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Boredom: A dog will always find something to do to beat boredom which often leads to problem behav- ior. Interactive toys will keep your dog engaged, extending playtime with a healthy, long-lasting, mentally and physically stimulating challenge.


Home AloneWith Less Anxiety


We’ve been spending more time at home than ever before. As stay-at-home mandates begin to ease up, 73 percent of people are concerned about going back to work out- side their home, and spending time away from their pets. We’re all worried that our dogs or cats may suffer from separation anx- iety once new work schedules begin. In making adjustments, 67 percent of


pet owners expect to make changes in how we care for our pets once we’re not home as often. Here are some tips from Mark Hines, training and behavior specialist for KONG Company. PRACTICE GRADUAL DEPARTURES Ease your dog into a new routine.


Before returning to work outside the home, start leaving your house for short periods to help your dog readjust. Separation anxiety peaks during the first 20 minutes after a dog is left alone. DISASSOCIATE CERTAIN CUES FROM


YOUR DEPARTURE Routine cues associat- ed with your pet being left alone, such as picking up your keys or putting on shoes, can cause your pets to behave anxiously before you even have a chance to leave the house. For this reason, it is important to


64 THE NEW BARKER


disassociate your leaving from these routine tasks. Practice exposing your pet to these cues in various orders several times a day without leaving. CREATE POSITIVE ASSOCIATIONS


WITHYOUR DEPARTURE Special toys such as KONG puzzles with hidden treats inside can be a fun way to distract your pet while you are preparing to leave. This will help keep them from releasing their anxiety through unwanted behaviors after you’ve left. Practice giving your dog a treat-stuffed interactive toy while doing the activities associated with your departure, again, with- out leaving. This will help your dog associ- ate being left alone with good things, allevi- ating those anxiety peaks. Likewise, curtail your emotional departures or greetings which may also elicit stressful reaction from your dogs. INCREASE DAILY EXERCISE AND


INTERACTIVITYWITHYOUR DOG Show excitement, be active and ani-


mated. Make a toy desirable by holding onto it. Make it something that your dog finds fascinating and really wants. Toys on ropes create even more drive because they move faster and are unpredictable.


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Chewing: Without an acceptable out- let for natural chewing instincts, your dog may turn to destructive chewing. Prevention is key. Teach your dog acceptable chewing behavior with a treat stuffed KONG.


Digging and Barking: Boredom and fear can lead to these unwanted behaviors. Creating good behaviors starts with productive play that will allow your dog to burn up excess energy. Consider a frozen, treat-stuffed KONG for a mentally occupying challenge to burn up that excess energy.


www.TheNewBarker.com


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