In these confusing and uncertain times our dogs may become a little confused as to why we are home all day, why they are not getting the exercise that they are used to and when things will go back to normal.
It is important to keep your dog mentally as well as physically fit, in normal circumstances but even more so at this moment in time.
Incorporating a few brain games in to your dogs daily routine may help keep them sane between their walks (especially if they are only managing to get out the once)
Here are a few simple tricks you can add in to daily life
1. If you feed your dog dried biscuits, try using a ruffle mat or a slow feeder to make it last longer. You can also buy contraptions/puzzles off the internet or in certain pet stores for them to figure out how to get the food out. Alternatively you can use homemade ones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blORWOIO02Q (please note this is not my video)
2. If you feed wet food, you can spread it on a lick mat and freeze it for your dogs. Kong’s are also a great alternative for this (just ensure you leave a hole through the middle to avoid suction)
3. Try scattering your dogs food in the garden (if safe to do so) and teaching them the ‘find it’ command (this can also be done with their favourite toy/tennis ball etc and can also be progressed to scent work)
4. Scent work training. Starting with their food or treats, hide one bit at a time, ask them to ‘find it’ and praise when they do. You can build this up to a blind ‘find it’ (so they cant see where you have hidden it) Then you can introduce a scent to them (clove is usually a good start) If you would like some more information on scent training get in touch and I can go into a little more detail for you.
Teaching our dogs new tricks is always a good brain exercise as well as being fantastic bonding time for dog and owner. If your dog has a certain bad habit that you would like to change, why not use this time to make that happen. Obviously there are a lot of bad habits dogs may pick up so keep an eye on future posts to see if anything pops up that can help you 🙂 Alternatively if you have something specific, I may be able to help with online training packages for you.