Most everyone knows that their dogs must walk. It is in their DNA. But most people do not think about engaging their best friend in mental stimulation. What kind of life is it to just hang around the house all the time? Get up, go for a walk, eat, lay around, eat, go for a walk, bedtime—routine is boredom. Play with the same old toys, chew the same old bone, for how many years!? Dogs become bored, depressed, and lethargic, and sometimes behavioral issues begin to show up. Socialize, socialize, socialize! Take them everywhere! There is a list of stores that allow your kids to come along! Please do not sentence them to four walls.
Your kids need some excitement in their lives, as do you! Change things up, challenge them, involve them, excite them, interact with them, stretch their learning curve, strengthen your bond—they get to be with you, and you are talking to them—this is love!
There are toys they can roll, tip, open, push, or chew to get to the treat inside. You could step that up a notch by hiding some kibble or treats around the house and have them play Hide and Seek, making it more difficult each time. Learn to dance or work together. There are many books available—check the library or Internet. I have a book of 100 tricks to teach them: 101 Dog Tricks, by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy. If you have a high-energy kid or family, then do agility, swim, hike, disc dog, dock jumping, or paddleboard. No matter what you choose to do, your dog will appreciate the challenge and being with you. I can’t wait to hear how happy and engaged you and your kids are!
Learning Games, by British trainer Kay Laurence, is chock full of ideas for how to keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated while improving their behavior.
Doggie play dates, socialization outings, nosework, and more at www.dogster.com/dog-training/engage-dog-indoors.
How to use a treadmill, Hide and Seek, doga (yoga for you and them), and more at www.cesarsway.com/tips/thebasics/indoor-activities.
Work on a new trick, play interactive games, run errands, give your dog a job, introduce your dog to new faces, give them new toys—rotate the old ones at www.cesarsway.com/training/dogtraining/6-Great-Ways-to-Challenge-Your-Dogs-Mind.
Teach them to help you clean up and put away their toys! Create an obstacle course, under, over, and through and more at www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/7-rainy-day-games-to-play-with-your-dog.
Rover’s Rest Stop & Ranch wishes to thank you for loving all the wonderful kids you have adopted. Please watch our calendar at www.RoversRestStop.com for the upcoming events! Remember, too, that we are here to help you if you need to place your best friend, have a question about training, need referrals, or boarding and pet sitting. Call us at 480-600-2828.