by Alison Whittington
Always alert and extremely intelligent, Australian Cattle Dogs (ACDs) thrive on doing a job -- any job. Their type A personalities need a challenge to keep them from becoming bored. In my years working with these playful pups, I've learned a lot about how to ensure any dog doesn't get bored.
If your dog -- no matter the breed -- engages in destructive or neurotic behavior (like digging at the couch or chewing on its fur), boredom could be the underlying cause. But even if you don't have a herd of cattle to move, your active dog will still be one happy helper if you spend as much time as you can directing its energy and putting its dedication to good use. Here, five tips to incorporate into your everyday life to ensure your active dog isn't bored:
1. Solve puzzles.
Make or buy brain teasers. Homemade games, like hiding a treat under a tennis ball in a cupcake tray, are just as challenging as manufactured find-the-kibble mazes.
2. Move it.
Take your ACD jogging, train it for agility, or get involved in any energy-burning sport you can share with your best friend.
3. Teach it tricks & reward desired behavior.
Train and reward your ACD for putting away its toys, undoing a latch or even sneezing on command. Use your imagination to find ways to continually occupy your dog's happiest-when-working mind.
4. Turn routine jobs into play.
An ACD would love to lend a helping paw when you get your mail or need a kitchen towel. Your dog can't be bored if it's participating in (and not just watching) your daily tasks.
5. Take advantage of your dog's devotion.
By nature, ACDs are loyal and super- smart -- a great combination for obedience training. And you'd be surprised how a lot of dogs really can excel way beyond basic sit-stay commands.
Many dogs, not just ACDs, are physically built and mentally wired to be busybodies all day long. It's better to prevent behaviors that are triggered by boredom than it is to correct them. So keep your ACD -- or any high-energy dog, for that matter -- engaged in a variety of fun-filled activities to take full advantage of its zest for life and its devotion to duty.
- Is Your Dog Cut out for Field Trials?
- Should You Crate-train Your Puppy?
- How to Play Soccer With Your Dog
- The Best Way for Your Dog to Ride in the Car with You
- Good Dog Park Etiquette
- What Is Freestyle Dancing With Dogs?
- Canicross: An Easier Way to Run With Your Dog
- Reading Your Dog's Body Language
- Kitten Kindergarten
- Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe While Flying
- Keep Your Dog Warm in the Winter
- Scottish Deerhound: The Ideal Exercise Buddy
- Teach Your Dog to Fetch
- Is Your Dog Bored?
- 7 Ways to Pamper Your Cat
- The Best Games to Play With Your High-Energy Dog
- Dog Feeding Mishaps Corrected
- How to Succeed at Off-Leash Dog Play
- ID Your Relationship With Your Cat
- Photographing Your Elusive Feline
- How to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Holidays
- When Good Dogs Turn Bad
- From Finicky Fido to Chowhound Charlie
- Insure Your Kitty's Health
- Unconditional Love: My Cat Forgives Me Every Day
- From Feline to Family Member
- Is Water From a Christmas Tree Stand Harmful to Cats?
- A Day in the Life of a Sheepherding Dog
- Go on a Desert Retreat With Your Dog
- Dog Food Goes Natural and Holistic
- Determining a Food Allergy
- Exercise Gone to the Dogs
- Find the Right Sport for Your Dog
- Make Your Dog a Part of Your Wedding
- Hydrotherapy Helps Dogs Get in Shape
- How Your Cat Says 'I Love You'
- Lost Cats Found
- De-stress Veterinary Visits for Your Cat
- Keeping Cat Food Fresh
- Second-Hand Cat, First-Rate Pet
Pets | Dogs: Is Your Dog Bored?