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Keeping your Sheepadoodle busy
Boredom especially for puppies can be a real problem. It can lead to digging, paw licking and other destructive behaviors. Exercise and plenty of it is a good way to combat boredom. But there are some other ways to get your Sheepadoodle to burn some physical and mental energy that you may be able to do on a busy day when there's no time for a long walk.
1) Kongs: these dog toys are an ingenious tool that you can use any day and multiple times per day. The best way is to stuff a Kong with your pup's food. Stuff the Kong by alternately adding layers of wet and dry dog food. Once your dog gets good at removing the food from the Kong you can start pre-stuffing multiple Kongs and put them in the freezer so they're even harder to get at and more convenient for you. The stuffed Kong has multiple benefits for your pup, it will slow them down in how quickly they can eat, they will need to use mental energy in how to figure out how to get the food out. Dogs can get pretty creative about dropping the Kong to loosen up the food or even dropping it down the stairs to shake it out.
2) Practice commands: running through commands and teaching new commands to your pup can use a lot of mental energy and therefore wear your dog out pretty quickly. 30 minutes is about the max amount of time a full grown dog can be expected to focus (of course with lots of breaks and praise in between). This is a great way to teach young pups new tricks and sharpen the commands they already know. It's also wonderful for older pups, after all you can teach an old dog new tricks.
3) Dog puzzles: these are wonderful for encouraging mental engagement from your pup and keeping them busy. These puzzles can also slow your pup down from gobbling up her food in 2 seconds flat. They're also good to fill with treats for a boring afternoon pick me up. They can be pricey and can also be made at home with a little creativity and help from Pinterest.
4) Scatter food: Pups are scavengers by nature so to satisfy that nature in an inexpensive but potentially messy way is to scatter their food on the ground. It's best to do this outside unless you have a meticulous pup that will lick up every crumb of their kibble. This technique will slow your pup's speed eating down and encourage them to use their nose and search for their kibble.
5) Fetch or other games: are a great way to give your pup some exercise when there's not time for a long walk or run. The quick starting and stopping of fetch or a game like tag is a great way for your pup to get her heart rate up in a short amount of time.