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Backyard Boredom

If you want your dog to stay in your garden without destroying everything make sure they have plenty to do, so they don’t get bored or uncomfortable.

Kai dog in garden

I’m always being asked why the puppy is digging up the garden or the dog is trying to get out. Most of the time it is because the dog is bored. They have nothing to do, so they find their own entertainment which is usually something we’d rather they didn’t do! 

How boring is your back yard? Leave your phone inside and go sit outside…how long until you’re bored and want to come back in? It won’t be long! Yet, your dog should happily stay out there all day with nothing to do? 

How can you make your backyard more fun? EASY! There are so many ways, you just have to find the ones that your dog will like. Here are a few of my favourites:
  • Use breakfast – instead of giving your dog breakfast in his bowl before you leave for work, get them to work for it outside!
    • Scatter feeding: just throw their breakfast outside so it lands all over the place
    • Treasure hunt: hide their breakfast around the garden so that through the day they catch a whiff of food and spend time finding it
    • Stuffable toys: there are LOTS of ways to use these. You can just put their food in, you can add fruit and veggies, you can freeze it, you can use a piece of rope to tie it to a tree. This Facebook group is full of ideas:
    • I always recommend ditching the bowl, it makes for a happier dog and a better relationship between you and your dog to; you can find out more here https://www.constructivecanine...
  • Toys - leave them a new toy they haven’t seen before or can you rejuvenate an old toy, maybe tie a toy to a tree.
  • Smells – dogs love to use their noses. Try planting different dog friendly plants, especially herbs such as mint, basil or parsley. If you have the opportunity to gather some dander from other animals such as horses, cows or sheep your dog will thoroughly enjoy investigating the new smells. 
  • Comfort – make sure they have somewhere comfy to hang out and chill.  Remember to adapt this with the seasons. Winter may call for more blankets, summer for more ventilation.
  • Water – a paddling pool. If your dog is a water baby they will love having the opportunity to splash around throughout the day. You can also use the pool for a fun way to eat!
  • Digging pit - some dogs love to dig and it can be really annoying when they dig up your favourite flower beds. Instead of trying to stop your dog doing the thing they love, use a sandpit to encourage them to dig in one spot.
Maddie Dog Paddling Pool

There are many many, many ways to keep your dog entertained during the day, spend some time getting to know what your dog does and doesn’t enjoy spending their time doing. 

Please note that you need to be aware of separation anxiety. Keep a look out for lots of barking and other signs of distress, especially extreme escape attempts that can result in self injury and/or destruction, especially around exit points like windows, doors and gates.


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