Activities For A Compulsive Dog

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Introduction

Do you ever see your dog chasing after their tail for hours or barking nonstop? Or maybe your dog has one specific toy that they just obsess over. If this sounds familiar, you may be dealing with a compulsive dog. So what activities are suited for a dog with this type of personality? Plenty! While compulsion may be a little tricky to deal with, if you approach it the right way, you will have a happy and healthy pup. Positivity, exercise and working their brains will help them gain control in their day to day behavior.

Exercise Extras

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Free
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Collar
Leash
Activity description
Many dogs begin to show signs of compulsion when they are bored or not getting enough attention. A typically normal dog who is pretty emotionally stable the majority of the time may start to show obsessive signs when they are not entertained or mentally stimulated. Your dog may start chasing their tail, licking the same spot on their coat or simply sit staring at something for hours. You need to break your dog's boredom and get them up and moving around! Some of these activities are perfect for sunny days while others can easily be done inside. All are inexpensive (or free) so it won't cost a fortune to help your compulsive dog. Physical exercise will help reduce your dog's stress and also get them moving around, not obsessing over one little thing after another.
Step
1
Hiking
Rather than just taking your pup on their typical walk around the neighborhood, seek out a few new hiking trails that you can try. Search for trails that fit you and your dog's experience and physical fitness (don't try to climb Mount Everest if you have never walked more than a mile!). Drive to new hiking areas with your dog frequently to keep your walks new and exciting. Your compulsive dog will be much better off when exposed to new and exciting scenery!
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2
Power fetch
While regular fetch is just fine, why not try power fetch? Grab two tennis balls and head to a nice big field to play with your dog. Throw the first ball and the second your pup drops it at your feet, immediately throw the second ball. Ball after ball in rapid-fire throwing is exactly what your compulsive dog needs to get their mind off of their stress and get some of that pent up energy out!
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3
Doggy push ups
If your dog is stuck inside with you due to weather or you just don't feel like going out with your pup, try training your dog to get some exercise in by doing doggy push ups. Grab a few treats and command your dog to lie down, then have them immediately stand up. Lie down again and then stand up once more. Up, down, up down - your dog is doing push ups! This is perfect for a compulsive dog who needs a little activity when spending a day inside.
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Mental Stimulation

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Treat Toy
Treat Puzzle
Treats
Activity description
When dogs start to exhibit compulsive behaviors, you may automatically think they need more physical activity (which can be very true). However, maybe they need some mental stimulation as well. Your dog may be obsessing over something because they just have nothing else to think about. So, the simple solution is to give them something to think about of course! Setting your dog up with some mentally stimulating games is ideal for a compulsive pup. These games can be played with you or they are also perfect for when your dog is alone. There is a slight toy investment for this activity but your compulsive dog is worth the small cost!
Step
1
Treat dispensing toy
Treat dispensing toys are exactly as they sound - a toy that will drop a few treats every now and then. Most treat dispensing toys require your dog to toss the toy around in order to get the treats to come out. These are perfect if you are also looking for a way to get your dog some exercise. Stuff the toy with your dog's favorite treats and watch as they run around, throwing the treat about in order to get a few little bites. This will keep that compulsive dog busy for quite some time!
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2
Treat puzzles
A treat puzzle is a little different from a treat dispensing toy as it requires your dog to use their nose and paws to work out a puzzle in order to get to a treat. With puzzles, your dog won't be tossing the toy around but rather pawing at it to figure out how to access the prize inside. Treat puzzles are very mentally challenging and you can find them at different difficulty levels, so find one that will keep your compulsive dog busy!
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3
Homemade toys
You can easily make a mentally stimulating game for your compulsive dog with things you have around the house. Hide some treats under a solo cup and place a few empty cups nearby then watch to see if your dog can discover which cup has the treats. A few tennis balls on top of a muffin tin will also prove a challenge for your compulsive pup. There are plenty of ways to mentally challenge your dog without buying a thing!
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Reinforcement

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Any Day
Free
Normal
20 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description
When you have a compulsive dog on your hands, you may have helped your dog develop this problem without even realizing it. When you first saw your dog chasing their tail, did you laugh? Did you think it was cute how your dog was obsessed with their favorite toy? All of those behaviors are silly and fun until they become annoying and something your dog just can't stop. A compulsive dog can irritate you while they are also struggling. Help curb your dog's compulsive behavior by changing how you treat your dog's behavior. These simple modifications will really help your pooch.
Step
1
Negative attention
While the majority of dogs (and humans!) want positive attention, negative attention is also desired. Why? Well, because it is still attention! Your dog wants to be seen and they may begin compulsive behaviors in order to get your attention. When you yell or scold them, you are still giving attention, so your dog is likely to keep doing this behavior. When your dog starts to exhibit their compulsive tendencies, ignore them, walk away. When your dog gets no attention at all, they are likely to stop with their compulsive acts.
Step
2
No laughing
It may be hard not to laugh at your dog as they chase an invisible spider or sit staring at a wall for hours. Don't let your dog hear you laughing! Your dog will recognize the sound of your laugh as "happy" and they will continue to do the one behavior you want them to stop. If you laughed, your dog will just think you liked their behavior and will keep doing it again and again. Stop laughing at your dog and you could help prevent that compulsive tendency.
Step
3
Encourage calm
On the rare occasions when your compulsive pup is quietly sitting down, make a big deal out of it! Give your dog treats on their dog bed, tell them excitedly that they are being great! Your dog will get the hint. Being calm and sitting down is good, compulsive behavior is not good. Simple and something even your dog can understand.
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More Fun Ideas...

Friends

Plan a play date with a few dogs of your friends. A compulsive dog will greatly benefit from being around other dogs. The excitement, the fun and the behavior comparisons are why we have parks, right?

Food Choice

When thinking about your compulsive dog, you should consider what kinds of food they eat. Too much sugar means the treat is unhealthy. Bagged food with ingredients such as "animal meal" is not what you want to know about! Read your labels, only purchase food that is good for your dog and help them in the long run with a stable, healthy diet.

Conclusion

Compulsive dogs aren't always the easiest to care for and their obsessive behaviors can get a little annoying. Yet if you work with your dog., set them up with plenty to do and help them get out there on the road, getting some fresh air and exercise, they will become happier and those compulsive needs will wash away. Don't stare at your dog in confusion any longer! Get ready to play and entertain your compulsive pup