It's not always possible for owners to attend dog training classes or dog agility courses but it is still possible to do some dog training at home, in a fun and interactive way.
Dog training games can keep your pooch entertained whilst offering them a lot more mental stimulation in their daily routine.
Here’s a few simple yet effective ways to keep your dog’s tail wagging.
Hide and Treat
It's instinctive behaviour for dogs to use their noses. So what better way to keep your pooch entertained than getting them to play games using their nose!
Ask your dog to stay in a position whilst you hide some treats around the room or house. If this is the first time your dog has played this game, start with hiding the toys in easy-to-find places and help them along with some encouragement. Give your dog lots of praise when they find the treats. Once your dog has got the hang of it you can start hiding the toys in harder to find places, encouraging them to use their nose more.
Name your Toy
It’s good to introduce your dogs to games that aren’t always treat based and this is a great one to teach your dog. You just need a few of their favourite toys and a little patience.
It's wise to start with your pet’s favourite toy. Simply sit down with them and the particular toy, for example a ‘squeaky duck’. With the squeaky duck on the ground in front of you tell your dog ‘squeaky duck’. As soon as they touch or grab the toy, give them loads of praise.
Repeat this task a few times and once they have the hang of it you can add in a different toy. Be sure that your dog knows exactly which the ‘squeaky duck’ toy is before you move on to another toy.
Once your dog knows the name of a few toys you can then play hide and seek with them asking them to ‘go find’ a particular toy.
Solve a Puzzle
Puzzle toys & games help to keep your dog entertained and offer extra mental stimulation. There are a variety of puzzle toys available at most pet shops or you can make one yourself using a muffin tin and tennis balls. You will need 12 tennis balls, a muffin tin and a few treats or kibbles. Hide a few treats in the muffin tin and place a tennis ball in each of the muffin holders until the tin is full, ta-dah!
Games can help to reduce boredom and decrease the likelihood of dogs developing behavioural issues, such as excessive barking or chewing.
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