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How to Keep Your Dog busy for Hours

Updated on November 2, 2010

More thinking = more treat-ing

If you have a very intelligent and hyper dog, you may find yourself constantly trying to find ways to keep his mind occupied, even if he's done a lot of physical exercise during the day.  You may be stuffing Kongs for hours, purchasing interactive treat toys, and finding that your dog races right through them, swallowing far more treats than any dog should ever eat.

if you find yourself in this predicament, read on!

Put your feet up!  Your dog will be busy for hours!
Put your feet up! Your dog will be busy for hours!

What you need:

  • Kong toys or other treat dispensing toys, as many as you have (as the owner of a smart and hyper dog, you may have many of these)
  • various shapes and sizes of cardboard boxes, rolls and tubes
  • tennis balls if you have some
  • different small treats (commercial treats, bits of hot dogs or cheese, frozen veggies, or pieces of carrots, for example)
  • a few bed sheets or blankets

Step One: Fill Stuff

Fill your Kongs as you might usually do. Use Kong cubes as I wrote about in the link here. Or just fill them with a little peanut butter or Kong stuffing.

Put one or two small treats in each of the different toys and cardboard boxes. Do not put too many. You can slice open a small slit in a tennis ball and pop some treats in those as well.

The trick is to not put too many treats in any one object. Make the treat tasty and smelly. Hot dog bits work well, and tiny pieces go a long way.

I got one toy out!
I got one toy out!

Step Two: Wrap It Up

Take the bedsheets and put them on each other on the floor. Fold them and make hiding spaces.

Hide each toy in the layers of the sheets and blankets. Don't wrap them so tightly that the dog's only recourse would be to chew through the sheets. You want him to realize that if he roots through everything and untangles the sheets with his paws and nose, he'll get the treat toys. You can help get him started by placing a toy close to him and draping the sheet over his head so he can obtain the toy.

Now, for every toy, he needs to work twice as hard! And since each toy only contains a few treats, he'll have to keep going back for more. Each toy will work his mind in a different way.

Add Some Extras

Sprinkle a few tiny treats in the folds of the sheets, making sure to spread them out evenly throughout. After the dog is done with the toys, there are still more treats to be found!

(P.S. This makes a great interactive toy for cats as well!)


Please supervise your dog when you play this game. Dogs will easily begin destroying fabric and the pieces can cause choking and tangling in the intestines.

Watch your dog carefully, and if he attempts to shred the fabric, teach him to burrow through the blankets.

Dogs should never be left unattended with toys or food.


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      Susan 7 years ago

      LOL! I have been doing this for awhile but within minutes mine learned to grab the blanket and swing in circles.. thus the treats fly out and she looks very pleased with herself as she retrieves them lol!!

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      Kristin 7 years ago

      I love this!! Thank you!!!

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      Doggiezen 7 years ago

      I put small treats in the Kong first, then fill up the hole with peanut butter. That gives my dog something to do for a while.

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      Tiffany 7 years ago

      Great idea to occupy your dog's mind. Many people don't realize that is just as important as exercising the body! Dogs love a mental challenge-some need a harder one than others, but think if YOU never got to learn anything and just did the same thing over and over-you'd get bored too!

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      Erin 7 years ago

      What a fun idea! Yep, I'd definitely say this is for supervised play, otherwise I for one would likely not have much left in the way of the sheets. And if you have more than one dog, you might keep an eye out for some heated "discussions" among the folds of fabric. But a GREAT way to entertain both your dogs and yourselves! More entertaining than most TV fare!