Some dogs need a job to do; they need to have a purpose. Consider the Siberian husky. So many huskies end up in shelters because they are not adequately exercised or stimulated (There are shelters and rescues for this particular breed of dog all over the country). The husky becomes destructive and overly-hyper, runs-off at a whim, maybe barks or howls obsessively when its left home alone. But the problem with the dog is that it’s not being stimulated. The dog needs to walk, run, roam. Keeping a dog like that tethered to the bounds of the house or yard is to pick a fight with genetics: and it’s a fight you won’t win. So what should we do? What kinds of things would unwind a hyper, destructive dog? Here’s a few tips that will hopefully help.
Not all dogs like to play fetch, and, in fact, for many dogs, a toss of the ball or Frisbee hardly seems like a game. But you can teach a dog to enjoy fetch (dogs don’t come out of the womb knowing these endearing human games). Try a bunched up sock at first, something soft that the dog won’t have any trouble picking up. Tease the dog with the sock by shaking it in front of his face, and, when he or she is fully excited about the sock in your hand, throw it. Keep doing this over and over until the dog picks it up (works great when the dog is a puppy). If the dog picks up the sock, praise it for bringing it back, and then throw it again. At first keep these sessions short to keep up the dog’s excitement. Soon you will be able to throw any toy-type object you like and the dog will retrieve it. (Disclaimer: some dogs, regardless of how much excitement, how much training, wont retrieve).
Run, Walk, or Roam
All dogs have a need to walk, to run, to smell foreign smells, etc. It’s a need. There’s an overly quoted phrase that rings true, A Tired Dog is a Happy Dog, and it’s become cliché because it’s the truest thing you could say about any dog. That’s part of being a dog owner is getting that dog out. A dog that’s been trained to do its business on a puppy pad or a litter box-type contraption for dog’s, still has the need to get outside and walk, run, or roam.