Distracting Your Home-Alone Dog
- Confine her to one dog-proofed room: until she learns to love chew toys. Put away items that can be destroyed.
- Buy 2 hard rubber chew toys, 2 sterilized white bones and a ball.
- Stuff the toys with goodies such as kibble, cheese, meat, peanut butter or another treat OK'd by the veterinarian. Rotate the treats regularly.
- Encourage the dog's addiction to the toys by putting one in her crate and closing the door so she can't get at it for a few minutes. She will be hooked!
- Hide a few toys around the room so she has to hunt for them. Hang a toy from a secure hook at the top of a door frame, making sure it is low enough for her to reach with out jumping so high that she hurts herself. Your dog will spend time on her hind legs licking at it and will eventually become tired.
- Teach your dog to greet you at the door with one of her chew toys in her mouth. When you walk in, don't give her any attention other than to point to her chew toy and encourage her to pick it up. Praise her when she does. Soon she'll understand a chew toy greeting is the way to get attention! If you get home around the same time each day, the dog will have that toy ready in anticipation - like clockwork. If she is playing with her toy during those exciting times before you get home (peak destruction time) she won't be destroying something off limits!
- Some other supplies you may want to get for your new friend:
- rawhide chews
- nail clipper
- water and food dishes
- housebreaking crate
- collar / leash
- brush / comb
Bibliography: Andrea Arden "Dog Fancy" Make a Plan to Distract your Home-Alone Dog: pg. 59 Nov. '99.