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7 Simple Ways To Keep Your Dog Busy and Happy!

Keeping Your Dog Busy and Happy

This post is sponsored by BarkBox. As always, all opinions are entirely my own, and all canine models were compensated with treats and belly rubs. :-)

Here at OGT, we love our dogs! Many of our dog-centric blog posts feature photos of Milo, the lovable boxer who belongs to our photographer Kaitlyn. Another one of our canine models is Frodo the sheltie, who belongs to our Production Manager Brittany. We love it when Milo and Frodo spend the day at the studio with us, but when they first started coming over to visit, they would get so bored! And having bored dogs around the studio is not great for productivity, as you can imagine.

Dogs are very smart and playful creatures, and some breeds are very work-oriented as well. When dogs are left to their own devices with nothing to play with, they can focus that energy into trouble-making or destructive behaviors. It boils down to this – a busy dog is usually a happy dog! So we got wise and filled a box with dog toys and chews, and got a big, soft dog bed too. Now Milo and Frodo have plenty of things to play with when they come to visit, and they’re much happier for it!

With the help of our friends at BarkBox, today we’re sharing a few specific ways you can keep your furry friends busy and happy!

Keeping Your Dog Busy and Happy

1. Teach New Tricks

Your dog is capable of learning all sorts of tricks, no matter how old they are! Keep your dog on its toes (or its paws!) by continually teaching them new tricks. By spending a few minutes each day teaching your pup, you’ll be providing them much needed mental stimulation. And your dog will love the extra attention!

Keeping Your Dog Busy and Happy

Positive reinforcement is key when teaching your dog a new trick, and small treats make excellent rewards! The popular subscription service BarkBox includes 2 different types of treats for your pooch in each monthly delivery. Offering your dog new and tasty treats can help keep them interested when learning a new trick!

Keeping Your Dog Busy and Happy

2. Exercise Every Day

A tired dog is a happy dog, so you can encourage good behavior by playing with your dog every day. It can be as simple as running around the yard or the park, or you can take your dog on a hike or long walk. Anything that gets your dog up and moving!

Keeping Your Dog Busy and Happy

3. Hide & Seek

Another way to give your dog some mental stimulation is by challenging them to find their favorite treat. The first few times you play, you should hide the treat in a location that’s relatively easy to find, like behind a furniture leg. As your dog gets the hang of the game, you can start hiding treats is more hidden places, like underneath their dog bed or behind a pillow. There are also feeding puzzles that challenge your dog to figure out how to get to the food inside.

Keeping Your Dog Busy and Happy

4. Provide Toys

Most dogs love toys, and their owners love them, too! Toys provide mental stimulation and exercise, and they’re great for keeping your dog busy. But some dogs are rougher on toys than others, and some dogs are downright destructive!

Keeping Your Dog Busy and Happy

BarkBox provides an affordable way to keep any sort of dog supplied with fun toys. Each month’s box includes 2 original toys only available through BarkBox or BarkShop.com. For an additional $9 per month, you can also join the “Extra Toy Club” to receive an additional toy in each box!

Keeping Your Dog Busy and Happy

5. Chew Time

Chewing is a natural canine instinct, because it helps dogs keep their jaws strong and their teeth clean. It can also be a self-soothing behavior for anxious dogs. Providing your dog several options for chewing can help deter them from chewing on your stuff.

Keeping Your Dog Busy and Happy

There are all kinds of great chew toys out there for dogs, and plenty of options for edible chews, too. Subscribing to BarkBox is the simplest way to give your dog a steady flow of new and interesting chewable things. Each box includes two dog-approved toys, two bags of treats, and a chew, which are sure to keep your dog busy and happy.

And on the off-chance that your dog doesn’t love one of the toys or treats in your box, just contact the dog-loving BarkBox customer service team! They can’t stand to disappoint your pup, so they’ll send you a replacement product for free – no strings attached.

Keeping Your Dog Busy and Happy

6. No Free Lunch

Your dog is willing to do a lot to get what they want, so you can challenge your dog by making them work for everyday things. For example, you could ask your dog to shake before taking them out for a walk, or you could have them sit before they get to eat their dinner. Making your dog work a little bit reinforces the idea that obedience will get them what they want, rather than bad behavior.

Keeping Your Dog Busy and Happy

All of that hard work deserves a reward, and signing up for BarkBox is a perfect reward! Each month you’ll receive toys, treats, and a chew for your dog to enjoy, so you’ll always have something to offer your “good boy.” BarkBox offers tailored options for small, medium, and large dogs, so you can rest assured that the toys and treats included will be appropriate for your dog’s size and weight.

Keeping Your Dog Busy and Happy

7. Take A Class

Team up with your dog and take a class to learn something new! There are all kinds of classes available in person and online. You could learn to lead your dog through an agility course, get your dog certified as a therapy dog, or work on your dog’s scenting and tracking skills. There’s always something new for your dog to learn, and they’ll love spending that quality time with you!

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Thank you so much for this email. I have two Olde English Bulldogge’s which are sisters and it can be very challenging to keep them entertained. They are highly intelligent so it’s a struggle to stay ahead of them. I had considered Bark Box but did not know anyone who had used it. I appreciate the information!!!

  • Love seeing your Sheltie. We are on our 3rd one. The one on your site looks just like our 2nd one. Have a tri-color puppy now 8 months old. This is such a smart breed. We also taught our 2nd Sheltie to have a treat on his nose but not eat until
    told. Our current one has already learned difference between 3 toys and will bring
    the correct one back. Also is trained to ring a little bell hung by the door when
    needs to go potty. LOVE Shelties, and am loving your site also…have told many about it. Thanks for all the information you give.
    Nan S.

      • I also have a sheltie . She is my third. For a while you did not see them anywhere as they were the not the dog du jour but now are everywhere. They are wonderful pets even if the do bark incessantly which is an inborn trait as they as herding dogs. Yeah SHelties!!!

  • Many years ago, I was tryin to teach my young dog to stay. He was fine, as long as he could see me. I got the idea to tiptoe around the corner. Much to my surprise, he had tiptoed, right behind me! Well, I learned that dogs can tiptoe. He was so proud.

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