A happy dog is a dog with something to do—especially a young, active dog.
While you are the best stimulation, it’s also good to mix up their activity and give them a cognitive challenge they can work out alone.
Boredom busters give a puppy something to do if you need to leave them for a few hours, or keep them out of mischief while you do some chores around the house.
Helping your puppy to slow down
Everyone who’s had a puppy knows how intense and demanding they can be—they go from hyper to sleepy in one move.
It’s good to help your puppy to learn some relaxing activities too.
As an inside game, boredom busters can help to program a young dog to view inside as a place to take a slower pace and relax—crazy play-fighting can be reserved for outdoors.
How to make a simple, effective boredom buster
- Firstly, choose an empty, clean plastic container from your recyclables. It can be any shape: clear bottle, round screw jar, or large pill bottle. Glass is not a safe choice.
- Cut a small 1cm x 1cm square hole into the container on the cylinder wall with a sharp knife or scissors. This hole allows the dog’s kibble to fall through a little at a time as the container is rolled around.
- Pour in a small handful of dried kibble, and firmly affix the lid.
- Offer the new toy your dog in a warm and friendly tone. This invites the dog to play with their new toy.
- Roll the container around for them at first, letting some food to fall out, as they may take a little while to get the gist of the game. The smell of the kibble is bound to spark their interest and keep them interested for a while.
- If not enough kibble is falling out, the game is too hard, so make the hole slightly larger.
Dogs do not need to be hungry to want to play this game. In my experience, dogs are always scouting for food, and will enjoy the unexpected snack.