Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi, great ideas! I do a similar thing for my dogs when i will be out all day and it really does help to keep the dogs entertained. Other things you can consider is a Digging Pit, a tyre suspended from a tree and lots of chew toys. Do try to get them out for walks as well. I know this is not always easy when working, but even taking them to the local shops and walking around the parking lot will give them mental stimulation. To make the digging pit, dig (or build up) an area that is big enough for the dogs (remembering that they will grow!). Stock this with some treats and as you are getting the dogs to scent - 'pretend' to do yourself, saying 'dig, dig. You will then find a wonderful treat and that will really get the dogs going. Dont put the treats too deep until they get the hang of it. Before you go out stock it with some interesting treats and tell them to 'go dig' or similar. In addition to the large sized chew toys you can try a 2l empty coke bottle or similar and put some treats in it and then fill 3/4 with water to which a bit of marmite/bovril has been added and then freeze. These are known as 'kongsicles' and can keep a dog busy for hours. Be vigilant as you dont want the dogs choking. You can also take a large sized Kong and fill it with some cubes and then put a biscuit over the top. They will spend ages trying to get the food out. The vets often have similar toys that you can stuff. Lovely to hear from you and keep up the excellant work! Thanks Scotty
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