Boredom Busters

In a little over a week I will be going back to work. A week after that Andrew will be returning to work and Logan and Tayla will be left to entertain themselves during the day.

The basis of this post is the fact that a bored Husky is a destructive Husky. Digging, chewing, destructive behaviours and escape attempts are all symptoms of a bored dog.

Exercise

The best way to keep your dog from getting bored during the day is to make sure they don’t have an excess of energy. Keeping the dog well exercised will keep energy reserves away from destructive levels.

Keep in mind, leaving an anxious or energetic dog in the morning pretty much guarantees returning home to a destructive dog.

Playing in the yard

A key to keeping dogs entertained in the yard when you aren’t home is to keep dogs entertained in the yard while you are home. Playing and training in the yard can help develop a good relationship between the dog and it’s environment.

If your dog needs exercise, don’t just take him for a walk. Think about playing in the backyard for a while instead.

Toys

Well now, this is a rather obvious one isn’t it? Make sure that the dog has toys that interest him, things that he enjoys playing with. Logan for example doesn’t like hard or rubber toys, so we need to supply him with soft toys or ropes.

While this is an obvious thing to do there are a few rules:

  • Make sure not to have too many toys available. This may cause the dog to get bored with them much faster.
  • Make sure that you change the toys regularly. Huskies get bored of toys easily, this can be avoided by changing the toys every day or so. We have a couple boxes of toys so that we can rotate the toys that are available. If Logan hasn’t had his monkey for a while then he goes crazy when it emerges from the box.

Treat givers

There are a lot of toys on the market that make the dog work to get treats. This keeps the dog’s mind active during the day. Some examples of this are Kongs, treat balls and food cubes.

The balls and cubes have one hole on one side that dispenses treats. The dog needs to move the treat giver around to make the treats fall out. The hole usually also has a device you turn to make the hole smaller or bigger.

A cheaper option than the balls and cubes are plastic bottles. Logan’s vet suggested this when we took Logan to his first check-up, and Logan loved them. Just get an empty 600ml bottle, make sure to remove the label and any plastic bits, and put some treats inside. The dog then needs to throw the bottle around to get the treats to fall out.

One issue with the treat balls is that smarter dogs can outwit the ball, and Siberian Huskies are notoriously cunning dogs. Logan figured out that if he pushes the ball into a hole, with the treat dispensing hole pointing down, he can get all of the treats out with very little effort. Logan also figured out how to turn the opening to make the hole bigger.

Logan also eventually learnt how to get the treats out of the bottles, although it took him a while to perfect it. He pretty much picks the bottle up and a lot of the treats fall out.

Kongs and food cubes may be better for smarter dogs.

Hiding treats

Hide some treats around the yard or house for the dog to find during the day. Logan LOVES his treat hunts. It keeps them entertained, and keeps their keen sense of smell.

If you are worried about your dog gaining weight you can take the food out of the dogs meals.

Sandpit

Huskies love digging, and if they get bored it is the main ‘go to’ thing to do. Having a sandpit, or a designated digging area, will keep your lawn from getting destroyed.

This will take a bit of training to get the dog to dig in the correct area, but will be worthwhile in the long run.

Pools

Kiddie pools or small ponds will help to keep your dog cool, and keep them entertained during the day. Whatever Logan is doing in the backyard, it’s a safe bet that it will end with him digging in the corner of the pool, getting himself absolutely drenched.

Daycare

Taking your dog to a daycare clearly isn’t an everyday solution. But taking Logan to DogCity Daycare once or twice a week has been very effective for us.

Logan comes home so tuckered out that he sleeps and lounges around for the next day or two. This is a great way to combat boredom for the day he is at daycare, and the following days he is too tired to care. This effectively removes any destructive behaviour for a few days.

Does anyone have any other ideas for keeping dogs entertained during the day?

By the way I wrote this post with Tayla sitting next to me licking my shorts. That girl is a little strange :)

15 thoughts on “Boredom Busters

  1. i just wanna say thank you for making up this website, it has helped me alot, i have learnt heaps about the husky breed which i needed to know.
    i’m planing to get a husky sometime next year.
    when walking a husky, how many times aday? and for how long?
    also, are husky easy to look after?
    and are they easy to train?

    1. You’re welcome. Glad to know it’s helping. When it comes down to it they are a bit of work, but they are so loving and grateful that it is totally worth it.

      We try our best to walk Logan twice a day. One quick ten-fifteen minute walk before work in the morning, and one 30-60 minute walk after work. That’s on top of some play time as well. While they are independent and have the ability to play by themselves, they are still sociable animals and love to play with people. If you have a few people in the household that are able to share the load then the dog will do very well. If you are by yourself, you are in for a lot of work.

      Training is a bit of a mixed bag. They are very intelligent, but are also very stubborn dogs. You can tell they know what you want them to do, but unless they see the point they will not do it. It takes a lot of training to get them to a point where they will do what you say without question. But much like all dogs it depends on the method of training, the instructors and the person leading the dog.

      The biggest drawback I’ve found with Huskies is the hair. At least while they are puppies you will most definitely end up with hair all over the place. I think it may decrease after they loose all of their puppy fur (which is often called The Big Shed), but it is always an issue. Vacuuming once or twice a week is a must, and we are yet to find an effective way of getting all of the hair off of clothes.

      1. there is 3 people in our home but my brother doesnt like animals as much as me and my mum do.
        i will be spending heaps of time with it ^^
        i love dogs so much.

        and thanks for the info about walking them, training them and looking after them.

        by the way, you have done a wonderful job with this website!
        i know i’ll be coming here alot.
        you are so helpful, i have found that you can not trust what petshops say, its very anoying.

        good luck with Tayla, shes a wonderful puppy and so is Logan.

    2. Taking huskies for walks is fine but unless your a power walker the dog will not get much exersise find a local dog park where they can RUN

  2. Hi again,

    i just wanna know, are huskie puppys and huskie adults very playful?
    cuz i want a playful dog.

    also, are huskies protective of their owners and family?

    thanks for your time ^^

    1. Hey sorry I took so long. Trials of a new puppy, ya know :)

      Huskies aren’t super good guard dogs in practice. Logan has an intimidating bark, he looks pretty scary when he’s barking like that, but Huskies are generally either playful or timid when people get closer. That being said if, god forbid, anyone was trying to attack Drew, Tayla or myself, I get the feeling Logan would jump into defensive mode to protect his family. But I don’t think he would attack anyone unless one of us was in immediate danger.

      They are very playful dogs. Logan use to be quite demanding for attention and playtime. He loved playing tug of war and running around the yard with us. If you’re looking for someone to play fetch with, however, you may be out of luck. Of course it changes from dog to dog, but Logan has never really gotten into bringing balls back. With some training I’m sure he would pick it up, but at the moment if he doesn’t see the point of bringing it back then he won’t.

      Now that we have Tayla, Logan has become more interested in her. He will only play with us if Tayla isn’t available, and even then he is constantly keeping an eye on where she is. I think he will grow out of that when she grows up a bit.

  3. This is a great blog you have here!

    We have a husky/retriever mixed girl Sara. It’s a shame that we didn’t do any research before we got her because even though she isn’t true husky by her breed, she has all characteristics that huskies has. So yeah, we have a hard time with her. I guess we could be the most unsuitable owners for a husky and I feel so bad that she can’t do all those nesecities that husky needs.. But we love her and try to entertain her when we have time.

    What I wanted to ask- we can’t let her go without the leash, she always runs away to neighbours or somewhere else. Recently we went to a beach, really quiet one. We thought it would be perfect- she has plenty of space to run, snow,water etc. But it almost feels like when she get’s a taste of freedom and running wild, Sara totally locks out and runs away. Is there a solution for this problem? Because I can tell that she feels the best when running free.

    1. There are small things that can make a Husky’s life better during the day, or when left alone. The treat giver options in this post are a nice cheap way of doing it. Even just hiding treats around the yard for her to find would keep her active for a little while. Just keep in mind that if Sara does start getting more treats during the day, make sure to feed her a little less for meals so she doesn’t start putting on weight.

      Huskies also get quite destructive when they are bored, so maybe supply some things for her to try to destroy? Rubber toys are good because they usually take longer to get through.

      Huskies are really bred to run. It isn’t anything to be said against you, they could be the most well cared for dog and they would still love to run as far as they can. Some people say that with a lot of training a Husky can be trusted off-leash, but the majority of the community are against it. Huskies are intelligent, very independent, and bred to run without thinking of the dangers they may be running in to. There really isn’t any healthy or ethical way to remove this running urge from a Husky.

      If you are in a position to go running or jogging with her on a leash that would do wonders for her. She will obviously need some training to learn that you can’t run as fast as she can, but just taking her for a jog a few times a week will help burn some of the energy, give her time to explore her neighbourhood, and hopefully give the two of you a stronger bond.

      1. I guess that she might calm down after few years since she is just one year old now.
        When we go for a walk down in the fields I let her off the leash so she can run and there are no distractions that could take her attention away from me. And I have noticed that, when I continue to walk further, as soon as she notices that, she runs as fast as she can back to me. I guess she doesn’t want to stay alone. And I always have some snacks with me so that I could get her back on leash. But she is very smart both- when playing and when going for a walk. That’s what I always appreciate and make her know that. It’s a great feeling that dog understands you.
        As the summer holyday will start and I’ll be back home I’ll try to jog with her. I guess that we will have to work on it but in the end I hope that she will enjoy it :D.

        Thanks for your suggestions and help ;)!

      2. I run into this problem with mine I try to run her but she wants to take off at 45 miles an hour so I have to bring her down to a walk to get her under control.

  4. Thank you so much~! My brother got a Siberian Husky when she was two months old. About a month latter he decided to go into the Navy. We had been watching her ever since. This Christmas he told me that I had full ownership over her. I’ve always been a cat person, but I fell in love with Cayenne. I’m going to start taking her to doggie classes, but I wanted to know what else I could do. I love the Kong idea, definitely doing that. She’s currently only allowed to run around in a 30′ by 40′ cage. We have a MUCH larger yard. Would you recomend fencing the yard so she has more area to run? And how high do you think the fences would have to be? Also, any other advice for a new dog owner?

    Sorry for typing so much ^.^

    1. Howdy Catherine. If it’s possible I’d say yeah it would be great to fence the rest of the yard so that she can run around properly. You just need to make sure that the fence is tall enough, and also look at digging some chicken wire in under the fence to stop her from digging under. We’ve put concrete sleepers under all the fence panels, and then dug wire down further than that just to be sure. Our fences are 1.8 metres (5’11) tall. The important thing though is to keep her entertained and engaged enough in the yard not to get bored or destructive and try to escape. We have a post coming up in the next few days with some more backyard boredom busters, so keep an eye on our Facebook page for that. Good luck.

  5. Hey guys
    Our one year old Sib, Havoc has been proving difficult to train. She barely passed puppy preschool and most trainers haven’t wanted to touch her with a ten foot pole. We spend heaps of time playing with her and training her but it just doesn’t seem to stick. Is there any secret to getting our obedience training to stick with her? Other than persistence obviously lol
    Also, she hates her kennel and has been sleeping in large holes she’s digging just outside our bedroom window. What can we do to make her more comfortable with her kennel? I hate seeing her sleeping in a hole in the ground when it’s cold or pouring rain :(

  6. Hi !!
    Love your website. It is full of so much information and has prepared me for my husky pup arriving in a couple of weeks. I would just like some information on how you trained your dog to be in the backyard whilst your at work. This is what we will be doing however I am unsure at what age I can start doing this and if it should be done gradually or not.
    Would appreciate your advice.
    Thank You.

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