How to keep a dog entertained in yard

dog in yardFinding ways to keep your dog entertained in the yard is important to avoid boredom. A bored or frustrated dog left outside in the yard can lead to many behavior problems. This may include nuisance barking, running up and down the fence line ruining the lawn or digging up the garden. It may even encourage your dog to escape to look for ways to find their own fun.

The key to keeping your dog entertained outside in the yard is to provide stimulation and activities to keep them busy and challenged.

Here are a few suggestions to give a go if your dog is left outside in the yard.

Dog toys and activities for outside

Spring Pole

spring pole is simply a spring connected to a rope that hangs from a tree branch or beam with a lure or toy attached to the end. This allows your Pitbull to play tug of war with him or herself even if you are not there. Tug of War is a great way for a dog to release and burn pent-up energy while at the same time giving their muscles a good workout.

Check out the video to see this in action

Jolly Ball

Jolly Ball is a nearly indestructible ball for dogs that they push and chase around. I say “nearly” as nothing is guaranteed indestructible.  They come in a variety of sizes, styles and are also available with a handle or rope attached for tug of war. Check out the video to see what great exercise and fun they are for dogs.

View Jolly Balls on Amazon


dog stickChewing is a great way to occupy them. In addition, chewing releases endorphins and helps to relax a dog. Many dogs hold stress in the jaw. Provide your dog that is outside in the yard with a good selection of appropriate chew toys. For more on the benefits of chewing and the best chew toys click here.

Avoid allowing them to chew on unsafe objects such as sticks. Read “Should dogs chew sticks” to learn more.

Kongs and Puzzle toys

Kong toys for dogs and puzzle toys are a great way to provide a mental challenge and stimulation for your dog, especially when home alone in the yard. To learn more about these read “Top 7 Puzzle toys for dogs” and “How to use a Kong for dogs

Digging box

dog diggingSome dogs love to dig. However, most people don’t want their dog digging up there garden. Give them their own digging box so they have an approved digging area to call their own. If they don’t understand that it is their digging box and ok to dig, bury some of their toys or a bone in the box. You can use soil in the box or alternatively use sand. If using sand and you live in a hot area be aware that the sand will get hot. You can wet it down before they use it to keep it cool.

Fun with water

Many dogs love to play with the hose or splash around in the water. Especially if the weather is hot. Try an Automatic Doggie Water Fountain. These simply attach to your garden hose and are paw activated. your dog steps on the pedal and out shoots the water.

dog poolAnother option is to set up a paddling pool for your dog to splash and play in. See paddling pools on Amazon.

Automatic Ball Launchers

Dogs love to play fetch.  Ball Launchers are a battery or power operated machine that shoots balls across the yard or the house (generally 10-30 feet) so that your dog can chase and fetch them. they can be used indoors or outside.

Your dog can be trained to return the balls to the funnel-shaped opening in the machine and enjoy hours of entertainment fetching balls without any involvement from you at all. Read “Automatic Ball Launchers for dogs” to learn more.

Dog toys that move on their own

There is a range of dog toys that shake, rattle, and roll on their own. Dogs love these as they cater to their natural prey and chase instinct. Many of these toys are motion activated so your dog simply needs to touch the dog toy and it springs into life. Check out “Dog toys that move on their own” to learn more about these.

Scenting games

Make up some chicken or beef stock and splash it around the yard. Dilute the stock quite a lot as many stocks are high in sodium (salt) or use a salt-free brand of stock.

Alternatively, hide some tasty treats or chews around the backyard so your dog can find them.

That was just a few suggestions on how to keep a dog entertained in the yard. If you have any more ideas, feel free to mention them in the comments.

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