How to keep dogs occupied and happy???
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Thread: How to keep dogs occupied and happy???

  1. #1
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    Exclamation How to keep dogs occupied and happy???

    I have two Jack Russell cross dogs. One is one year and the other is 7 months old. They are a little bored and I was wondering if someone could offer some advice on how to make them happier.

    They are taken for half an hour walks every day or two. Have a multitude of toys including the kong ones that you put food in. They have their own little clam swimming pool.

    I need my other half to help me walk them as I hate taking them walking on short leads. They end up taking me walking/dragging. So I take them to the park with boyfriend where they can run free in their half hour. But the two of us has to go otherwise just in case something happens to one. Butch has a tendancy to not listen so that makes it difficult.

    Once or twice a week I read outside and throw them the ball.

    Boyfriend works 12 hour days and I work 8 hour days.

    What else can I do with them to make them happy???? If I put them on leads they won't get to run around as much.

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by amy1001 View Post
    I have two Jack Russell cross dogs. One is one year and the other is 7 months old. They are a little bored and I was wondering if someone could offer some advice on how to make them happier.

    They are taken for half an hour walks every day or two. Have a multitude of toys including the kong ones that you put food in. They have their own little clam swimming pool.

    I need my other half to help me walk them as I hate taking them walking on short leads. They end up taking me walking/dragging. So I take them to the park with boyfriend where they can run free in their half hour. But the two of us has to go otherwise just in case something happens to one. Butch has a tendancy to not listen so that makes it difficult.

    Once or twice a week I read outside and throw them the ball.

    Boyfriend works 12 hour days and I work 8 hour days.

    What else can I do with them to make them happy???? If I put them on leads they won't get to run around as much.
    What makes you think they aren't happy? Are they being destructive? It's great that you have two of them, so they can play with each other when you're gone.

    You said you have lots of toys - do you rotate them? Dogs can get bored with the same old toys, but a change of toys every few days can make a lot of difference.

    You said you have kongs - do you put treats inside of them? Have you seen the ball that holds kibble and can be chased around the house, and occasionally releases a kibble?

    Since terriers are ratters, have you thought of adopting (yes, there are rodent rescues) a little critter that would be safely caged but that your dogs can watch? Supply a hamster with a wheel, and the dogs will be fascinated for hours.

    It also sounds like you and your dogs would benefit from obedience class.

    You mentioned the pool - how about a hard rubber beach ball that they can't quite pick up, but that can be rolled around the pool - with or without water?

  4. #3
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    There's no way my terrier would survive (or actually *I* probably wouldn't survive because she would be driving me crazy) on just 30 minutes of exercise (and she's just a puppy younger then yours), and there's no way I would trust her off leash because of her prey drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by DogAdvocat View Post
    You said you have lots of toys - do you rotate them? Dogs can get bored with the same old toys, but a change of toys every few days can make a lot of difference.
    Agree! My dogs have a ton of toys, but some are hidden and some are put in different rooms throughout the house and are constantly rotated. It's like they are getting a new toy each time they get an old one back.

    Quote Originally Posted by DogAdvocat
    Since terriers are ratters, have you thought of adopting (yes, there are rodent rescues) a little critter that would be safely caged but that your dogs can watch? Supply a hamster with a wheel, and the dogs will be fascinated for hours.
    As a warning, if your dogs have just half of the prey drive my terrier does, the hamster wouldn't last. Even in a glass aquarium, she would find a way to get to it. I wouldn't bring in another animal for another's amusement if it meant it might not last

    Can you hire someone to come over once or twice while you are at work to take care of the dogs? Play with them, let them out, etc.? You mentioned you have a 7 month puppy, are you taking him/her to places to get him/her well socialized? That's a fun exercise. Can you read outside more? You can have all the toys in the world, but they also need to get outside of the house and be exercised/played with by you or someone else.

    As for not walking well on the leash, www.clickersolutions.com have good, well written articles on the subject (and the group is wonderful).

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    Quote Originally Posted by terrier terror View Post
    As a warning, if your dogs have just half of the prey drive my terrier does, the hamster wouldn't last. Even in a glass aquarium, she would find a way to get to it. I wouldn't bring in another animal for another's amusement if it meant it might not last
    I agree 110% , which is why I said "safely caged". I had a dog that would stare at our rat cage for hours and hours, totally intent the whole time. BUT, she wasn't a terrier, so I defer to your expertise. Do you really think that they could get to a high shelf? If there was any doubt, I'd never recommend such a thing.

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    Senior Member animalcraker's Avatar
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    I would recomend that you start taking both of your pups to obedience classes and/or agility classes. Dogs like to have a job to do obedience and agility is a good place to start.

    I would also sugjest not to get another animal just to entertain the ones you have. You could get a remote controled car and let them chase that for hours. Lots of fun for them and you, and it's not another animal for you to have to clean up after.

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    Something else to consider - if you could MAKE the time, is something called Earth Dog Trials:

    http://www.akc.org/events/earthdog/index.cfm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DogAdvocat View Post
    Do you really think that they could get to a high shelf?
    If it's too high, I think that would defeat the purpose of them watching them. No doubt they will know they are there, and the second the cage comes down I'm sure my bitch would be right there and try to take any opportunity she has. If she is able to watch the hamster, that would just pump her up even more. Terriers and rodents/small animals can live together in the same home, but imo, not in the same room. Way too risky, and though I don't like hamsters, mice, rats, etc. I would feel awful having put them in that position if something were to happen.

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    They squeak and make all sorts of noises when they see us leave the house and run to the gate where the car is. So am pretty sure that they want to come with us all the time. They are only a little destructive by digging holes a lot. That is okay with us though as the lawn is horrible here.

    We live in a mining town so its small and doesn't have many services. I am going to research my own puppy training and do it from home and see how that goes. I would love to take them to puppy preschool but will just have to make my own up.

    So far I have gathered 1, need to take them walking more, somehow! 2, doing the right thing with rotating toys. 3, Got the toy kong with the biscuits idea working. 4, I don't really like hamsters and those kind of animals.

    I had no idea about their prey drive! I'm off to google about jack russels and learn more about their breed. The clicker site looks interesting.

    Thank you all for your replies. It has given me a great start.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Sawyer's Avatar
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    Amy - I may be way off on what you are looking for but just a couple of ideas for "mind games." We have a hard plastic ball, slightly larger than a baseball, that once turned on spins across the floor quickly. My pup loves this - especially when it gets caught behind or under furniture and he has to figure out how to get it out. The great thing is that it's too large and slippery to fit in his mouth - so everytime he goes for it, it just propels it further which excites him and gets him ready for another chase. I don't recall the name of the ball, we've had it for years, but you can find it at most children's toy stores. The other children's toy our pup has is the "bumble ball." Have you seen this? It's a ball with soft spikes which shakes hard. We turn it on and put it under the couch. My dog loves this thing and tries so hard to get it out. He will swat at it on one side then run to the other and swat again until it's close enough to reach. These may sound like silly games, but they could get your dogs' minds working and hopefully tire them out!

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