Friday, November 9, 2012

Weather Outside is Frightful

So you may hove gotten lucky and rescued a pup sometime this year, or maybe someone got one for a birthday, you have had all summer working on potty training, teaching him how to sit and heel on the leash.  Now that the weather has turned wet and cold a lot of us like to spend more of our time inside rather than outside, so what does that mean for our four legged furry friend?  Almost overnight their best friend has gone from running around and throwing balls for them outside to being curled up on the couch watching the rain or snowflakes falling down.  So your pup is now left to come up with something to do more on his own then he was before.  What does that mean to you? Trouble, with a capital T.  With the daily walks reduced and playtime outside next to nil  your pup is bored.  We've all seen the cartoons where someone is stuck on an island with one other person, and that person turns into a leg of lamb to the other.... well your couch, your phone, your socks, shoes, etc. will start to look like fun unexplored toys to your bored pooch.  They are not out to punish you, they are simply starved for attention or something to keep their minds busy. (picture a 2 year old left in your work office all day, what would it look like when you got back)

 You should also note that if you do have a young dog (under 1 year) your dog can still be teething, even if you can see all the baby teeth have been replaced, just like your kids, your dog will get his back molars in.

I suggest keeping an arsenal of rawhides, nylabones, and food puzzles on hand and rotate them so he doesn't have access to them all the time, they will get bored of them if they are left out all the time.
If have not started ditching the everyday doggy dish that you feed your dog in, I suggest you do so now.  Making your dog work for his food is a great way to give him something to do and keep him from getting bored. This link has many more example of puzzles and things to do to keep fluffy busy and not looking at your new phone as her new toy.
As I have stated before, exercise is your best friend when it comes to having a well behaved dog.  Yes that means even if the weather outside is looking a bit frightful (or at least colder than you like) you still should take Fido out for a walk, not only will it help keep you and your pup in shape, but it also helps keep the happiness in the bond with you and your new addition.
One other way of keeping Fido behaving these in the cooler months ahead is this:
Yup, that's right, remember that clicker that you used to teach Fido how to sit, or help in potty training?  Guess what, teaching your dog something new uses as much energy as taking him on a small walk!  So for those days when the weather really is too frightful to be out in, pull out your trusty clicker and teach your dog to ring a bell, jump over a broom set between a pair of chairs.  You can find trick books at the petstores or at places like Amazon.  Take some time each day and polish up "Heel" or "Leave it" Shoot for 10 minutes a day and you might just be surprised at how much better behaved your dog will be come spring! Everyone will be amazed at your wonderful dog!

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