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May 20, 2015

What Does Your Dog Need to be Happy?

Despite my best efforts to keep spirits up during Penny’s recovery there’s been a noticeable drop in morale.  And it’s not just because of my bad jokes Eko and Penny are getting as much time outside as I can manage, but back in the apartment there’s
Despite my best efforts to keep spirits up during Penny’s recovery there’s been a noticeable drop in morale. Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, adventure, beach

And it’s not just because of my bad jokes

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, adventure, beach

Eko and Penny are getting as much time outside as I can manage, but back in the apartment there’s significantly more moping, pacing and zooming than usual

No matter how long I’ve made our walks or outings in the past couple weeks, there is a general sense of listlessness from both dogs. It’s not fun but luckily it is temporary. What this experience has really reinforced for me is that in order for Eko and Penny to be truly happy they need the freedom to run wild.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, adventure, beach

The pups have enjoyed the games and puzzles and walks and visits of the past two weeks, but there is no substitute for cutting loose

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, adventure, beach

No matter the weather, how happy Eko and Penny are is directly related to how much time they’ve had to run

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, adventure, beach

Off-leash time is not just about romping, it’s also about socialization and making new friends

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, adventure, beach

Unstructured playtime where the pups can enjoy themselves is a critical component to their happiness

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, adventure, beach

And it’s not a puppy-thing. Penny has more energy, but Eko loves nothing more than tearing up and down the shore

Rhodesian Ridgeback, puppy, chicago, adventure, beach

Despite all that freedom, Penny often chooses to do what she can do at home anytime – bug Eko!

It hasn’t been the most fun two weeks, but what’s most important is that Penny is just about fully recovered. This has also been a good opportunity to get a better idea of just how important our trips to the beach are – for both Eko and Penny’s happiness and my own.

All dogs are not the same though, so I’m interested to hear from you guys. Do your pets have a particular “need” in order to be happy?

Comments for What Does Your Dog Need to be Happy?

  1. It’s great that your beach waits for you and you will get two tired but happy pups :o) Currently Easy is the best nurse ever, he helps me to kick this darned flu out… I wonder a little that he is so patient… hope he is ok :o)

  2. Victoria says:

    lets see – running, spinning, .leaping – and especially playing in the snow.

  3. Dakota needs BONES BONES BONES and lots and lots of kisses!

  4. Ellen Quilty says:

    Exercise and mental stimulation are key for having a well behaved Ridgeback.We are very fortunate to live in an area with lots of open land where Nikki can run and walk to her heart’s content.We go somewhere every day so she gets her time outdoors.Sometimes she just walks along sniffing-a very important activity for a Ridgeback -but whatever she does it tires her out.She also gets doggie playtime with her buddies whenever we can.Car rides and doing errands in the stores also tire her out.She is a wonderful companion due in large part to the fact that she is well exercised and tired!

  5. Kismet says:

    Kaci and Kali have a big back yard in which to chase each other and all kinds of critters. They’re not happy if they don’t get to go out.

  6. Sammie needs play dates with other pooches, the ability to keep her eye on us, and romps in nature where she can explore and smell all the smells in order to be her happiest!

  7. Emmadog says:

    We get unhappy when we can’t go out in our yard and play for a day. It happens when Mom puts the fertilizer on and has to wait for it to really wash in so we don’t get it on our furs. We get really mad at her because we want to go out and play!

  8. Anna says:

    My dog Polo is like Eko and Penny … loves walks, car rides, couch time, time outside sniffing things in the yard – but absolutely needs regular and vigorous off-leash running and playtime to stay happy. I lucked into a house with a large yard, in a neighborhood with several neighbor dogs who love the same thing! We would be lost without trips to the dog park and visits from neighbor dogs 3-4 times a week.

  9. Connie Taylor says:

    Our Bentley will decide that her brother, Riley, needs to be picked-on if she can’t get out to play and run. They had such a great run yesterday through the house, during the rain storm. After the storm, Riley passed up on his evening walk, but not her! With her being 10 months old, she really let us know its play time, Riley, being 9, is much easier going.

  10. DZ Dogs says:

    Oh yes!
    Lack of exercise makes Dante sulky, and Ziva bratty. 🙂
    Funny though my pups don’t want to go out when it rains! They complain and walk in the rain like it’s the most awful thing ever, then run zoomies when they are back inside. A couple days of rain and little exercise and Dante turns into a gloomy Eeyore dog. We try to keep that from happening.
    http://www.DzDogs.com

  11. miloandava says:

    Poor girl. My babies need constant affection and love for them and the other members in the house to be truly relaxed. As soon as something is wrong they can sense it and are not at ease until all is well! Don’t worry, she will soon be back to good health and bouncing around again 🙂

  12. Mine are mopey too when they don’t get to do what they want to do. Nellie is super mopey because she doesn’t get to go train like she used to because now I have my car and it only fits 2. 🙁 Soon Penny and Eko will be back at the beach.

  13. Cupcake says:

    I’m pretty much never off my leash. To be happy, I need to cuddle, lean, rub up against, and snuggle with humans.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

  14. Their happiness and your sanity I suspect. Only a couple more days. Hang in there. 🙂

  15. Marcela says:

    Alex’s need to be happy entails a comfortable place to sleep, preferably in my bed or her ortho bed, and her human close to her.

  16. Fozziemum says:

    If Forrest and Doc don’t get play time either playing fetch or big walks i get the stare down..nothing sadder than a pair of pensioner pups keen to roll and then seeing rain..the look of disappointment breaks your heart 🙂

  17. dogdaz says:

    Yes, a tired dog is a happy dog. They will wait for you no matter how long it takes.

  18. Archie my lap, Oscar fresh Chicken and Henry a cuddle and kiss when he returns home 🙂

  19. I need to run for at least 20 mins. a day. When I was younger it was 20 mins. three times a day.
    I also have a routine and if it doesn’t happen every day the same way I’m not happy.
    ~Lowryder~

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