Busy Days and Lazy Days

young Laev with Kongs

“Stuff them! STUFF THEM!” A young Laevatein with Kongs

We lead human lives in a human world, and nowadays that means computers, phones, etc.

Dogs don’t get that.

When I’m working on blog posts and book revisions and scheduling, they don’t understand why I’m a boring lump who sits in a wooden chair instead of snuggling on the couch or playing training games or doing anything else more interesting. (And they might have a point, really.)

So last week we cheated. Husband and I were both home the short week before Thanksgiving, but we were both still working, and since I was hosting Thanksgiving, I wanted to be as productive as possible before it. So we cheated, supplying each dog with his or her own knuckle bone.Β (Note: our dogs are well-accustomed to raw, and I get my raw bones from a reliable clean supplier. No stomach or illness issues here.)

The dogs are trained that bones must stay on their mats, so even though the bones were raw, they were acceptable indoor toys. That’s good, because I don’t like leaving senior Shakespeare in the cold. Once or twice vigorous chewing pushed the bones off the blankets provided, and I had to remind, “Bones on the mat!” and the offending chew was quickly replaced. I’m not certain if the dogs understand that there must be blanket between the mat and the floor, or if they simply move the bone nearer the center of the blanket, but either way, it works.

Laev chewed her bone for nearly 10 hours straight! She started by stripping it of meat, and by the end she was happily scraping out marrow. That’s more staying power than we get from even a frozen stuffed Kong toy, and it was a great dog-occupying task. If one doesn’t mind the sound of tooth on bone — I don’t — it was about the perfect win-win scenario.

What are your favorite I-need-to-work-so-here-dog-keep-yourself-busy tricks?

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About Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT-KA KPACTP

Laura was born at a very young age and started playing with animals immediately after. She never grew out of it, and it looks to be incurable. She is the author of the bestselling FIRED UP, FRANTIC, AND FREAKED OUT. She owns Canines In Action, Inc. in Indianapolis, speaks at workshops and seminars, and is also a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.

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  1. I hide kibble or tiny (dry!) training treats everywhere. The searching goes on for hours, even though I suspect most of the treats are found within the first 20 minutes.

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