Lets all start off and create a bad habit we can complain about later!
Well if you don't know me by now your about to find out my opinion is not always the most popular opinion and I often go against
common thinking. The reason is that I live in a real world and not a fantasy world. I have a deep understanding of common sense,
something most people seem to lack when it comes to animals. No offence it's just true. So a question I get asked an annoying
amount of time, is what can I give my dog to chew on to occupy him?
I have 2 separate issues with this question.
#1. If you do not have the time every single day for 15 years to interact with and entertain your dog, then please DO NOT get an
aussie or any other breed of dog for that matter and certainly don't get a dog from me. Dogs have needs and those needs are to
interact with their owners. That means you need to get up off the couch and do stuff with your dog. No I don't care that it is raining,
or cold, or snowing, or that you are tired from work or have a party to go to and it's inconvenient. If you can say that to me even once,
then I do not want you to purchase a dog from me. Seriously I want my dogs to go to homes that actually want to spend quality time
with them. Homes that will go above and beyond to meet the dogs needs both physically and mentally without looking for excuses.
Excuses fall on deaf ears with me. I was a single mom of two very small kids on the third floor of an apartment with 3 high energy
dogs, I did not have a car or a licence, and we never missed a day of exercise or training. If the dogs needed to get out, we went
out and we did it in all weather and never made excuses to neglect the dog. So if you think you can call me with excuses, you won't
find any sympathy. Interact with your dog, take him out on long runs, train him and be a good responsible aussie owner and do
not rely on chew toys to keep him occupied while you ignore him.
#2. This may shock you but do you realize that when you give your dog a chew toy you are actually creating a bad habit you will
likely use later on to yell at and punish your dog? Seriously, why do you think the dog needs a chew toy? Who told you that was
necessary? No one intelligent in my opinion. When you give your dog items he is allowed to chew on and you encourage him to
sit and chew for no reason other than to give him something to pass the time, you are teaching him chewing is an acceptable
pass time and when he has nothing else to do he should look for something to chew on. The problem is then it becomes a habit.
Have you ever had or known someone with a habit? Habits become a form of addiction and are really hard to break. Think about
anyone who smokes. Not only is the addiction to the nicotine hard to let go of, but the habit of having something in their hand is
equally as hard to let go of. So for the dog who has been taught chewing is a good thing to do, it becomes something he needs to
do over time. The problem now, is what is going to happen when the acceptable chew toys are boring, or missing. Then the dog
chews other things. It likely starts with non chew toys such as teddy bears which are not designed to be chewed on. So you spend
anywhere from $10-$50 on each stuffed toy, ball, frisbee etc and the dog ends up destroying them. May as well just throw your
money away. When the dog toys are gone or put away because your fed up with throwing toys away, then the dog turns to other
items in the home. Your shoes, they have rubber on them much like chewable dog toys so are very appealing. Purses are often
leather and make excellent chew toys. Your furniture is a similar fabric as that of their teddy bears, if they had fun destroying teddy
bears how much fun will they have when they start to chew on your couch? Then you get really upset and you lock the dog in a bathroom,
bedroom, laundry room etc so now the dog who has always had fun chewing, is forced into a form of withdrawl and is desperate for
that release and he chews up the flooring or the drywall.
This is a problem YOU as the owner created by encouraging him to chew so you did not have to spend as much time with the
dog as the dog needed. It is very satisfying for us as humans to have a dog laying on a dog bed leaving us alone, and if we can
create that scenario by tossing chew toys at the dog, then we do. Trust me when I tell you, you want to break that train of thought
before you ever bring a puppy home.
These bad case scenarios can all be avoided by not allowing the dog to chew for fun.
If your dog's mental and physical needs are met by you, then the dog should be very content to hang out and relax without the need
Not one of the aussies I have ever owned had a need to chew on things because it's not something I have ever encouraged.
You will not find a lot of chewable toys in my house or on my property, I simply don't buy them. You WILL find a lot of interactive
toys, balls, frisbees, ropes, things that I can use to play WITH my dogs. These are the toys you should be focused on and you
should use them to interact with your dog and create a special everlasting bond.
I believe in creating good habits and acceptable behaviours from day one and not having to fix unwanted behaviours later on.