1. Exercise Your Dog At Least Twice a Day.
Dogs that don’t get enough exercise can get bored and have pent up energy that they will then use for destructive behavior. For example, dogs may bark excessively and chew on things they aren’t supposed to, such as the remote, the walls, or your shoes. Depending on your dog’s age and stamina, you should give your dog a 15-30 minute walk twice a day. If you work long hours, you can always hire a local dog walker to stop by while you’re away. The dog walker will ensure that they get in their much-needed exercise. This will allow them to do something constructive with their energy and hopefully avoid mischievous behavior. VIP Dog Walking and Pet Sitting is a professional dog walking and pet sitting service that is licensed bonded and insured. They provide service to Maumelle and North Little Rock.
2. Train your Dog.
There are many options for training your dog. From the simple sit command to dog agility or obedience competitions. Taking 5-10 minutes a day to work on a behavior will stimulate your dog’s brain and keep them learning. When your dog gets mental and physical stimulation, they have less stress. At home training should never be more than 15 minutes at a time, as you don’t want them to become frustrated. If you aren’t sure about where to begin, search for a local trainer. Often pet stores may have a trainer that comes in weekly, or there are trainers who will come to your home. If you really want to get into training your dog, check for a local dog club. They will often have training for obedience and agility as well as other fun activities that you and your dog can learn together. Little Rock Dog Training Club has many classes to help you get started.
3. Ignore Your Dog.
I know! What?! Ignore your dog?! Yes! 15-20 minutes before you leave your house, put your dog in their crate, or another room (where you would normally put them when you leave) and give them a special treat. Try giving them their favorite chew bone, or some kind of special treat that they like (that will keep them busy). This will be something they only get when you’re leaving. This way they are busy while you’re leaving and get used to being rewarded! You can also do this even if you’re going to stay home. This will allow them to feel safe and rewarded in this special part of the house. Don’t be surprised if they like it so much that they start going there just to take naps!
4. Play Games with Your Dog.
Most dogs love to play with you! It can be anything from tug of war to fetch and even more complicated games like hide and seek! Dog hide and seek is a little different. Start with choosing a small room in your home. Next, hide one treat somewhere (in the beginning you want to have it where your dog can see it). Then tell your dog to “find it”. Once they find it tell them that they are a “good dog” and get excited with them! You can gradually make the game harder by hiding treats underneath and in between things. This will make your dogs nose and brain actively working!Just keep track of how many treats you have hidden!
5. Give Your Dog Something to do While You’re Gone.
Dogs love treats! We often give our dogs treats just by handing them to them. However, to keep your dog busy, you can provide them many different options that make them work for their treats. One of my favorites is the Kong treat toys. They have a standard Kong that you can stuff full of treats and then put peanut butter around it. Try freezing them to really make it fun! Another favorite toy to keep your dogs occupied while they are home alone is the Treat Ball. This ball will only allow 1-3 pieces of food to drop out every time your dog rolls it. Keep in mind, if you’re feeding your dog more treats during the day, you may need to reduce his food so that they do not get more calories than they need. You can find Kong and other toy options at PetSense in North Little Rock.