We have all heard the dangers of pet stores (puppy farms, genetic issues, backyard breeders, etc), and I’m going to leave it to everyone else to argue those points. Since this is a website dedicated to huskies there is one issue that gets to me every time…
Go to a pet store that sells dogs, I’d be surprised if they give you any honest and accurate descriptions about the breed’s temperament, behaviours, energy levels, or anything other than cute and fluffy.
Raising a husky puppy is often hard at times. The first time your puppy destroys something you love is a true test. Vacuuming your couch for the second time this week is determination. Picking up the pieces of the limited edition baseball you bought on your trip to Disney World and telling yourself that to be fair you shouldn’t have left it on the bed (and if you’d walked the dogs more often they wouldn’t be so destructive in the first place) is a level of honesty most people don’t get to. Selling dogs without giving any warnings is just plain negligent, and fills our shelters with dogs that people just weren’t prepared for.
Below is the information that a local pet store gave about husky puppy being sold there, along with some of the information that I think people actually need to hear.
Here’s a bit of a glimpse of what happens when good dogs go bad. Well, not bad, but bored.
We try to keep the dogs well exercised, entertained and stimulated. We do this through regular walks, training, occasional visits to the dog park, etc. But occasionally work builds up, commitments get in the way, and weather turns bad, resulting in the dogs feeling a little pent up and bored. This is a dangerous spot to get to, because this is what can happen if it gets too bad… Continue reading When good dogs go bad→
Dogcity Daycare are celebrating their first birthday tomorrow. Which means it’s puppy party time.
Apparently they are going to be making a giant birthday card, and supply all of the dogs present with some birthday cake to take home with them. That is pretty damn awesome. It’s a shame my involvement is limited to dropping Tayla and Logan off in the morning for their best day ever!!!
Dogcity is a great place for dogs. Logan and Tayla have so much fun there, and totally zonk out on the way home. The folks there really know what they’re doing. They’re now offering grooming as well as massage and general dog awesomeness, which means that if they had a kennel Logan would never want to come home.
If you work in or near Adelaide and want to give your dog a treat give them a call. Your dog will thank you 🙂 We drop Logan and Tayla off on the way in to work, and pick them up afterwards. It’s really convenient actually. When we tell people they go to a daycare in Kent Town (after they stop laughing) people always ask why we take them so far away from home. But we’re going there anyway, and it’s totally worth it.
As Cyclone Yasi bears down on Queensland tonight, we had our own little cyclone in our lounge room. It has been rather unbearably hot of late, and as such we have let Logan and Tayla stay inside while we’ve been at work during the day. They managed this without incident for two days, but today it seems they got a tad bored.
And it didn’t stop there…
Oooohhh, there it is. Clearly the Huskies thought this was a better place for a miniature zen garden.
So that’s what Logan and Tayla did today. Clearly that is the end of the ‘staying inside’ experiment. Luckily the heat has died down for now.
The Husky ability for random destruction has always been well known, but up till now we had yet to see it at these extremes. Obviously we can’t tell them off for it, can’t show any anger towards them, both because they didn’t know any better and because we don’t know when they did it. If they did it when we first left this morning then scolding them 8 hours later isn’t going to accomplish anything.
Obviously our thoughts are with the people of Queensland tonight, but please someone think of us too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂