You get up in the morning and Mother Nature is not on your side today?
Even your dog pulls out the snout through the door and concludes that it will be a more pleasant day to stay on his cushion than to go outside… Although a compromise of a shorter walk is possible, it would be nice to have your dog work differently.
Did you know that your dog spends the equivalent of one hour of physical exercise for 15 minutes of mental work?
All dogs need to be mentally stimulated, learn to find solutions and think while being rewarded.
However, we remind you that it is essential that your dog/puppy has his period of daily physical exercise in order to promote a healthy balance in his energy expenditure.
A little tip… If you want your dog to play without being fed with treats and gaining weight too quickly: from the total portion he eats in a day, reserve 1/3 (or less) of his kibbles for games or obedience training periods.
You can also slightly reduce the portion of kibble to add some special treats during the day.
Playing hide and seek with your dog?
It is possible! Even better, no need to hide ourselves, it is up to our dog to do all the detective work.
The kibble hiding place
Put your dog in a locked room in your house, close the door, then go hide croquettes everywhere. Once the kibbles are arranged everywhere, go see your dog and then make him feel one or two kibbles. Open the door by giving him the command is looking for.
Be careful, this game has several levels, depending on your dog’s skills.
When you first try, limit yourself to only one room where your dog will have to search and to accessible hiding places.
For example, the first time you play, place kibbles on objects (coffee table, tablet in a toy, etc.) where your dog will find it easy to find what he is looking for.
Some tips for you
- > Increase the difficulty of this game from day to day.
- > Hide a small number of kibbles the first few times and then increase the number when your dog becomes a too good detective.
- > We can also help our dog in his searches so that he doesn’t lose interest by pointing to a specific place.
This exercise puts into practice our dog’s most powerful sense of smell! Making him fall back into his first instincts (eating and searching) stimulates him mentally, and all this thanks to his nose.
How to use a dog kong toy properly?
While some dogs are crazy about it, others do not seem to have an unconditional love for it.
So how can we make it more challenging?
Fill it with croquettes, of course! However, some dogs have a special gift for finding all the treats in their toy in less than a minute.
To make it more difficult for your dog to get all his feed out of his toy, here are some tips:
- > You can start by putting a few croquettes in it, put peanut butter in the centre and then finish with other croquettes.
- > Still too easy? Put the kong in the freezer overnight. A big challenge awaits your dog the next morning.
What is great about this game? He works your dog, but he also keeps him busy full time. This gives you the freedom to go about your business (preparing lunches, children’s lunches, etc…) without having your dog in your legs!
Other variants :
Put cheese in it and melt it in the microwave for a few seconds, then add the croquettes
Put only peanut butter inside (plan to reduce the portion of the next meal).
Make a reward Kong per pyramid. That is, to put the ultimate reward at the end (a piece of banana), then hot dog sausage, dried chicken and then croquettes.
Dog play stations
Some companies have now become masters in the art of entertaining our dogs.
Although they represent a monetary expense, these games are worth the investment. Decrease stress, slower food intake… These games are also very good tools to help solve behavioural problems in our dogs.
The Aïkiou company or the Nina Ottosson games are your best allies and the best quality/price games.
You lack the budget but you would like to do this type of activity yourself?
- > All you have to do is take a 2-litre bottle of carbonated beverage, make a few holes in it, then insert croquettes or sweets.
- > Your dog will have to roll the bottle and carry it around to get his food.
- > If it has a powerful jaw, you can use a black ABS tube, make a few holes, insert kibbles, then close each side with caps.
Be careful: always watch your dog when he plays with these games.
Object detection: an exciting game for your dog!
Your dog will have to search for, find and bring you back a particular object that may be anywhere in your home. Start this activity gradually: with a specific room to look in, then expand the search area to the entire house!
Take an object that can easily hide in several places:
- > a pair of stockings
- > keys
- > a slipper
Instructions for use:
- > Attach a treat to this object
- > While your dog is isolated in a room, hide the object
- > Then go join your doggie
- > Make him feel the treat and tell him to look for
- > When he finds the object, he can eat the treat that will be attached to it.
- > Then call your dog back to bring the object into your hands and reward him again.
- > Gradually, your dog will find the object more easily and bring it back to you directly.
The perfect tool to make your dog work mentally in positive reinforcement!
Find the right motivation to make your dog work:
Use it to strengthen your dog whenever he will do a good behaviour after clicking your Clicker.
It is possible to train your dog like any other professional with courses on the use of the Clicker (from beginner to expert level).
To do this, find an experienced dog instructor to help you learn and give you personalized coaching, according to your needs.
These are our favorite dog activities to do to get your dog moving on rainy days! There are many more… You are free to create new ones!
However, we remind you that these activities must be done under supervision and that they do not replace your puppy’s physical energy expenditure needs.
…Good playing time!