For all of the cute things that dogs do, our furry friends have a way of getting in trouble when they’re bored. As dog owners, we have to be proactive in thinking about ways we can keep our pets out of trouble and stave off mischief before it starts.
Here are some ideas:
We’re going to discuss quite a few options in this article, but none of them are as effective as training. If you want your dog to behave, you need to invest in some professional training. Ideally, this should be done within the first couple of months of owning a dog.
While not ideal, crating is an option for some dogs when you’ll be gone for short periods of time. It’s particularly effective when you have a dog that has exhibited destructive tendencies in the past. Using it until you get the proper training ensures your dog doesn’t grow accustomed to poor behavior.
Far too many dog owners unnecessarily keep their dogs inside around the clock. Dogs are animals and have no problem being outside. In fact, most prefer it. Consider installing a fence in your backyard and allowing your dog to roam for a few hours each day. This satiates curiosity and burns off energy.
4. Removal of Problem Items
If there are certain items that consistently create problems for your dog, don’t tempt him by leaving them out. For example, open trashcans are an invitation for mischievous behavior. Eliminate the issue by placing the garbage out of reach.
5. Toys and Chews
If you have children, you understand the importance of keeping them occupied with something. As soon as they get bored, that’s when they make mistakes and cause trouble. The same goes with your dog. Properly selected toys and chews can keep his mind engaged and boredom at bay.
There are a variety of chews and toys on the market, but you’ll find that the best options are natural and long lasting. Elk antlers check off both boxes.
“Chock-full of natural minerals, these renewable chews (elk shed them every year) are a top choice for all chewers,” Homes Alive Pets mentions. “The chondroitin sulfate found in elk antler is particularly beneficial for your dog’s bone and joint health and is often an important component of joint health supplements. While it’s not the most flavorful chew, elk antlers won’t stain or smell like other natural chews and they are generally more interesting to dogs than synthetic chews.”
Other good options include lamb horns, raw bones, and bully sticks. If you’d prefer a toy and not a chew,
If you’re gone for six, eight, or ten hours per day, consider investing in doggy daycare. While it can be expensive, it’s better than having a bored dog roaming around your home. (Buying new living room furniture isn’t cheap either!)
If you don’t want pay for an expensive doggy daycare, hiring someone to come by once a day and spend just 10 or 15 minutes playing with your pup is a good idea.
7. Proper Correction
The only time you should ever scold or correct a dog for poor behavior is when they’re caught in the act (or immediately after). Dogs can’t associate punishment now with something they did an hour ago – no matter how guilty they may appear.
“In reality, ‘guilty looks’ are actually canine submissive postures that dogs show when they’re threatened,” The Humane Society explains. When you’re angry and upset, your dog feels threatened by your tone of voice, body postures and/or facial expressions, so they may hide or show submissive postures. Punishment after the fact will not only fail to eliminate the undesirable behavior, but it could also provoke other undesirable behaviors.”
Dog Owners: Assert Your Role
As much as we may view our dogs as being humans, they are in fact animals. More specifically, they are pack animals by nature. And every pack has a leader. This leader is known as the alpha male. He dominates the group and the others fall under his leadership. Your family is a pack and there’s only room for one leader. Will it be you or your dog?