It's really, really hot here. Keeping Tibby occupied when it's hot outside is easy - keep the AC on and the couch nice and comfy. Keeping Ellie busy in the heat is another thing. She has a lot of energy. It's too hot for her to spend more than 5-10 mins outside - she runs full speed the entire time when she is outside. When I make her come inside she is panting so hard that her crate shakes.
So how do I keep her happy? Well, in the morning when it's cooler I take her breakfast outside and make a trail in the grass. I keep the trail in the shadiest area, so she doesn't overheat - even in the morning it's HOT! This keeps her busy sniffing out each and every tiny kibble, but she isn't running around crazy, so she can stay outside longer.
When it's time to come back inside (and go back into the crate), I give her a big fat bully stick and fill the Busy Dog Ball with little pieces of dried beef. She works and works for HOURS to get the treats out of the Busy Dog Ball. When she is exhausted from smacking the ball around her crate, she settles down to chew on the bully stick or (maybe) take a nap.
She gets quite the work out from the Busy Dog Ball! She will be panting after a while and it tires her out. It works her brain and her body.
Before this I wasn't too impressed with the Busy Ball, because it doesn't come apart for cleaning and it seemed to be VERY easy for Tibby to get the treats out of it. You can't adjust the difficulty level - for the treats to fall out - and Tibby is an expert at getting treats out of treat balls. However, it does come with a money back guarantee if the ball ever breaks due to a dog playing with it. Good thing! Because Ellie isn't exactly gentle with the toys!
It seems to be hard enough for Ellie. She's in her crate which makes it harder to get the treats out and she likes to play with it - ALL the time.
So far I have let her have all different types of toys and she loves them all AND she will tug with ANYTHING. ANYTHING. Hard toys, soft toys, things that are not toys. Her favorite right now is a soft bumper toy, but she is happy to switch to a different toy. When she goes outside she plays with ALL the toys. First with one, then another, back to the first one, then to a new one.....
She also has a lot of prey drive. She will chase dandelion fuzz and balls of her own fur across the yard. Anything that moves - she wants it.
And she's back to playing with the Busy Ball......I'll let you imagine what it sounds like, plastic vs. metal and a determined border collie!