Bored dog?

Bored dog?

You ask – we answer:

Q: I am away from home 10 hours a day. I purchased a female Shiba for my male, but he made our lives miserable for 3 weeks and I returned her to the breeder (he’s very possessive). How can I keep my dog entertained, while gated in my kitchen, so he doesn’t chew/destroy things? I can’t leave him out; he would destroy my entire house. But that is too long to crate. He is 9 months old. What can I do?

A: Before you leave for the day, make sure you have given him sufficient exercise. He should go for at least a 40-minute walk. Leave some toys out that will keep his attention and make him work for a reward.

Treat balls provide mental stimulation, as the dog has to interact with the ball to get it to drop a treat. Kongs are a good option also. Fill them with plain yogurt and freeze them. It will keep your Shiba busy. Make sure there are plenty of sufficient chew toys that taste good. Your local pet store should carry a variety of these types of toys and treats.

When you get home, make sure you take your dog out and let him get rid of his energy by running around and playing. Enrolling him in an obedience class also will help give him something more constructive to do mentally.

Q: I have a 2 1/2-year-old mixed breed dog who has gotten really bad at barking and jumping when he sees other dogs during a walk. Any ideas on how to make him stop?

A: Your dog might be lacking some socialization. He may need to have some time in a fenced-in area to play and run with other dogs.

Provided he is not showing aggressive behavior towards the other dogs, he may just want a chance to run and play. It might be a good idea to take him to a dog daycare to satisfy his need for social time with other dogs. Also, teach your dog the rules of leash walking by having him walk at your side and pay attention to you. Show your dog that you expect him to walk at your side and teach him to automatically sit when you stop. This will teach your dog to pay more attention to you on the walks and less on what is going on around him.

Q: How do I get my dog to stop jumping up on people when they come into my house? He is being friendly, not mean.

A: Dogs jump up because they learn it gets them attention. Most dogs would rather have the negative attention of being scolded than no attention at all.

Consistently ask your dog to sit before you pet him. By doing this, you are teaching him that to get attention, he needs to sit. Again, be consistent and do this without distractions. When guests do come over, ask them to fold their arms and ask your dog to sit. If he jumps, tell them to quickly turn their backs and wait for him to stop jumping. Then ask him for a sit. If he sits he gets petted. If not, he is ignored. With enough consistency, you will teach him that sitting gets him attention, not jumping.

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