Tag Archives: toys

Share your toys!

taylatoyIt’s time to get your cameras back out! Does your dog have a favourite toy? Or is it just the toy that has survived the longest (so far)? We want to see your dog and their favourite toy in the whole world.

The best part about dealing with animals so much, living with and seeing so many huskies is that we all end up with so many photos. That’s why I decided to find a way to get everyone sharing their favourite photos of their dogs.

This will be the theme until the end of April, so lets try to get as many awesome photos as we can.

Click here to share your photos!

Favourite Things Competitions

On the 18th of September it will have been 2 years since Logan came home from the airport with us. Being a sentimental sort of chap, I figured that’s something we’ve gotta celebrate.

So I’ve put together a pack of some of Logan’s favourite things for somebody to win. The pack includes 1 plush bear, 1 Everlasting Treat Ball and 1 bag of yoghurt drops.

The bear

This is the first thing Logan picked up when he got home. He immediately started carrying it around and tried to find a hidey hole to plot the bear’s demise.

A small puppy Logan running with his new plush bear.

The bear actually lasted a surprisingly long time, but eventually met it’s end.

The ball

The Everlasting Ball kept Logan occupied for lengths at a time.

He first discovered it while doing Puppy Preschool at Angle Vale Vets 4 Pets, and we bought one for him straight away.

A blue everlasting treat ball

Logan has loved the ball ever since, and we’ve only had to replace it once (although that was probably Tayla’s fault).

The treats

Logan always had a preference for yoghurt. He use to get yoghurt mixed in with his meals, and loved the little yoghurt drops we got him from PetStock. We would play games and give him the choice of what treat to get, he always sniffed out and ate the yoghurt drops first.

Drew sitting with Logan begging for yoghurt drops.

How to win

So that’s what’s in Logan’s Favourite Things pack. To enter the competition leave a comment below listing what would be in your dog’s favourite things pack. I want to hear some cool stuff here folks 🙂

The winner will be drawn on Logan Day, September the 18th.

Merry Christmas Ya’ll

We had a grand evening at The Woofery’s Christmas night last weekend. Lots of other dogs were there, free taste testing of the treats for the pups, and Santa even showed up to hand out some toys and treats.

Given that Tayla goes absolutely crazy for food, and that the treats would be flowing freely for the evening, we decided to just take Logan with us. Tayla would be…less than graceful.

Of course we couldn’t resist leaving before spending a lot of money on Christmas treats. We got some Santa and Snowman biscuits, some stars for Tayla and an Awesome Christmas tree made of up biscuits.

I’ve got a few weeks off over Christmas that I shall be spending at home with the Huskies. Drew shall be working so I think I’ll be Husky wrangling alone for a while 😛

Tayla and Logan also have a Secret Santa present coming from America from an unknown It’s a Husky Thing Member. It’s the first time I’ve been involved in a Secret Santa for dogs 😛

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Anyone got any big plans for Christmas?

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 🙂

Things to do for Puppy Prep

With the impending new arrival only a few weeks away, I thought it only fitting to write a list of things to do before your new puppy arrives at your doorstep. This list assumes you’ve already done the research on the breedthe breeder and picked out a puppy.

The first weeks are crucial for a puppies development and relationship with you and it’s environment. There are some things you will want to do right away, and some training that you need to get right in this important time.

Take time off

Make sure that you will have time to dedicate exclusively to the puppy. Depending on the type of dog this could be anywhere from three to four days up to a few weeks. With Huskies it is generally recommended to have a few weeks to get your dog settled and comfortable. In this time you can start the toilet training and start setting boundaries. Young pups also need to have three meals a day, so you will need to be home to do this.

When Tayla arrives I am taking 2 weeks holidays, and Andrew is taking 3 weeks.

Pick a name

Decide on a name for the new puppy so that you can start using immediately. Try to decide on this a few weeks before the puppy arrives. This will give you plenty of time to mull it over, and think of a new one if you change your mind.

Buy food

Huskies are notoriously fussy eaters. Try to find out from the breeder what they have been feeding the puppy, and do your best to prepare the same. Once you have the puppy you can start to transition it to different food, but it is important not to drastically change it’s food without any transition.

Put some thought into what the treats you will get, what they are made of and what they are going to be used for (training, walking, day to day treats, etc).

For puppies, nutrition is very important. Find out what ingredients are in the treats and, if possible, keep it all natural and highly nutritional. There are specialist stores around, like The Woofery in Adelaide, that make all natural dog treats that would be great for growing puppies and their delicate stomachs. Just be sure to give the puppy a small tester to make sure that; A: they will like the treat and B: the treat won’t mess with their stomach.

Puppy proof the house and yard

You can be guaranteed that your puppy will get into every nook and cranny of the house and yard. This means that anything you don’t want your dog to get needs to be put into a cupboard, or up on a shelf far out of their reach.

Logan has stolen dishcloths from the sink, socks from the bedroom, towels, vacuum attachments, remote controls, and the list goes on. We hear Logan run outside, look out the back door and he is standing in the middle of the yard, staring back at us, with a fishbowl in his mouth.

The backyard can also be a dangerous place for dogs. Ensure that any plants you have are not poisonous if eaten, make sure there are no weeds with prickles or thorns and clear the yard of any spiders and other dangerous insects.

Decide the house rules

Decide where the puppy will be sleeping, what he will be eating, where the puppy is allowed to go in the house, what commands you are going to use for sit, no, drop, etc.

Puppies need consistency in these matters. Make sure that you make these decisions and make sure everyone in the household knows the rules. Children are far more likely to slip food off of the table for dogs, let them on the couch, etc. Make sure you explain the importance of these rules to everyone in the house.

Pick a vet

Find a vet in your neighborhood. Go and talk to them before your puppy arrives. This vet will be an important part of raising your dog, so make sure you talk to them and make sure they know their stuff.

It’s best to also find a vet that also runs Puppy Preschool classes, as this is a great way to get your puppy to enjoy going to the vet. Logan went to Puppy Preschool at our local vet, and now he loves going there. Find out when the classes are being held and, if possible, reserve a spot.

Toys

First up, don’t be disappointed if you buy the puppy a toy and they sniff it and walk away. Puppies, and more specifically Husky puppies, can be very picky. For no apparent reason they may fall in love with one toy, and completely ignore another.

Try to find some stronger toys that won’t fall apart as soon as your puppy gets their teeth into them. Unless you are sure that the toy will last, I wouldn’t bother spending a lot of money on them. Check out our post on the lifespan of toys to see what Huskies usually do to toys.

Keep in mind that while the toys need to be strong enough to withstand the puppy, they still need to be soft enough that they won’t damage the puppy’s teeth. Some toy brands, like Kong, have specialised puppy ranges with toys specifically designed for puppies.

For more detail about preparing for the new puppy, check out the page in our Husky Guide.

Anyone else expecting new puppies soon?

The Lifespan of Toys

As all dog owners know, toys are a big part of a dogs life. Picking the right toy is a careful process, especially for a breed that is so adept at taking toys apart. We have gone through many, many toys in the year that we have had Logan. There have been a few that have lasted over a month, but the average lifespan before a toy is retired has been about 2-3 weeks.

Huskies look at toys a little different to a lot of other breeds. When Logan gets a soft toy with a squeeker inside, he generally spends quite a while determining exactly where inside the toy the squeeker resides.

I thought I would give you all an example of what Logan has done to his toys in the last month or two. This is just a small pile of toys that were still around the house.

Click each image to see a bigger version.

It is important to remember that you should take the toy away from the dog as soon as any rips like this are seen. Huskies will get inside the toy, eat the stuffing and any squeekers they happen to find inside. Buying a new toy is much cheaper than letting them play with ripped toys, and the subsequent vet trip to get the stuffing removed from their stomach.

Below is the newest group of toys that Logan has at the moment. Some of them are duplicates of older toys. Logan was ecstatic to see the monkey back, without realising that it wasn’t the same monkey.

How do you guys handle toys? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make toys last a little longer?