Now that Paul is at class most of the day and I am going to work some days, I started thinking about how Riley feels about us not being there. I know dogs are not like humans and they actually require more sleep than we do, so it is good to know he can catch up on sleep while we are gone. However, I don’t want him to get bored with the same routine every day.
There is not much I can do for him while we are gone. Some days I notice that when I come home, Wolfie, his favorite toy, will be sitting with him on his favorite spot on the couch. I think that is his way of comforting himself when his people aren’t around. It is very cute!
I did look into getting that interactive tree with squirrel stuffed animals that come out of it. Maybe Rye will get one of those for Christmas. There are a lot of interactive toys out there on the market for independent doggies. I found a great blog post that explains some of those toys as well as some super cute videos of dogs trying out the toys! Here is the link: https://dogs.thefuntimesguide.com/interactive-dog-toys/.
Since we can’t hang with him when we aren’t at home, we make sure to tire him out when we are together. Lately, Paul and I have been working on our own (free) techniques to keep Riley’s brain active. A few times a day we will play with Riley quite intensely. He loves running around the house or around us chasing Wolfie. He is also very good at playing hide and seek with Paul. It is so fun to watch! Sometimes Rye will get so happy and excited that he sprints in circles around the apartment until he is so tired he can’t play anymore. It makes my heart happy to watch my men bonding and having fun!
My personal favorite brain-teaser for Riley is hiding Wolfie in a blanket. It starts out as just playing with Wolfie so that Rye is very interested in Wolfie. Then we show him Wolfie getting all wrapped up in the blanket. Then we tell him, “Get Wolfie!” and he goes to town. The first time we did this with him it took him a good 5 minutes to get Wolfie out of the blanket. Now he can whip Wolf free pretty quickly! We tried this trick with a crocheted blanket with lots of holes in it. This really confused poor Rye and we had to help him out. I’m sure he was thinking “I can see and smell Wolfie right there! I just have to pull!”. But unfortunately Wolfie can not be pulled out through a one-inch-wide hole. Too cute!
Paul came up with a very clever idea that makes Riley think and make choices for himself. Rye knows about 10 different tricks. If you ask him to do a specific trick, he will easily do it for a treat. But Paul asked him to “Do a trick” in general and Rye was stumped. Somehow after a few minutes Riley figured out what Paul was asking him and Riley rolled over and got a treat! Then Paul asked him to do a different trick. Stumped again. Rye tried to roll over again and didn’t get a treat. He had to try a different trick. He brought his paw up to high-five Paul. What a smart cookie! We think those two tricks must be his favorite since he will always do those two tricks first. But if you keep asking him, he will spin, park it (go in his crate), give kisses, bang-bang (plays dead), and speak. It is so fun to watch Riley pick a trick that he wants to do instead of telling him to do a specific one. It really makes him think about it and I think it shows more of Riley’s personality.
Of course taking Rye on walks is another great way to keep him alert and active, however with it being so wet out lately, Rye just doesn’t want to walk! We take him for at least a small walk daily whenever the weather permits.
Those are all of our ways that we keep Riley from being bored! We keep his brain and his body active when we are with him so that he can sleep and hang out when we aren’t here. What techniques do you have to keep your doggy from getting bored? Would you be interested in us reviewing products that fight boredom or do you like the free methods better? Let us know what you think in the comments and share this post on your social media of choice! Have a wonderful week and thank you for reading!