-29-2007 at 12:09 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  5. #4
    Senior Member BoxMeIn21's Avatar
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    Re: How do you keep your dog busy?

    That's why you have to fill the kong with something he'll flip over. Something yummy and gooey that will take a while to lick out like peanut butter, yogurt, etc...You might want to use this for his crate training to, along with getting him tired, it will keep him occupied as well. Aside from that, getting him tired is also key - a tired dog, is a good dog...
    And yes, you are being a baby about the crate. It really is the safest place for him, unless you can gate off a larger area like a kitchen. Most of us work during the day and have to crate our dogs for up to 8 hours. My only question is, how old is your dog? If your dog is younger than 7-8 months I would have someone come by and let him out mid-day.

    "Please allow me to adjust my pants, so that I may dance the good time dance.
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    Re: How do you keep your dog busy?

    I need ideas to keep my beagle pup more occupied when I am out. I work from home so she's not left alone much. She'll go crazy for her kong - usually filled with jerky, cheese and her fave biscuits - but will give up when she gets half way through. So the kong will only last her about 20 minutes! Even when I freeze it.

  7. #6
    Senior Member lovemygreys's Avatar
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    Re: How do you keep your dog busy?

    A tired dog is a good dog - that's the best answer I have for dogs who get bored and then destructive during the day. A good loooooong walk/jog in the morning or fetch session in the yard before you leave for work. Beagles are hunting dogs - they have a LOT of energy that needs to be used up. Also, I'd do training in the evenings and even a short session in the mornings to get that brain going a bit.

    Doxies I'm not as familiar with...the doxies I've known have been pretty laid back...but the tired dog = good dog applies regardless of breed

    Crating a dog that is being destructive due to boredom will be frustrating for the dog (and can lead to barking) and doesn't solve the problem...it's a band-aid for human convenience. Separation anxiety is a different issue, but that doesn't sound like the case here.
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    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
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    Re: How do you keep your dog busy?

    I believe in the tired dog syndrome as well! If I know that I'll be out of the house for several hours that day and the dogs will be crated, then I get up a bit earlier and make sure they have a good long walk, preferably with lots of stimulation, before I go off for the day. And then I always walk them when I get home if it's not too hot, or later in the evening. If the weather does not permit a walk then we play fetch or ball until they are tired.

    The only time they are not crated while I'm gone is if it is less than an hour. But I have had to puppy-proof the house with the newest one. She will steal pillows and chew on them, books are fair game to her, shoes, and poor Wilson the volleyball took a hit before we figured out her game!

    I crate my dogs when I'm gone because there are just too many things they can get into around the house. Also if they have an accident it is contained. The crates are easier to clean than my carpet. They each have a little soft toy to snuggle with. And for the most part, once I've left, they sleep. Even if I put a stuffed Kong in there it is usually untouched unless they have really gotten hungry for some reason.

    So your choices, IMO, are to crate or puppy-proof.
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    Re: How do you keep your dog busy?

    Quote Originally Posted by lovemygreys View Post
    A tired dog is a good dog - that's the best answer I have for dogs who get bored and then destructive during the day. A good loooooong walk/jog in the morning or fetch session in the yard before you leave for work. Beagles are hunting dogs - they have a LOT of energy that needs to be used up. Also, I'd do training in the evenings and even a short session in the mornings to get that brain going a bit.
    I always walk my beagle before I have to leave her. And it's a nice long walk too - but I need some ideas on how to tire her out more - maybe some games?

    My sister said my pup whined when I left for my night class this evening. I think she has separation anxiety.

  10. #9
    Senior Member briteday's Avatar
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    Re: How do you keep your dog busy?

    I've seen lots of issues with beagles over the years. Separation anxiety is almost assumed with beagles.

    Our dogs are small and so we can play in the house. But the back yard is good too when the weather is nice. Our gals like fetch with a ball or toy, tugging on rope toys, playing in the wading pool (we float a ball in there for them to play with, you can also add some ice cubes for entertainment), ice cubes on the patio, stuffed kongs filled with yogurt and frozen during the summer, chasing anything that moves in the pasture, long walks, visiting with trusted neighbor dogs for a good hard play session.
    Being smart is learning from your own mistakes. Being wise is learning from others' mistakes.
    Cally- 14 yo papillon, Moose the puppy, McKenna 8 yo pomeranian grand-dog, and chickens

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    Re: How do you keep your dog busy?

    Ice cubes are great fun! I had forgotten about that trick. We used to put ice cubes in our black lab's water dish in summer. It served two purposes: kept her busy trying to fish them out and made her water cooler.

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    Senior Member luv4gsds's Avatar
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    Re: How do you keep your dog busy?

    For pets that are going through separation anxiety issues Bach Flower Remedy works great.

    http://www.allourpets.com/holistic/bach-essences.shtml

    Dachshunds can be very destructive chewers when bored. I also believe in a tired dog is a happy dog. Not only exercising the body but also the mind.

    My two Dachshunds love the tug a jug dog toy.

    Walk to cure diabetes

  13. #12
    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: How do you keep your dog busy?

    Plott hounds are high energy dogs but, fortunately, easily amused.

    A couple bales of straw, a large kiddie pool full of water and a tennis ball and she's happy all day.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Ginny01OT's Avatar
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    Re: How do you keep your dog busy?

    Ice cubes are a great thing. When I am gone I leave the tv on for Riley, fox news station is his preference--maybe because there is talking all day and he thinks someone is home. He also has some safe toys in his "place" and I also leave a treat or two. He knows when I get home and settled is his walk time. I do any errand in town I can with him in tow (I walk into town go to the ATM, dry cleaner and any other store they will let me in, which is not many). I work 8-3, three days per week. If it is a real problem perhaps you can look into doggie day care or a pet sitter coming in once a day or every other day to take him for a walk and play with him for about 10 minutes or so--just to take the edge off.

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