Friday, December 31, 2010

Get Your Dog Out of Your Hair: If even for just a moment...

When you’re sick, the last thing you want to think about is taking care of everyone else. Selfish, I know, but there’s no better time to be a huge baby then when you’re congested, coughing, and tired all the time. 
This past week was my turn. Yes, that’s right. The kids got me (and J) a cold virus for Christmas! How do we know? Because as sick as he and I got, the kids never even sniffled!
Top priority: get lots of rest. Absolute last priority: take care of the dogs. 

That was my list. That was not the list of my beloved dogs. Though, strangely enough, they toned it down a bit and didn’t reach their full obnoxious level. I like to think it’s because they understand that we were under the weather...
I needed something to occupy them inside the house and it had to be something that doesn’t require me to interact with them as much. 
I’m a huge fan of dog puzzles - my favorite DIY doggie games, like in this post, usually just require me to dig in the recycling for inspiration. Which is exactly what I did this morning when I wanted just a liiiiiitle bit more sleep. *Supervision is strongly suggested. J was there to keep an eye on them, just in case.
I grabbed a cardboard box that’s still intact, some yummy treats, and some tape. 

My dog’s don’t ingest cardboard - that’s key. If your dog is less of a destroyer and more of an eater, this might not be the best idea for you. You would probably want something more sturdy, like the Nina Ottosson Twister game that they can’t actually tear apart for the purpose of eating it. Here’s our blog, with video, of Bizzle working on one.
Next, I toss some yummy, smelly treats inside the box. 
Then, I seal it up with tape.
Tada! Ready for play!

 Again, my dogs don’t actually consume this. Instead, they rip through it and spit the pieces out. They know the real prize is inside. 
This lasts them about 15 - 30 minutes, depending on how much I seal up the container. If you want to make it more difficult, seal all the flaps and corners.  That way, they can’t just rip the corner of the box open and get in. They’ve got to toss the box around a bit to figure out the best way in. 
Does this make a huge mess? Yes. 

But all it requires is a sweep of the broom and it’s cleaned up. More importantly, my dogs are entertained. And when the alternative is them bugging me every 2 seconds to play with them when all I want to do is recover, it’s definitely worth it! 

Here's Sarah, tuckered out after destroying her "toy":

Do you have great ideas for entertaining your dogs? Share them with us, we'd love to hear them!!


  1. I first learned this trick at my local SPCA but they add a twist. They put the first box into a larger box and that into a larger box until they have several boxes nested inside.

    And yeah, a little sweeping is a small price to pay for a tired pup.

    Hope you feel better soon and can look forward to a wonderful new year!

  2. That's an excellent idea - especially for a dog with a good nose!

    Thanks for the well-wishes, I hope you and your pups are off to a good start for the new year!