Do you ever wonder if you've adopted a Tasmanian devil instead of a puppy? Have you returned home and found that your dog has destroyed your couch or dug a hole in your carpet? If the answer to these questions is yes, try not to get discouraged. Your fur child is probably not a bad dog. More than likely, it is just a bored canine that needs more mental stimulation and/or physical activity. It's especially important for young dogs and certain working breeds, such as border collies and hunting dogs, to burn off their excess energy and keep their minds engaged.
If your dog is exhibiting "bad" behavior, we suggest you do the following:
Walk and Run With Your Pup
A tired dog will spend most of its time sleeping rather than destroying your home, so try to begin each day with a good long walk or run. Although that might mean you'll have to set your alarm a half-hour to an hour earlier than you normally would, it will be worth it when returning home to a destruction-free zone.
Some more-active dogs will also require a midday walk. If your job is too far away for you to return home at lunch, consider hiring a service that can take your pet for an afternoon stroll.
Finally, try to end each day with another long walk. One caveat: If your pup's daily walk includes a splash through a pond or a lake, make sure to bathe your dog when returning home. Some bodies of water can contain blue-green algae, which can be toxic to dogs. It's also important to thoroughly towel-dry your dog if it gets wet or rained on during your walk. Damp fur can lead to skin infections and hot spots.
If you own a water-loving dog, such as a Labrador, you should invest in a towel designed specifically to dry canines, such as a Labrador, you should invest in a towel designed specifically to dry canines, such as The Absorber. This towel can take in more water than a standard bath towel, which will speed your dog's drying time. Reach out to Dog Lover’s Towel for more information.
Provide Your Pet With Interactive Toys
The pet toy industry has been working hard to address the needs of your bored canine. Some of the interactive products it has created for dogs include puzzles that force a pup to paw and lift pegs to access hidden treats and rubber Kongs, which can be filled with treats and frozen. There are even pet cameras on the market that will allow you to talk with and dispense treats to your dog.
Imagine being a young child locked alone in a room day after day. You probably would go a little stir crazy, as well. If you have a job that requires you to spend long hours away from your home, consider taking your pet to a doggy daycare where it can run and play with other pups. The upfront cost for doggy daycare may be a bit higher than other options. That said, think of the money you'll save if your pup is too tired to chew your shoes or gnaw on the legs of your expensive dining room table.
Become a Regular at the Dog Park
Some active breeds may require more than an on-leash hike around the block. For these dogs, only a wild and crazy high-speed romp will do. Though as any pet owner knows, allowing a dog to run free can be a hazard to its health. A safer option is to take your high-energy pup to a dog park for regular exercise and socialization. Your dog is bound to be exhausted after rough-housing with its fellow canines.
Remember, most canines are eager to please their owners and would rather not be considered a "bad dog." These activities will give your fur baby the chance to succeed.