The 21st century is hard on dogs. They have swapped their ‘day’ jobs of herding, retrieving game, killing vermin and chasing rabbits for the simple pleasure of being our companions. Sounds like a cushy deal - free food and board for just hanging around with your favourite person, but in many cases they’ve been duped! Most of us are unable to spend as much time as we would like with our dogs – leaving them not only bored and jobless but alone as well.
If your dog is confined in a yard for most of the day, he faces many of the same problems exhibited by exotic zoo animals. A lack of stimulation and opportunity to interact naturally with the environment causes the animal to display stress related behaviours – in the dog these could be excessive barking, destructive chewing and digging and self-mutilation. Zookeepers have put a lot of time and thought into ‘environmental enrichment’ programs and dog owners can do the same by
• Planning a dog friendly area to include:
- a ‘view of the world’.
- a doggy door
- a sand pit
- a wading pool.
- a simple sturdy table – for lying on and under.
• Providing heavy duty, self play toys and food based boredom busters for your dog