Spring: Season of Growth

D. Williams

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.

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 a treat out of. You could step that up a notch by hiding some treats around the house and have them play hide and seek, making it more difficult each time. Learn to dance together. There are many books available. Check the library. I have one that has 100 tricks to teach them. If you have a high-energy kid or family, then do agility, fly ball, swim, hike, disc dog, dock jumping, or paddleboard. You will find information on the Internet. Some are listed below. 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: www.dogster.com/dog-training/engage-dog-indoors.

How to use a treadmill, Hide and Seek, Doga, and more: 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: www.cesarsway.com/training/dogtraining/6-Great-Ways-to-Challenge-Your-Dogs-Mind.

Teach them to help you clean up, put away their toys! Create an obstacle course (under, over, and through), scent work, tag, and more: www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/7-rainy-day-games-to-play-with-your-dog.

Rover’s Rest Stop wishes to thank you for loving all the wonderful Kids you have adopted. Please watch our calendar at www.RoversRestStop.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/roversreststop for the upcoming Sun Lakes events the second Saturday of every month! See you there!

Remember, too, that we are here to help you if you need to place your best friend or have a question about training or need referrals. We are family! For information, call 480-600-2828.