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Environmental Enrichment can Cure Your Dog’s Bad Behavior

by Dennis ODonnell on April 29, 2020

Do you have a feisty Fido at home? Does your dog go for your shoes/curtains/drywall when you leave? Or bark way too much?

Boredom can be the root of many evils: destructive behavior, excessive barking, indoor accidents, and more. You’ve probably heard the saying, “a tired dog is a good dog.” Well, the reverse is probably more true: a bored dog is a bad dog. (OK, the dog isn’t bad… the behavior is, but that’s a less-catchy slogan.)

The good news is that any of your dog’s bad behavior that stems from boredom can be fixed with these tweaks to your dog’s environment:

Appropriate Toys

While it’s tempting to buy a ton of toys to distract your dog from bad behavior, a pile of toys just becomes part of the background. Instead, keep the environment exciting! Put your pup’s toy collection on rotation, leaving out only a few at a time. Swap them every few days. If your dog isn’t prone to accidents, one of those toys could be a food puzzle to keep him busy longer.

Manage the Environment

If you come home to find your favorite shoes chewed, the first step is… stop leaving your shoes out! Seriously. For brilliant dogs who are left home alone, bored all day, the human end of the equation needs to eliminate temptation. That means picking up your stuff so your dog doesn’t turn his attention to that new handbag.

Food for Thought

Or, more accurately, thought for food. Have your dog work for his meals by serving up his rations in a food puzzle. It gets his brain working and adds stimulation to an otherwise same-old meal time.

Finally, a tired dog really can be a better-behaved dog, so once you’ve gotten the environmental enrichment in order, add some extra exercise to your dog’s today. Your pup will go from Feisty Fido to Prince Charming in no time!

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