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A busy dog is typically a good dog, so it is important to do what you can to ensure that your dog does not get bored at home. If your dog is constantly misbehaving or getting into things that he shouldn't, here are some things that you can do to keep his mind busy all day long.
Let Him Play Outside
If you have a safe, fenced outdoor area where your dog can play, let him spend some time enjoying the great outdoors. However, it is not safe to leave him outside unsupervised for long periods of time because you never know what he could get into. Even the safest and cleanest of yards could have some flora and fauna in them that are dangerous if eaten. Instead, spend some time with your dog throwing a ball or frisbee or working on training commands outside where he is most distracted. If he spends enough time outside that the dreaded brown grass starts to develop as a result of urine, contact a local lawn service that will show you how to fix brown patch in lawn.
Stuff a Kong
No dog can resist a treat, and stuffing a rubber toy, like a Kong, with something delicious, like peanut butter, will provide lots of entertainment. If you stuff the toy and then freeze it, it will last even longer for your dog to enjoy. Just be sure that the peanut butter does not contain xylitol, because this ingredient could be deadly. If you aren't sure, try a healthy alternative like pure canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) or even Greek yogurt.
Work on Training
Most dogs are people pleasers and want to make their masters happy. Spend some time each day teaching your dog some tricks while also working on basic training. Just because he knows how to come and sit does not mean that he will do these things when distracted or when you really need him to. If he were to run away, are you confident that he would come back if called? Recall is one of the most important things that you can teach a dog, so enrich his mind by working on fun tricks while peppering in some more important, potentially life-saving ones too.
Take a Walk
There is little that is more exciting to a dog than the offer of a walk. Take the time out of your day to walk your dog through your neighborhood, even if it isn't large and you have to loop around multiple times. Let him sniff as he wishes and take his time exploring, and even let him say "hello" to other dogs that look friendly. The exercise is good for you, too, and you'll have a happy and tired dog when you return home.
Arrange a Playdate
If you have a friend or a neighbor with a friendly dog, invite them to come over so your dogs can play. Ensure that both of the dogs are around the same size and have the same energy level so that no one tires too quickly or gets hurt. You'll get some time to socialize and you'll also have a sleepy, happy dog when the day is over. Interaction with other dogs is important in keeping your dog well socialized, so schedule play dates as often as possible.
If your dog has many toys — and really, what dog doesn't — remove some from his toy box occasionally and cycle others in. Even if you are continually cycling old toys in and out, your dog will constantly be exposed to "new" things instead of seeing the same toys every single day.
Keeping your dog entertained can be fun for both of you. Just remember that a busy dog is less likely to get into things he shouldn't and is better behaved, so do what you can to keep his life exciting and enriched.