When we moved, our eldest border collie, Roxy decided she was going to forget everything we’d ever taught her and lose her mind for a little bit. This resulted in us losing our minds for a little bit. While she didn’t go drastically nutty, her behavior shifted ever so slightly enough so that it was noticeable to my husband and I.
Ceiling Fans Are The Enemy
So what did she do? Well, she used to be a shadow chaser. This means that all of the lights on the ceiling were triggers to her. Once upon a time she would run and jump and circle at these shadows. It took a while, but we broke her of this habit. In our new home we have ceiling fans. They create shadows so it took some time to teach her that the fans were not her enemy and could be left alone. Sometimes she will glance up at them and shoot them a warning stare, but the attacks have ended.
She forgot she was house broken. Now I’ll spare you the details of this, but let’s just say she could decide where and when she was going to use the bathroom. And just when you think you’d solved the mystery, you were wrong. It became CSI CT around here and leaving her home alone was worse than any trust fall.
We realized a number of factors were contributing to her nuttiness and a lot of them were our fault. She was in a new environment, we were busy, and most importantly, our daily runs have been cut short due to the baby on board and the summer heat.
In an effort to get Roxy back on track, for our own sanity, but more importantly, for hers, we took some action.
Solving The Problem
- Walks. Roxy and I may not be able to run 3-5 miles a day together right now, but we can go for hikes and walks. I’m using this time going slower for both of us to learn and explore the new trails we have in our town. There’s a lot to see and do and by spending time learning it all now, we can hit the ground running, literally, after I’m cleared to do so postpartum.
- Treats. We usually don’t give our dogs treats. It’s not that we’re mean or don’t believe in them, we’re just active people and don’t usually have treats on the go. We started giving Roxy treats for going to the bathroom outside…and giving her treats when she was behaving calmly. We stocked up on her favorite treats, Zukes. She’s fussy when it comes to treats and not everything has the same effect with her. (Her brother on the other hand will eat anything. any. thing.)
- Games. This was the biggest part of the puzzle I think. There were times where we were painting a room or putting things away and couldn’t spend time paying attention to Roxy. Most dogs would curl up in a corner and sleep, but not Roxy. She’s active ALL. THE. TIME. If she can’t be part of the action, her anxiety builds. So I started looking into puzzles for her to keep her mind busy when I can’t. We tried a few and honestly, she’s too smart for her own good. I’m not just a dog momma bragging, she can figure out most toys in seconds and therefore the purpose is defeated. When I came across PAW 5’s Rock N’ Bowl I was really excited because it gives me a way to entertain Roxy at the same time as feeding her.
PAW 5 Rock ‘N Bowl
Please note I received a sample of the PAW 5 Rock N’ Bowl to try out. My opinions are my own and I am only bringing you the things I love and that really worked for me. (And Roxy).
Here are the details. The PAW 5 Rock ‘N Bowl is made of durable rubber and it allows you to easily add your pup’s dinner, and or treats, into it. (I love that it’s easy to load, a lot of treat toys are not!) From there, your pup has to “bobble” it around to get their meal and treats out. My dog played with this for a while…she used her nose, paws, and even body to make sure it was empty.
See Roxy using the Paw 5 here:
It’s BPA and phthalate-free and holds up to 4 cups of food. It’s made in the USA and it breaks down so it’s DISHWASHER safe! How awesome is that? This toy requires so extra effort on my part to use and allows Roxy to have a challenging meal time and to exercise her brain. It’s an overall winner and I’m thrilled it’s in my corner.