Mentally working your dog – indoor activities
You get up in the morning and Mother Nature is not on your side today?
Even your dog pulls the muzzle out through the door and he 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 good to make your doggie 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 daily exercise period in order to promote a healthy balance in his energy expenditure.
Little tip… If you want your dog to play without it stuffing itself with treats and gaining weight too quickly: of the total portion it eats in one day, reserve 1/3 (or less) of its kibble for games or periods of obedience training.
You can also slightly decrease its portion of kibble to add some special treats during the day.
Playing hide and seek with your dog?
It’s possible! Even better, no need to hide ourselves, it is our dog who does all the detective work.
The kibble hiding place
Put your dog in a closed room of your house, close the door, then go and hide kibbles everywhere. Once the kibble has been placed everywhere, go see your dog and then let him smell one or two kibbles. Open the door giving him the command sought.
Please note, this game has several levels, depending on your dog’s skills.
During your first attempts, 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 kibble on objects (coffee table, tablet in a toy, etc.) where your dog will find it easy to find what he is looking for.
- Increase the difficulty of this game day by day.
- Hide a small number of kibbles the first few times, then increase the number when your dog becomes a too good detective.
- We can also help our dog in his research so as not to lose his interest by pointing him to a specific place.
This exercise puts into practice the most powerful sense of our dog: its sense of smell! Letting it fall back into its first instincts (eating and seeking) stimulates it mentally, and all thanks to its thirst.
How to properly use a Kong type dog toy?
While some dogs are crazy about him, others don’t seem to have an unconditional love for him.
So how do you make it more stimulating?
Fill it with croquettes, of course! However, some dogs have a special gift for finding all the treats that their toy contains in less than a minute.
To make it more difficult for your dog to get all of his feed out of his toy, here are some tips:
- You can start by putting some kibble on it, put peanut butter in the center and then finish with other kibble.
- Still too easy? Put the kong in the freezer overnight. A big challenge awaits your dog the next morning.
What’s great about this game? He makes your dog work, but he also keeps him full time. This leaves you the freedom to go about your business (prepare lunches, children’s lunches, etc.) without having your dog in your legs!
- Add cheese, which you melt in the microwave for a few seconds, then add the croquettes
- Put only peanut butter inside (plan to decrease the portion of the next meal).
- Make a Kong of reward per pyramid. That is to say, put the ultimate reward at the end (a piece of banana), then hot dog sausage, dried chicken then kibble.
Canine 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. Reduction of stress, slower ingestion of food … These games are also very good tools to help resolve behavioral problems in our dogs.
The Aïkiou company or the Nina Ottosson games are your best allies and the best quality / price games.
Are you lacking the budget but would like to do this type of activity yourself?
- Just take a 2 liter bottle of carbonated drink, make a few holes in it, and then put some kibble or treats in it.
- Your dog will have to roll the bottle and lug it around everywhere to get his food.
- If it has a strong jaw, you can use a black ABS tube, a few holes, insert kibble, then close each side with caps.
Warning: always watch your dog when playing with these games.
Object detection: a captivating game for your dog!
Your dog will need to search, find, and then bring you a specific item that can be found anywhere in your home. Start this activity gradually: with a specific room to search, then expand the search area to the entire house!
Take an object that can easily hide in several places:
- A pair of stockings
- A slipper
- Attach a treat to this item
- While your dog is isolated in a room, hide the object
- Then go join your doggie
- Make her feel the treat and tell her to look for it
- When he finds the object, he can eat the treat 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 ultimate tool for mentally training your dog in positive reinforcement!
Find the right motivation to make your dog work:
Use it to strengthen your dog each time he performs well following the click of your Clicker.
It is possible to train your dog like any professional thanks to courses on the use of the Clicker (from beginner to expert).
To do this, find a seasoned dog trainer to help you learn and give you personalized coaching, according to your needs.
These are our favorites of dog activities to do to get the doggie moving on rainy days! There are many others … You are free to create new ones!
We remind you, however, that these activities must be done under supervision and that they do not replace the physical energy expenditure needs of your doggie.
… Have a good time!