I am a huge advocate of the saying, “a tired dog is a good dog.” I think dogs are often under stimulated and under exercised. These two factors can lead to dogs with any number of negative behaviors. The last few weeks have been really tough for me and the kids. Our weather has been ice-storm after snow after snow after snow. While Rio and Shayne LOVE to go and tear up the powder and we do spend a lot of time playing in the snow, the roads are so salty that we can’t go walk at the park and sometimes the roads are so bad we can’t leave the house.
Yesterday was a warm-up day–we hit around 40 (it was a taunting and fleeting warm up… we are back to a high of 33 today and high in the teens tomorrow) so I decided to take the dogs to walk the park. We got about 1/4 of the way around the loop and Rio started hopping on 3 feet… this happened about 4 times on the shortened walk. The walk was really topped off when I had two dogs who were standing on 5 legs total–Shayne was on three legs and Rio was leaning on my legs standing on two legs …and if he could have stood on just the one, he would. The walk was really no fun.
So I’ve had some pretty worked up and jazzed up dogs for a few weeks. They get to run for a couple hours every day and do training but they still are full of energy. One of of my absolutely most favorite activities doesn’t happen all that often (and unfortunately I dont have the proper materials right now). I LOVE giving the dogs a mostly empty jar of peanut butter (jumbo jar) and just letting them go at it. Not only does it tire them out from thinking and working it out, it’s HILARIOUS to watch….
That day, when I gave them the peanut butter, the dogs had been off the hook crazy. They were driving me crazy even after going for an hour hike and having about an additional hour racing and chasing. But by the end of about an hour working on the peanut butter, Rio took the jar to bed because he was tired! SUCCESS!