However, now and again, certain factors can get in the way of this important time: monsoon rain; being too busy with work; travelling; the excessive heat at this time of year; or the chaos of Songkran. There are times when you just aren’t going to make it out. Meanwhile, Fido is ramped up, full of energy and ready to go.
Here’s some tips for indoor entertainment that can help not only burn some energy, but engage our dogs mentally too.
This is a good starting platform to get our dogs thinking about using their noses. Firstly, get your dog to sit down in front of you and show them a treat. Then put your hands behind your back and put the treat in one of your hands. Then return both fists in front of their nose and let them sniff out the treat. If your Fido has this nailed really quickly, start using some plastic cups and hide a treat under one of those.
Search and sniff
This combines all the fun of a game with a bit of training too. A short search and sniff session can tire out even the most unruly of dogs. Place your dog in a sit stay whilst you hide small treats around the house. If your Fido won’t sit still, you can put them in another room quickly whilst you hide the treats, or have some one else hold them. Treats can go anywhere, but naturally they’re better hidden in places they can easily reach and won’t cause any damage to get to. Once the treats are dotted around the house, get Fido excited and tell them to go search and find some yummy treats.
Tug of war
This is an old school classic and you can once again utilise this game for a spot of quick training with your dog. You can use a classic rope knot toy, a soft squeaky toy or a ball on a rope – whatever your dog prefers to play with. Engage in some tug and then get your dog to let go, helping to reinforce a valuable “drop it” command. You can also practise getting your dog to sit, and as soon as they do, re-start the tug of war game.
For an extra bit of fun, once your dog has dropped the toy, you can throw it across the room and encourage them to retrieve it and bring it back for more tug of war fun.
These toys are great for those times when you need to engage your dog, but might not be able to spend the time yourself with them. Most puzzle toys combine treats into them, which is often the best motivator. They ignite natural foraging instincts too.
There are a range of toys available online from various companies, such as KONG, all of which encourage your dog to exercise their brain whilst they think about how to solve the puzzle and get the treat. And remember, mental stimulation is hugely beneficial to our dogs and also helps tire them out quickly.
If you have kids, then you know what it’s like to have toys absolutely everywhere. Dog owners are often no different. We buy endless toys for our Fido and they end up scattered all around the house. So, why not play a game with our dogs which ends up with them cleaning the house – win win!
You’ll first need to work with your dog so that they have a grasp of “pick up”, “retrieve” and “drop it” commands. This can take up some time on its own and helps to build a great relationship between you and your dog. Once they have the concept, you can throw the toys around and get them to clean up.
CPA is the only K9 organisation in Thailand accredited with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), and as an American Kennel Club (AKC) Evaluator.