Monday, May 19, 2008

Play With Your Dog

So often I hear owners complain about their hyper active dog destroying their home or property. Chewing on furniture, mauling shoes, digging holes, and worse. Some owners act as if their dog is the problem.

Newsflash – It’s not the dog’s fault!!!

Think about this. How would you feel if you were left at home for 8-12 hours per day by yourself? When your family came home they said hello and then went about their evening, pausing to feed you dinner, but otherwise ignoring you. I’d say most of us would get pretty anxious, upset, and bored.

Dogs are pack animals and very social creatures. They need interaction with others, whether they be people or other animals.

It’s also critical to give dogs a challenge – something that makes their brain work and think. Solving problems, performing tasks, and experiencing a variety of events are key to a dog’s mental and physical health.

I admit, hubby and I are at times lazy and not always the best doggy parents. They always let us know when we’ve been neglecting our duties for walks and entertainment - often in the form of a torn up living room. My favorite scissors are no more. Several times we’ve come home to garbage strewn everywhere. We never blame the dogs. We know that it’s our fault and promptly take them for a walk.

Lately, Trooper and I have been very active. He goes to daycare once a week. Twice a week, he and I go to Agility Training. This has been the most incredible bonding experience and physical challenge that I’ve ever done with my dogs. I truly wish I’d known more about agility when we got Kodiak seven years ago.

It’s not necessary to join an Agility class with your dog in order to get that important physical and mental stimulation (though I highly recommend it!). There are other ways to ensure your dog’s health and happiness.


One of my favorite gift blogs, Rare Bird Finds, found this incredible board game that you actually PLAY WITH YOUR DOGS!!! I think it would be hilarious and so much fun! Could you get your dog to do sit-ups? Crawl? Stick out their tongue? I don’t know if I could, but it would be fun to try.

What fun and creative things do you do with your dog? That Mutt is currently doing a 30 day challenge - taking her dog to a new place every day. She also did one awhile ago that was 30 days of taking a walk every day. What about teaching your dog a new trick or command every day for 30 days? Or even for one week.

It will do you and your dog a lot of good.

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