Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bad dogs to Good dogs

Do you have a dog who is always getting into some sort of mischief? Always finding something chewed up, a new hole dug out in the yard, your neighbor calling you saying your dog is running down the road. How about getting in the trash, or barking at everyone who walks by the window? Here are a few tips that will help give your dog something better to do.

A dog who is always finding trouble is a bored dog. Next time your dog does something bad, ask yourself what have you done to let your dog get out some energy, or to give your dog some mind stimulation? If your answer is nothing, you just expect the dog to be good, you need to think again. If I had as much energy as some of the dogs in this world, with a mind that lives in the now and absolutely nothing to keep me occupied or burn that energy, you bet I'd be causing trouble too!

Let's start with energy. Dogs have a lot of built up energy and need ways to burn this energy. Walking your dog is not usually enough, though it certainly helps! Try finding a place where your dog can RUN! Be sure it's a safe place and let your dog have at it. If your dog doesn't have a good recall, you might work on that first. An excellent DVD is the Really Reliable Recall - Train Your Dog to Come When Called... No Matter What!.

If it's a large, safe, fenced in area, for the first time doing this you might set aside a couple of hours to go down and just let your dog run around, sniff and have a good time. Don't worry about calling your dog to you. Bring a good book or something to do, wait for your dog to return to you. If your dog returns to you periodically give them praise and a favorite treat or toss a toy for them if they like to fetch and bring it back.

When your dog is tired, they will eventually come back to you. The first time doing this, you will probably have to wait the longest. This is new for your dog and they love it, let them enjoy it! If you're having fun, you don't want to go home after only an hour do you? Remember, this needs to be done off leash. Anything that you can do to get your dog running is GREAT for your dog! This goes for small and big dogs.

Not only does your dog need this off leash time to run, but also some interactive play time too. Some things you can do with your dog include, but are not limited to; swimming, running, hiking, biking, four wheeling, and playing fetch. Some other activities you can try out and take classes for are; Agility, Flyball, Hunting, Herding, Schutzhund, Tracking, Search and Rescue, or even training your dog to do service dog tasks.

An excellent toy for dogs who LOVE to play fetch is the Chuckit! Ball Launcher If your interested in biking with your dog, check out the Walky Dog Hands Free Bicycle Leash or there's another one called the Springer Bicycle Jogger. If hiking is more your thing, definitely look into Dog Packs, that one is a little on the spendy side, a lower priced one would be the Dog Backpack Saddle Gear Bag

If your looking to get started in some Agility or just want to have fun with your dog in the back yard, here's a great Kyjen Dog-Agility Starter Kit and a book to get you started The Beginner's Guide to Dog Agility.

Next, we need to stimulate that mind! Try working in some obedience training or teaching them some fun Tricks. If you need something to keep your dog busy while you work or clean, fill up some interactive treat toys and let your dog at it! These will keep your dog out of trouble at least for a while.

If you can give your dog the physical and mental exercise they need, behavior problems will start going away on their own. If you want to take this further, sign up for some agility classes and find jobs for your dog to do! You'll have that dream dog in no time!

A great book to help you further in this topic is:

Have fun with this and enjoy the company of your dog! You got them for a reason right? Show them you appreciate them by giving them what they NEED! Exercise, physically AND Mentally!

Thursday's Game of the week is: Find it!

A great game to play with your dog, you can play inside or outside and even get your kids involved if you have any! Play with a favorite toy, dog food, treats, or even kongs filled with some food. Make it easy at first, have your dog stay, put them in a room or crate, or have somebody hold them. Hide their toy, treat or whatever you are using somewhere they can find it, starting out you could hide it in the middle of a room. Let them go and tell them to Find it! Help them if they need it at first. Keep working on this and making it harder and harder to find it. They will soon be a pro at finding it! After they are great at finding different things, you can put names on them or even teach them to find your keys or slippers! Have fun with this! A very useful thing for your dog to know! A Twist on this is to have them find a person, such as Go find Susie! Then reward them for doing so! Enjoy!


  1. Great ideas, will definitely have to try with Ace.

  2. Wow! I'm so glad I read this. It may just be the answer I was looking for to my 'bad-doggie problems.

  3. I certainly hope it helps! Good luck :) Thanks for commenting!

  4. Really great news!!! this information is well worth looking everyone. Good tips. I will be sharing this with all of my friends! Thank you for sharing valuable information.
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