Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Does your dog love his toys a little too much?

strange dog behavior

Dogs have plenty of habits that can seem disgusting to the average owner. Eating out of the cat box, sniffing the rear end of other dogs and rolling in dead animals tend to top the list. While I am happy to report that Liam rarely engages in these sorts of gross behaviors, there is one nasty dog action he likes to perform on a fairly regular basis.

Yep, Liam truly seems to love his toys.

In the evenings, when I am about to eat dinner, off he goes on a love extravaganza with one of his toys. There are a few special toys he seems particularly fond of, and any sort of large toy quickly becomes a target.

Now, the ASPCA says that this behavior shouldn't be considered abnormal, and dogs who do this once or twice per day shouldn't necessarily be stopped from acting this way. I think I speak for most dog owners, however, when I say that dogs pounding away in the living room aren't necessarily behaving appropriately. It might be normal, but it's certainly not desirable.

In most cases, I can stop the behavior by removing the toy and keeping that toy locked up for a few days. I can also stop the behavior if I ask Liam to perform a trick such as "sit" or "back up" and I give him a cookie for doing so.

But the ASPCA also suggests that dogs engage in this behavior when they feel left out or frustrated. It makes sense that Liam would feel this way when I am eating. He knows he won't be given table scraps, and he knows he's not allowed to beg.

Looks like I need to find puzzle toys or some sort of engaging treat to provide during dinner to help his mental state. One Christmas present, coming right up!