Do you own a busy dog? You know the type, always moving around and getting into everything? You exercise her, and she comes right home and picks up a toy for you throw.
These types of dogs usually have a lot of energy and are smart. Often, they are also not good at entertaining themselves. So they pick up a toy and maybe chew on it for a few minutes, and then get bored and go to find something else to do….like shredding the toilet paper or getting into the garbage.
Why? Because that boring squeaky toy provides no stimulation for their mind nor does it really expel any energy unless you are throwing it for them.
What you need is a toy that makes your dog use his brain, keeps him guessing, provides exercise, and/or changes while the dog plays with it to keep him engaged. The following toys provide one or all of these features, making them great choices for your easily bored dog.
#1 – De-Stuffing Toys
Is your dog bored unless he can de-stuff something? That’s always a fun mess to constantly clean up, and then of course there is always the worry that your dog will decide to eat the stuffing. Instead, buy him one of these toys. It will take him both physical and mental energy to get the toys out, with is sure to keep your bored dog busy for a bit. Amazon.com
#2 – Rip Apart Toys
Some dogs only want to play with a toy to rip it apart and then once it’s dead, well, that’s done and over with. For dogs like this, buy toys that are made to be ripped apart – there are many brands and kinds to choose from – the Rippys brand makes cute stuffies that are soft just like regular stuffed animals. Rip apart toys are made of durable canvas and are better for dogs with stronger jaws or who also like to chew after they rip it apart, like the Rip ‘N Tug from Petsafe. You can even fit treats inside this toy if you wish.
#3 – Tuggo
This toy is great for the dog that loves to tug all. Day. Long. It allows them to tug by themselves, which is great for dogs who tug too strongly for their owner and for those of us who have other things we need to do (and can’t possibly have one hand on a tug toy all day long.) Tug is a great way to wear out a dog, so if you can get him interested in this toy, then you have it made. Tuggodogtoys.com
#4 – Shiver Critter
There are a lot of toys made for dogs that “move” when the dogs touches them. I don’t usually like them because it promotes prey drive, which can be a problem if you have cats, small dogs, or other animals that your dog is going to come in contact with. So, please consider that before buying one for your dog. AND if you do buy one, get a Shiver Critter. Why? It doesn’t make any noise. A lot of these motion toys make squeals and even bark, which teaches dogs to “go after” things that make those noises, like children and other dogs. ShiverCritter.com
#5 – iFetch
If you haven’t heard of the iFetch, it’s perfect for the bored dog that won’t entertain himself. You do have to invest in some training time, but once your dog has learned to drop the ball back into the iFetch to have it thrown again, he will get plenty of exercise. Amazon.com
#6 – Puzzle Toys
Of course, puzzle toys are great for the bored dog. There are a slew of them that hide treats for the bored dog to find. Nina Ottosson makes some really cool ones and Dogit Mind Games has some 3-in-1 toys that are very economical and good for the dog that figures things out quick and then gets bored.
#7– PHYSI PET
This toy is similar to the electronic cat toys that move around, enticing your pet to play. While this could easily be destroyed by a rough dog, it could be a great choice for a dog that is not interested in a toy unless it moves. You can’t possible throw a toy all day long! Be aware that this toy does promote chase (prey) drive, so if you have issues with your dog chasing cats, squirrels, etc., you may not want this type of toy. Inventhelpstore.com
The Petzi is a great choice for pet parents who need to keep their dog occupied while they are not at home. Using your smartphone, you can see your dog, talk to him, take images and dispense treats. So your lunch break can become a training session (ask your dog to sit, he sits, give him a treat!), or you know, when you are sitting at your desk supposedly working… Petzi.com
Just remember: no toy can replace you! Don’t forget to make time to play and enjoy your dog — a lot of “bored” dogs are lonely, too! Spending time with you will not only help them mentally and physically, but you may find your dog is more satisfied with his life and is therefore calmer –he might actually lay down and take a nap! Finally, training is another great way to alleviate boredom, so signing up for a dog class and then fitting a few short training sessions into your dog’s day will also help.
Does your easily bored dog have a favorite toy that actually occupies him? Share in the comments!