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Alternative to a kog

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Scarlett03, Aug 9, 2009.


  1. Scarlett03

    Scarlett03 PetForums Junior

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    When we've had to leave oscar, I have given him a kong, but the little monkey is getting wise now. Can any one give me an alternative to keep him busy whilst I leave him for a while.

    Are the activity balls any good?
     
  2. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    I sometimes give them in their dish a bit of frozen ''biscuit block'' as I call it... Basically I just make ice cubes with biscuits in them for when its hoe. But Dave loves them so much it will keep him quiet for ages!

    I used to give Dixie a treat ball and that was pretty good. Never tried one of the game ones though.

    I had a friend who would hide treats all over the room to keep the dog busy. But once the dog could smell a treat and not get to it.. must have fallen down the back of the sofa because she came home to finda hole in it! Ooops!

    x
     
  3. Vicki

    Vicki PetForums VIP

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    I never give my dog anything when I leave them. When I leave the dog I want it to go to sleep. A dog that is used to be active when alone is more likely to chew on things or misbehave in other ways, and that is why I want my dog to relax when I leave it alone.

    I also don't want to risk the dog swallowing something that is bad for it. A friend of mine had to have surgery on his dog because his rottweiler ate an entire kong and apart from the fact that the dog was very ill when the pieces got stuck in his stomach, it was also very expensive. Bones can also be a hazard for the dog, so I only give bones when I am home, so I can help if something should get stuck in the throat.

    I have some activity toys, for example an activity ball, a boxer ball, a pyramid and an activity bone and my dog really likes them. However, I don't let him play with them unsupervised since I don't want my home to be destroyed because he can get pretty rowdy with them. Also, the activity toys (the ball in particular) can be very noisy when the dog is pushing them on the floor and baning them against the rfurniture, so if you live in a flat your neighbours probably will not be happy :wink5:
     
  4. Spaniel mad

    Spaniel mad PetForums VIP

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    I dont leave my dogs with anything apart from a few toys

    They get put into the kitchen when we are out and i have actually pretended to go out and spied on them lol

    They just laid dowm all huddled together and went to sleep
     
  5. Scarlett03

    Scarlett03 PetForums Junior

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    The trouble is I can't get out the door as he follows me everywhere, I need something to take his mind off the fact that I am going out the door. The kong used to do that.
     
  6. Vicki

    Vicki PetForums VIP

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    I really don't think it is a good idea to trick the dog and sneak out. That is to ask for problems with separation anxiety. If you distract the dog with toys or other things and then sneak out unnoticed (or sneak out while the dog is sleeping), the dog will not trust you. It is not uncommon that the dog will follow it's owner everywhere, because it doesn't trust the owner not to disappear without warning. And when left alone, the dog may feel insecure and anxious.

    When I train my puppies to be alone at home I always tell them that I'm going (I say "I'm coming soon", but of course you could say anything, since the dog doesn't understand you anyway) and then I go. I don't make a fuss about leaving by hugging and kissing etc., I simply walk out the door.

    I don't make a fuss when I come back either. A lot of people have a greeting ceremony when they come home, when they are kissing and hugging the dog, let it jump up and down, perhaps bark etc. It is really nice to be greeted like that, but it also signals to the dog that being alone was something special.

    I believe that it is best for the dog that you are as calm as possible when you leave it as well as when you are coming home. If you show signs of anxiety (which you do when you make a fuss, in your dogs eyes) your dog will also show signs of anxiety (there are exceptions to this, as there are dogs that are very independent, but most dogs are sensitive to the owner's state of mind).
     
  7. PoisonGirl

    PoisonGirl Banned

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    Great post Vicki.

    When I go out, the dogs have been outside, I put them to bed with a chew, tell them ''settle down, behave'' then go out the door to the living room and close it.

    As soon as I return I let them out their beds, and put them outside. After 5 - 10 mins I go out and have a game with them.

    If your dog is following you every where you need to get a baby gate or something to keep her in one room while you are in to get used to it.

    x
     
  8. Scarlett03

    Scarlett03 PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for your replies. I am a little perturbed as we started the kong business after a hint from our puppy classes. Oscar has the whole of the back room and kitchen whilst we are out, he doesn't have a problem with this but the kong was keeping him occupied whilst we shut the back room door.

    I suppose I'm gonna have to work hard on the "wait" and "stay" command as at the moment he doesn't really do neither.
     
  9. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    Sorry Vicky but I disagree with you on this one (highlighted), if your dog is prone to separation anxiety he will feel the stress the most in the first half an hour or so of you leaving. Giving him one or more toys that distract his attention during that time will halp to soften the blow, so to speak. They aren't daft, they know when you've gone, the trick is to make the separation more bearable ;)

    Love the rest of your advice though, making a fuss is for us humans, it will only unsettle the dog more :)

    Scarlett, I've tried almost all of the activity toys at some point or another, it depends on what your dog likes to do as to which one to choose. The best roll around ones (full of little treats) are Buster Cube and Dog Pyramid. But don't thtrow your kong away just yet!.... experiment with fillings and try freezing them before you offer it to him - lasts much much longer!
     
  10. GSDlover4ever

    GSDlover4ever PetForums VIP

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    what kind of things do you put in his kong?
     
  11. Vicki

    Vicki PetForums VIP

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    Yes, it's true that the dog feels more stress right after you leave. But if you sneak out while the dog is distracted (or sleeping) the dog is never sure when or if you're going to disappear. Scarlett said in one post that her dog was following her everywhere and I think that might be because he doesn't trust her not to disappear all of a sudden and therefore feels the need to follow her around everywhere. The more often you trick the dog and sneak out, the more he will follow you everywhere. It's also a lot scarier for the dog to suddenly realise that it have been left alone, than to be told when you're leaving.
     
  12. Ozziewas

    Ozziewas PetForums Newbie

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    One of our rescue Westies, was very anxious whenever I left them. We now have a routine, where I hide 3 biscuits in each of their blankets and put them in their crates. I leave the crate doors open. As I leave I always say "won't be long" etc, but by this time they are so preoccupied with finding their biscuits they don't even look up. Sometimes Oz does and I tell him I won't be long and he goes back to searching his blanket????? I know it sounds crazy, but it forms a part of our routine, that as soon as I come down the stairs after changing into my work clothes, they are both sitting waiting at the bottom of the stairs for their biscuits - they know!
     
  13. TabbyRoad

    TabbyRoad Banned

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    Mabel doesn't suffer from seperation anxiety but we leave her with her dog brick and the dog tornado. They are brilliant and keep her busy for a while. She worked out the tornado in no time but the brick still baffles her from time to time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. alphadog

    alphadog PetForums VIP

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    Are these two toys robust enough to be left without supervision. I've been considering a Nina Ottosen game for ages but they look like they're made from MDF which will just crumble under my dog's investigatory powers!!
     
  15. TabbyRoad

    TabbyRoad Banned

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    They're definitely not MDF. They weight a tonne. It's very well finished with no rough corners or shabby bits.

    I don't know how an obsessive chewer would get on with them but we have a dog who likes to chew things but nothing she is not supposed to.She has never so much as thought about nibbling them.
     
  16. cassie01

    cassie01 PetForums VIP

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    agree. when ours were pups they were always given a treat as we left to distract them and teach them that us leaving is a good thing for them. also one a dog has eaten they tend to go to sleep anyways. so you could even feed the dog just as you leave (as long as they wont need to go tiolet before you get back).

    If you distrat a dog with food then sneak out they have forgotten you anyway, dogs live in the now so if they dont notice you leave they dont always realise you have gone, the anxiety is worse if they see you leaving as they then think about it.

    My boys like peanut butter in their kongs and you can freeze them with gravy in they love that!!!!

    also fill it with their normal dog food (tinned is easier) you can also freeze that!
     
  17. Scarlett03

    Scarlett03 PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for your replies and advice given, which I have taken on board. When I give him his kong I always say bye bye so he knows I'm going and not just leaving him. We are going to "dog classes" in september and he has already been through puppy classes which I hope will hope us and Oscar.

    I like the look at those dog puzzles and I am off to search for them, he will love them.

    X
     
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