22 Feb | Posted by Sandra Emmons | no comments |
Short of giving your dog the Sodoku to complete, how can you keep him mentally active? This was a subject I chose to tackle for Dogs Today Magazine and I came up with some fun, engaging games to keep all members of the family amused.
The Kong is a great way to keep your dogs mind focussed on the task of getting food from a toy. A well packed one can keep a dog busy for at least half an hour and if you freeze the contents it can take even longer. Take a look at the Kong website for some great recipes to tempt your dog with.
Scattering your dogs dry food on the kitchen floor at breakfast time is a great way of harnessing a dog’s natural instincts. Try putting your dogs dinner in empty plastic water or milk bottles so that he has to work to get the food out before he can eat it – let’s face it, feeding this way is far more exciting and challenging than eating from a standard bowl!
The humble toilet roll tube can be used in a variety of ways – from setting up treasure hunts by putting food into them and hiding around the house to putting nine or ten rolls upright in a round tin with a variety of treats hidden in the bottom of them.
Get an empty egg box and fill it with some yummy treats, close it and let your dog work his way into the food. To make the challenge even harder, put the egg box into a second, larger box and fill with paper.
Try taking your dog’s favourite toy, hiding it under a towel and encouraging him to ‘find it’.
Another great game to challenge your dog and get him thinking is to teach him to ‘spin the bottle’. You will need an empty plastic bottle – the kind that doesn’t have sharp edges – and a stick (bamboo is great). Drill or push two holes into the middle of the bottle on each side and push the stick through them. Put some tasty treats in the bottle, take each side of the stick and hold in front of your dog. Move the stick so that the treats roll around in the bottle – this should tempt your dog to investigate further! Some dogs will work out how to spin the bottle and get the treats out pretty quickly, but others may need a little extra encouragement. Once your dog has worked out how to get the treats, you can make the task more challenging by putting the holes further up the bottle, changing the size of the bottle and using more than one bottle on the stick. Give it a go – I can guarantee a lot of fun for you and your dog!
For more ideas on how to keep your dog busy see the full article in Dogs Today September 2017 edition. You can even teach your dog how to read!