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 Post subject: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:57 am 
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Cici has changed a lot since her adoption nearly three years ago and is full of energy. She is going to be 8 in May.

It's a challenge keeping her busy between her walks. She doesn't like chasing or fetching balls. She LOVES to chew on her rib bones, but I need to control her calorie intake. She likes her Kong, but again - more calories...

But I can tell that she wants to do SOMETHING.

She loves to chase squirrels, but she can only do that when we go for walks or when she is on the tie out in the yard (don't have a fenced yard) and I don't like leaving her outside on a tie out unsupervised for a long period.

Any calorie free ideas of keeping your cocker busy when she is at home (either alone, or when I am busy working)?

Thank you so much!

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Bear Mama to
Cici - 8 years old (Gotcha Dec 14, 2013)
Raleigh, North Carolina


Last edited by Cici on Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:15 am 
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Cici wrote:
Cici has changed a lot since her adoption nearly three years ago and is full of energy. She is going to be 8 in May.

It's a challenge keeping her busy between her walks. She doesn't like chasing or fetching balls. She LOVES to chew on her rib bones, but I need to control her calorie intake. She likes her Kong, but again - more calories...

She loves to chase squirrels, but she can only do that when we go for walks or when she is on the tie out in the yard (don't have a fenced yard) and I don't like leaving her outside on a tie out unsupervised for a long period.

Any calorie free ideas of keeping your cocker busy when she is at home (either alone, or when I am busy working)?

Thank you so much!


Mine won't do anything if there are no calories involved so can't help, will be watching this thread.


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:37 pm 
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Several things, some say steamed green bean or snap peas. Another is home grown red bell peppers and squash. Maybe frozen to thaw don't steam, carrots my dog won't eat raw carrots.

Then add warm water under 135 degrees in the kibble as it expands about an hour wait time, so it takes up more room in the tummy.

The most important thing is this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAhoqq8F3DQ

Lot of show dogs do that.

Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:28 am 
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Chubby cocker on a treadmill
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT5ZJ3rBB8c

Cocker on a treadmill inside a human gym during a freezing weather.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsQC2_Af8KM

Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:11 pm 
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:lol3 Thanks for sharing these videos. That's right - Cici would only jump on the treadmill if she replaced every calorie she loses with two. :goof

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Cici - 8 years old (Gotcha Dec 14, 2013)
Raleigh, North Carolina


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:24 am 
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Well bless her heart... 8 years young and still feisty! I Love it! :hp

I'm afraid I don't have very many ideas of what she could do while your busy or out of the house. The only thing I thought would be to hold back some of her food and fill the Kong with it... but if I remember you feed raw so that probably won't work. There are several very low calorie treats out there that would help keep the calorie count down.

Wearing a dog out physically is great but I also firmly believe you need to wear them out mentally as well. I actually think mental work is more important. Here's a list of some of the things I do with Chessie.....

First off classes... Chessie is 6 years old and has been in classes of one sort or another pretty much since she got her shots. If you add all our down time together we've maybe taken about 6 months out of that off. (or less) I love agility and tricks classes .. and yes you can teach an old dog new tricks. I constantly teach Chessie... right now we are working on the Hokey Pokey. :gig

Even if you don't have time to do a formal class you can do some fun things at home that mimic classes. For agility fun set up two buckets with a broom stick across and have Cici jump over... place orange cones in a line and have her walk at heel weaving from side to side like slalom Do you have playground equipment? Let her go up and down the slide. Don't have any place a board resting against your front steps and have him go up and down. Place that same board on something round that doesn't roll too much and make your own teeter totter. Use garden stakes stuck into the ground and make your own weave poles.

Bubbles! both indoors and out. I usually do them on a day I need to wash my kitchen floor anyway since they drip and can be slippery. There are edible ones that are safe for dogs. I like the ones that don't pop too quick. Some dogs have a tough time seeing them so the longer before popping the better. (just a note... I stopped writing this post to go play bubbles with Chessie :happy )

Different sized children's balls... Chessie has a pink one we keep indoors it's big enough she can't pick it up or bite it .. she pushes it around with her paws and nose. We have a big one (bigger than her) that we let her play with outside... (yes she has popped a few over the years LOL)

Make your own fun game with tennis balls and a muffin tin. Place treats at the bottom of the pan and put the balls on top. Let Cici figure out how to get the treats.

Someone told me about this I have never tried it... give them a hard boiled egg in the shell and sit back and watch the fun they have with it. (I'm thinking this may be an outdoor activity LOL.. at least the first time LOL)

As you can see most of my ideas are interactive with my dog... but, if you mix it up a bit, perhaps Cici will be more content to veg during the times you can't be with her.

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Lisa R

Chesapeake NF, AX, AXJ (CGC)
4/20/10

The road to MACH is full of jumps and weaves....

Competing in Master Agility
Double Q's - 3
MACH Points -126
MX Q's - 4
MJX Q's - 4

(edited 12/17)


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:40 am 
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Lisa R wrote:
Well bless her heart... 8 years young and still feisty! I Love it! :hp

I'm afraid I don't have very many ideas of what she could do while your busy or out of the house. The only thing I thought would be to hold back some of her food and fill the Kong with it... but if I remember you feed raw so that probably won't work. There are several very low calorie treats out there that would help keep the calorie count down.

Wearing a dog out physically is great but I also firmly believe you need to wear them out mentally as well. I actually think mental work is more important. Here's a list of some of the things I do with Chessie.....

First off classes... Chessie is 6 years old and has been in classes of one sort or another pretty much since she got her shots. If you add all our down time together we've maybe taken about 6 months out of that off. (or less) I love agility and tricks classes .. and yes you can teach an old dog new tricks. I constantly teach Chessie... right now we are working on the Hokey Pokey. :gig

Even if you don't have time to do a formal class you can do some fun things at home that mimic classes. For agility fun set up two buckets with a broom stick across and have Cici jump over... place orange cones in a line and have her walk at heel weaving from side to side like slalom Do you have playground equipment? Let her go up and down the slide. Don't have any place a board resting against your front steps and have him go up and down. Place that same board on something round that doesn't roll too much and make your own teeter totter. Use garden stakes stuck into the ground and make your own weave poles.

Bubbles! both indoors and out. I usually do them on a day I need to wash my kitchen floor anyway since they drip and can be slippery. There are edible ones that are safe for dogs. I like the ones that don't pop too quick. Some dogs have a tough time seeing them so the longer before popping the better. (just a note... I stopped writing this post to go play bubbles with Chessie :happy )

Different sized children's balls... Chessie has a pink one we keep indoors it's big enough she can't pick it up or bite it .. she pushes it around with her paws and nose. We have a big one (bigger than her) that we let her play with outside... (yes she has popped a few over the years LOL)

Make your own fun game with tennis balls and a muffin tin. Place treats at the bottom of the pan and put the balls on top. Let Cici figure out how to get the treats.

Someone told me about this I have never tried it... give them a hard boiled egg in the shell and sit back and watch the fun they have with it. (I'm thinking this may be an outdoor activity LOL.. at least the first time LOL)

As you can see most of my ideas are interactive with my dog... but, if you mix it up a bit, perhaps Cici will be more content to veg during the times you can't be with her.



I think these are GREAT ideas, Lisa! Thanks!! I had no idea dog bubbles existed. I think Cici would like those. When we first adopted her, she was content sleeping a lot and just observing things. She liked to go for walks, but that was it. I guess it was because she did not know what a home was! She's done a complete 180 in the last 2+ years and my husband says she's going backward - becoming a puppy again.

After her long morning walk - about 45 mins...she chills out for a bit. I am lucky enough to work from home at the moment. She mopes and mopes and wants to do something, but I am busy and I need to find a way to keep her occupied. She doesn't want to nap much during the day. By 2pm, she starts vocalizing her demands. She anxiously waits for the pack walk when my husbands gets home and we all go out for a long walk or to the park. After her dinner, she mopes again. She just wants to be busy and demands a bone after dinner EVERYDAY. But there's got to be more I can do than just throwing her a bone all the time.

I would love to take her to agility, but to be honest she has to do some good citizen classes first. We've moved states and our new home and new jobs have kept us from doing that, but it's been on my mind.

She never enjoyed raw that much although her tummy had no problem with it. She goes INSANE about crock pot food and some canned food, so we settled for that. That and her rib bones make her eyes as large as dinner plates.

I hope I can give her activities to be excited about so she doesn't look so bored during the day.

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Bear Mama to
Cici - 8 years old (Gotcha Dec 14, 2013)
Raleigh, North Carolina


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:45 am 
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My recommendation is to give Cici ice cubs. My puppy loves to eat ice and chase the cubes around the kitchen. This can keep her calorie intake down, refresh her and keep her busy for a few minutes


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:19 am 
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I heartily agree with Lisa about using different size balls. Jennie has two that are children's playground balls. One is about 8" in diameter and the other about 10". She runs up and down the hall batting them with her feet or pushing them with her nose. My favorite is when she gets one stuck in the corner and has to figure a way to get it out.

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Susan

Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:59 pm 
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Other options:

Put a ball in the toe of a tube sock. Jennie loves to work the ball to the open end. Once she gets a pretty good length of toe, she will pick it up and shake it until the ball comes out the other end. She especially likes it when the ball is a squeaky one.

We also play hide and seek, although that involves my time as well as hers. I put her in a sit-stay and then I go hide. Once I'm ready, I call out "Jennie come!" and she will search the entire house until she finds me. Of course, I cheat and move around to places she has already searched when I can! Or you can hide a favorite toy and teach her to "go find it". Jennie's favorite toy for this is a stuffed hippo. It says "booda" on his chest, so that what his name is. Even if I haven't hidden him, if I ask "where's booda?" she will go find him and usually play a good game of shake with him before she brings him to me.

I sometimes will put a toy beneath a plastic basket and let her try to figure out how to get it. She tries all sorts of different things, from trying to get her nose under it to batting at it with her feet.

Finally, one of her favorite toys is a plastic A&W Root Beer bottle with a few rocks and a small wooden dowel in it. She will carry it around and shake it to make it rattle or she'll scoot it along the floor, growling at it. Lately she has started putting it underneath the sofa and then tries to get it back out. Pretty funny to watch her try to squeeze under the sofa or try to get one foot underneath it to get the bottle back. She gets it about half the time and the rest of the time she comes to get me to get it for her.

Can Cici see outside from any of your windows? That is a major source of entertainment for Jennie. I'm lucky to have a low window next to the front door. I put a car booster seat beneath it and she spends quite a bit of time (off and on) in that seat looking out the window. She lets me know whenever a dog, cat or kid walks by. And UPS can't make a move on our street without her alerting me. I don't know what it is about their trucks that she doesn't like... but she definitely considers them a menace!

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Susan

Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:25 am 
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Interesting tips, Susan. THANK YOU for the second round :sml

Yes, Cici likes to look out the window, but ours are higher and there's a bed next to the window, so I have to put a sheet on it first. Then she expects to be on the bed ALL THE TIME. She likes our deck. Not sure she will like balls, but I will try. She pays no attention to tennis balls because they are not tasty.

We do play hide and seek and I hide her bones too.

She doesn't like UPS or FEDEX trucks either!! Especially if she is outside. I think it's because of their roaring loud noise. Same with motorbikes that come to close.

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Bear Mama to
Cici - 8 years old (Gotcha Dec 14, 2013)
Raleigh, North Carolina


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:59 am 
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Jennie LOVES motorcycles. Her breeder's husband rode one, so I sometimes wonder if she thinks every motorcycle is his. She also likes diesel trucks and school buses. My biggest fear is that she will get away from me because she would run right into the street to chase any of them.

She also loves garbage trucks. At my old home she had a fenced front yard and one of the drivers would sit at the end of my driveway and rev his engine, then race her across the front of the yard. It was so funny to watch! Her little tail would almost be a blur. She can't do that at the new house, but she looks out the window and barks and barks when they go by.

We had our first Halloween in the new house and boy was it different for us. We have moved from a neighborhood where there is very little trick or treating to one where parents drive their kids in from the outlying areas. I put a pair of dining room chairs by the front door in a way that allowed Jennie to see out the window but not be able to get down. She was my doorbell! Several kids asked if they could pet her before leaving. She had a blast and this morning she hasn't yet gotten out of her bed.

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Susan

Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:11 pm 
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Tried bacon flavored bubbles. Cici does not get the appeal. She looks at them, but focuses more on the bottle and my mouth. LOL. No success there! Except for the fact that I can't wash the bacon smell off of my fingers!

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Bear Mama to
Cici - 8 years old (Gotcha Dec 14, 2013)
Raleigh, North Carolina


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 Post subject: Re: Keeping your cocker busy
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:01 am 
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So glad I looked at this thread - what neat ideas!! Fortunately, Ruger loves to play fetch, especially with squeaker toys/balls. And he likes to play tug-of-war with his brother and sister. But I'm still going to try some of these ideas. They sound fun! I also think he'd have fun with an agility type course.


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