Dear Dr. Zeus: My dad puts me in my crate when he can’t watch me. What do you do to pass the time? — “Deke”, 10-week-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Dear Deke: Sleep. Crates are like dens and I feel safe and at home so I usually sleep. And when I sleep, time seems to fly by quicker. What helps me sleep is getting lots of exercise when I’m not in my crate. So use that time wisely – chase balls, retrieve toys, take a walk or hike with your family, etc. If your family is busy, walk around the house and check on them and beg for pets or treats from each.
If you can’t sleep, I recommend chewing. Hopefully your family has provided you with something constructive to chew on – like a KONG Extreme Dog Toy, an Everlasting Beanie Ball, or a Nylabone Big Chew Bone. If not that could lead to destructive chewing – not advisable – and I’ve destroyed quite a few crate pads in my puppy stage to train my parents to leave me chew toys.
Then there’s always counting the number of squares on the crate door (you know, like your family would count floor or ceiling tiles). I usually get distracted while I’m counting by a noise or something so have to start over multiple times which is good because it makes me a little dizzy and/or sleepy. Then I just close my eyes and fall asleep – which is my most favorite thing to do in a crate.
Daily Dog Life
Dear Dr. Zeus: Sometimes when my family leaves for work, I get all worked up and miss them – what should I do? — “Trinity”, 3-year-old rescued Labrador Retriever from Boca Raton, Florida.
Dear Trinity: First you need to understand a couple of things. They do not want to ever leave you since you are the “light of their lives”. However, if they don’t go to work or school, you will not be able to continue to eat or live in the fashion that you have become accustomed to. Plus, when they are away, you have free reign of the house and/or yard. The way I see it, you’ve got it great; so just relax.
The first thing I do when my family leaves for work is patrol the house, checking to see if all the doors and windows are secure. If they aren’t, my plans for the day can change quickly as there is so much more to do outside. Initially, you wouldn’t think so but with so many smells in the air and ground, it’s wonderful. First on the list is to “mark” everywhere, not only trees but all the lawn furniture, hose carrier, grill, etc. You want to make sure you claim EVERYTHING so others know it’s yours. Then check out the different weeds, flowers, sticks, etc. I recommend digging next; you can discover roots, bugs, worms – a whole exciting world! And remember, digging gives your pecs a good workout.
After all this exploring, I typically get tired and take a nap. When I get up, I start all over again. Then my family comes home and I excitedly greet them so they know that I missed them … but I’m thinking that I missed marking the 2nd bush on the left …
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Category : Ask Dr. Zeus