This past week I’ve gotten several calls from people who where concerned that their dog was digging up their back yard or was eating portions of their house and lawn furniture when they were left alone during the day.
Well, the truth is that dogs get bored just like people do. If you toss your pup out in the back yard when it’s time to go to work and then leave it out there for eight or ten hours a day things are going to happen. Bad things are going to happen. I mean, what would you do if someone locked you out there for that length of time?? You’d find something to entertain yourself and that is exactly what these guys are doing. You pup is going to fine something they can drag around and play with (cushions from the lawn chairs) or something they can chew on (the siding of the house) or, horrors of horrors, something they can chase and stalk (bugs in the grass and yard) which leads to digging. Now, each of those isn’t so bad if it only goes on for a few minutes, but if you live in a nice quiet suburban area where things are quiet, there’s nothing to break their attention from the task at hand so the behavior gets worse.
What I’ve been telling people to do is to find some great toys and buy several to put out in the yard when you leave for work. These toys need to be interactive in some way and not just a stuffed animal or ball. My favorites are Kongs and these neat new things called Twist and Treats. These things keep the pups occupied and when they finish with one of them they will generally lay down for a nice nap. It’s a great way to keep them from finding destructive ways to entertain themselves and to keep your lawn furniture from being eaten.
Austin Dog Trainer
Fidelio Dog Works