"He is so naughty!", "She is such a little devil!", "Did you know what he did yesterday?" Ok, so you have a naughty puppy at home, but the news is you are not alone. Most puppies have an unbelievable amount of energy to burn. When left to their own vices, an energetic puppy can become a very unpopular member of the family. Digging holes in your prize lawn, playing tug of war with the reticulation or even playing a game of swing with the bedsheets hanging on your clothes line. These are just a few favourite past times of a bored and excitable puppy that are never intended to be pay back for being left alone; it is a case of what is on hand at the moment.
With a little forward planning and creativity, puppy misadventure can be changed into something more fun for your puppy and less destructive for your home.
Firstly if you are heading off to work for the day - a daily walk is in order. Your puppy will love you for it and who knows, you may even gain some benefit too.
Ration meal time throughout the day. Set aside some of your puppy's meal for day play and use treat toys such as Kong's to hide food.
Train your puppy to search for hidden food toys. Firstly you will need to teach your puppy to find the toys. You can do this easily by hiding toys whilst he/she is looking. Just ask someone to hold your puppy in sight whilst you hide the toy. Once he/she finds the toy, offer plenty of positive reinforcement and praise. Gradually make the toy more difficult to find. Once your puppy has mastered the art of hide and seek, plant a few toys throughout the yard before you leave home.
Make sure you leave a different toy/s out every day and keep the rotated over the period of a week.
Wouldn't you be frustrated if you could hear exciting noises and sounds on the other side of the fence but you didn't know what they were? Peep holes, and escape proof windows in solid fences can keep an inquisitive puppy amused for hours. There are some great products on the market (although you might want to check with your neighbours first).
A small paddling pool can provide water loving dogs with a suitable outlet for active fun, especially in the warmer months.
Anything is better than nothing - Even a short game of throw and retrieve can allow a substantial amount of aerobic activity in a relatively confined space.
Revisit training and obedience exercises each and every day. Not only will your puppy love you for the extra attention, you will also be rewarded with a well mannered canine.
Enriching your home environment will help to keep your puppy content. By meeting your puppy's needs you are being a caring and responsible owner and you will go on to enjoy the company of a well behaved companion for life.