week we talked
about how poor air quality
cannot only affect us but our pets as well.
this week we wanted to talk about canine enrichment.
here are 3 games you can play with your dog during poor air quality, heat waves, rain, polar vortexes and snow days.
*please note: we are not professional dog trainers. we just work with them. 😉
*remember: as with all games, keep it short, keep it fun (for both you and your dog), play several times throughout the day, and end on a positive note.
don’t be surprised if your dog gets sleepy afterwards . . . “playing” can be tiring. 😉
first, it is vital to find out what motivates your dog (treats, toys, praise).
- the Sit game. this is a simple “game” that is often overlooked. you ask your dog to “Sit,” your dog looks at you, sits, gets a treat and you say “good Sit!” heaps of praise ensue when they get it right. try different areas of your house, different floor surfaces and increased distractions to add to the challenge.
- the Find It game. using a high value item (Dexter, the rubber squeaky toy), get them to smell it, then hide it somewhere nearby, while your dog sits and waits. make it easy to find at the beginning. get your dog to “find Dexter!” she finds Dexter and brings it to you. you praise her by saying “good find Dexter!” as your dog gets more successful, make it more challenging by hiding several items, or by hiding items in different rooms.
- the Nose Work game. get your dog to sit, stay and watch you do this. using several empty toilet paper rolls, place them upright on the floor, a foot apart, in a grid pattern. take smelly treats and place one in each upturned roll. now tell your dog to explore. we would tell Jake “okay, Go!” to increase the difficulty place the treats randomly (fewer rolls contain a prize), take longer to set up the grid while getting your dog to sit and stay and/or use more rolls. the most challenging part for Jake was the waiting period, while we set up 3 dozen rolls, before the “okay, Go!”
always end the games on a successful note, say “oops” if they make a mistake and let your dog know when it’s over by saying “all Done!”
these are all great games to teach your dog self control.
they are meant to be played together
to strengthen the bond between
you and your dog.