How to entertain a bored lurcher?(3 Posts)
My 18 month old lurcher is slowly destroying my sofa.
I have a 9 month old son, and so I cannot be with my dogs as often as I used to be. They are walked and fed and watered, and I take them out to the garden in the evenings (although not at a regular time because I can't). This will change once bedtimes are more stable, but at the moment I spend half of my evening time or non-work-day time going up and down to the baby/feeding/settling the baby.
Lurcher (and slightly older, much less bored dog) has to stay in the lounge because otherwise he eats my shoes, any of the baby's toys, anything I don't want him to have. I don't want to crate him because it doesn't seem fair to do that just to stop him from chewing, and it'd have to be a large cage as he's all limbs.
He comes to work with me some days and seems calmer there, but I suspect it's because I'm in the room with him, and he's not on his own/just with the other dog.
So I'm asking for advice on what I can do to offset the destructiveness. I've got throws over the sofa, but he can 'dig' them aside. Am going to make covers for the cushions so they're harder to get to, but I'm struggling to find the time. I've bought him various toys, but half of the time he loses them under the furniture so then has nothing to play with. Fluffy soft toys he destroys within minutes, so they're not a long term solution. Bones he shows some interest in, but then throws them round the room, so it's toys he's after. Anyone found anything good for higher-needs dogs? I'm thinking a maze ball with treats that pop out might be a rewarding diversion...?
Please help, this dog can be so lovely and so good, it's not his fault he's bored. I need to find him an appropriate outlet or I'll be out of lounge furniture.
Kong, stuffed with treats. I make liver bread, cut it into squares slightly bigger than the kong hole and freeze them. Put one in and give it to my dog, he will spend an hour trying to get it out. As it defrosts it keeps him entertained because little crumbs start dropping out. But you can put anything in there. Regular treats, carrots; peanut butter (dog safe) or cottage cheese and then freeze. In addition to his long walk in the morning, also try four or five ten minute training sessions each day. Doesn't matter what trick you teach, I find each quick session as good as a 20 minute walk in terms of tiring him out if we are cooped up during the day. I also play hide and seek with him. Let him sniff a treat, close him in the kitchen and make home wait while I hide it somewhere in the house. Open kitchen door and ask him where it is, gradually making the hiding spot more difficult. Even if he finds it in ten minutes it's an activity that makes him use his brain and tires him out.
Yep definitely kongs as pp has said. Kongs are pricey but they last a long time. If you want something cheaper, you can use an old plastic water bottle and pop a treat in there such as a bit of meat or a small doggie biscuit. Mine will play with this for ages, trying to get the treat out. I walk my lurcher 2 times a day but also have taught her how to play fetch, and a few sessions of that will tire her out!
There is an excellent lurcher group on Facebook called the Lurcher Appreciation Society, it's a great group to join for advice and anything lurchery!
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