Dog training in Sale Victoria

If you’ve trained with me before you are likely already familiar with this.

Undesired behaviours can quite often arise out of boredom and lack of mental stimulation. If your dog doesn’t have an outlet for its energy in a way that satisfies their natural instincts as a dog as well as the genetic influence of their breed characteristics, your dog will find a way to satisfy their needs in a way you will likely not appreciate.

There are some things we can do to channel these urges in a more acceptable way.

Instead of feeding your dog from a bowl and have them gobble up their food in 30 seconds flat, why not make them work for their food?

You could give them appropriate size raw meaty bones or chicken frames to chew on. There are also several food dispensing toys out there to choose from for both dry kibble and wet food. They encourage your dog to work for their food, expelling mental energy as well as physical energy. Some of them are even made so they can go in the freezer which will make your dog work even harder, will last longer and is an ideal treat for summer. That’s less time during the day to practice unwanted behaviours and get themselves into trouble.

Always supervise your dog with new toys to ensure that they aren’t being destroyed. We don’t want a dog choking or getting a bowel obstruction. Use quality toys and regularly inspect them for damage daily. Rotating the toys so there’s different ones out over the week will help prevent your dog from getting bored with their toys.

Why not try scatter feeding around your yard? Grab a handful of kibble and throw it to the wind. Or a little game of hide and seek with their food? 10% of a dog’s brain is allocated to scenting abilities compared to a human’s 1%. That’s a lot of brain power they can use up just to seek out their food!

If your dog is a chewer, leave out some appropriately sized chew toys. There are also many that have the ability to smear things like peanut butter in them to encourage them to chew on the toys instead of your possessions. Especially for puppies and younger dogs.

Along with chew toys, there are several toys available that are designed for a dog to entertain themselves with while you are out. You may also consider getting a large ball for your dog to push around if they are a dog that likes to round up things. Picture a dog pushing around an exercise ball. There’s actually a sport for that. It’s called treibball.

Your dog likes digging? Why not bury the bones, food toys or other toys in a sandpit? This can encourage a dog that already loves digging in your garden to dig in a more suitable area. If you have a dog that buries bones just be mindful that having bones out will likely increase the digging so consider opting for one of the other options such as food toys.

I touched on smells before… this doesn’t just apply to the smell of food. Consider bringing in things from other environments that have a scent. Ensure it is safe for your dog though. If your dog has separation anxiety, something with your own scent on it may help. Why not dabble in the discipline of scent work or tracking? It’s a great way to get out, meet other dog owners and satisfy your dog’s needs. Your dog doesn’t have to be a perfect angel to do it either.

Take a look around your yard at your dog’s level. How interesting is it? Are there things to explore and play on? Why not create a little obstacle course? Things to climb over, go under and go through. Make sure you consider your dog’s safety in the design.

Play with your dog. All dogs are different but generally speaking, most breeds come with certain traits. Dogs like to practice prey like behaviour. Why not channel it into something more appropriate using toys or even yourself? Play games that encourage what your dog enjoys. This may be games involving chasing, catching, retrieving, biting tugs etc. I’m aware there’s an idea out there that this may create aggressive behaviour in dogs but in fact all dogs display an element of what people consider aggressive behaviour. It’s the way they communicate and we do have to remember they are domesticated animals, not people. All we are doing is channelling those tendencies into a more appropriate outlet, and even better, an outlet that helps establish a relationship between us and our dogs. If we don’t channel these tendencies, it will show in a less desirable way.

Want to know what your dog’s ultimate boredom buster would be?

Training! There are so many benefits to training. By training I mean anything that you can think of that overcomes the communication barrier between you and your dog. Training creates engagement, a bond between dog and owner, physical and mental exercise, gives the owner value in the dog’s mind and clarity for the dog. So many benefits and so many things you could do! Obedience, agility, tracking, scent discrimination, trick training, herding…. The list goes on!

If you’d like some help with dog training in Sale Victoria, and surrounding areas, why not get in contact with us at Unified Canine? Find us at unifiedcanine.com.au or call 0400 113 273.