Baby It's Cold Outside!
And my dog is driving me crazy!
Yep, this past week has been brutal and with the lack of outdoor exercise our dogs are used to, they can start doing behaviours that we all dislike including excessive barking, destructive behaviour and just plain old attention seeking! Here are a few ideas to get your pooches pooped out til the weather breaks!
Play hide and seek around the house: put your dog in a stay or have another family member hold their collar while you go hide and then call them. Have a puppy party when they find you!
Muffin tin game: put small treats in the cups of a muffin tin and then cover those treats with balls or other toys so your pooch has to pull the toys out to get the treats! Make it harder by putting treats only in a few of the cups so they really need to use their sniffer!
Play chase: Grab a favourite toy of your dog's and start playing with it to get your dog's attention. When they see what you have (and inevitably decide they want it), run away and when they catch you, toss them the toy and then chase them!
Teach your dog a new trick: Whether it's puppy push ups (sit/down/sit/down), shake a paw, spin or roll over, engaging in fun training activities will tire your dog out while reinforcing those behaviours we DO like!
Indoor recall: Gather several family members and go to different areas of the house calling your dog between you. Start relatively close together til your dog gets into the game and then gradually make more distance. Don't forget to reinforce!
Chewing: This is so healthy for your dog and will tire them out to boot! Just, please don't give your dogs rawhide! I love these types of bully sticks as a healthy alternative or visit our friends at Beddington Pet Planet for a variety of options. Remember, if your dog can't hold it between his paws anymore, it becomes a choking hazard. Please trade up with a high value treat and throw the stick out.
Frozen kong: Soak your dog's food, add some canned food or for an extra special treat, add some canned pumpkin or unsweetened apple sauce. Both are low calorie and high value!
For more ideas on tiring your dog out using their meals, see this blog article with lot of helpful ideas! And remember, 20 minutes of mental stimulation a couple of times a day may just save your (and your dog's) sanity in this nasty weather!