Indoor games and activities with the dog - Part 1/2
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Indoor games and activities with the dog - Part 1/2
In the winter time the possibilities to let off steam the dog are properly lower than in the warm season. Cold and bad weather do not invite the holder to take long walks with the dog. For this season you can practice great activities in your home. Whether indoor agility, cup-, retriever-, search- or hiding-games, there are a number of ways to let off steam the dog mentally and physically in the winter time.
Tony tries to be a singer
Playing with other dogs and long extensive walks are sometimes done rarely in the cold winter time. The result is that the dog is bored and under-challenged. Too little activity and movement in the long run, can cause stress and frustration and as a result the dog can get behavior problems. Indications of such behavior problems can be: non-stop barking, chewing objects, permanent begging, chasing his own tail, constantly licking or scratching. Of course, this behavior can also have other causes. In this case you would have to let it examined by a veterinarian or an animal therapist. If the dog shows this behavior, in times where he has little activity and movement, then this is an indication that he is under-challenged and bored.
The cup game is suitable as a small mental exercise for cold rainy days by training nose, patience and obedience. For this, you need three cups and a few treats. Start first with a cup. Let your dog sit in front of you and put a treat under the cup, so that the dog can see it. Command him to get the treat. If the dog sniffs the cup or touched it with his paw, then he may eat the treat and you have to praise him extensively. This exercise you should repeat until the dog has understood that there is something edible under the cup, and when he is sniffing or pushing the cup, he gets the treat and praise.
The same exercise you can do now with two cups. The dog sits again in front of you so that he can see exactly where the treat is hidden. You can put the cups with some distance side by side. Then you can command to let him pick up the treat again. If he sniffs or touches the right cup, then you have to praise him plentiful and then let him eat the treat. If he goes to the wrong cup, so do not react to it and wait until he goes to the correct cup, then praise him and reward him with the treat. Once he has mastered this good, you can upgrade to three cups and later also move the cups. But do not demand too much from your dog.
Spin the Bottle
For this you need a large plastic bottle (e.g. 1.5 liters) and a long rod of wood or bamboo (about 50 - 60 cm). Take in the middle of the bottle two opposite holes and insert the rod. Now you can put in treats in the bottle, which are small enough that they fall out again from the bottle. Your dog has to turn the bottle with the snout or paws so that the treats fall out. You can hold the bottle on the rod or you can put it between two chairs and hold it at the rod so that it will not slip when the dog touches the bottle. (Picture: ©spass-mit-hund.de)
When retrieving, you can practice the commands "Get, Give, Let". Here you can, for example, let him pick up and let him bring toys or other objects. The retrieval must be divided into many small workouts. Practice at first the bringing of objects. Here you can lure your dog with a treat. The dog should let fall or release the object only when you say "give". Then praise and reward him with a treat.
If this works well, you can practice the command "Leave". The dog should drop the object in a box or in his basket. Plant yourself next to the box or the basket and say "Let" when the dog is above the box or in the basket and reward him immediately. The dog will take the treat and drop the subject. When retrieving you have to be patient, work in small steps and let the dog the time to learn.
Cold and rainy days can also be used to practice the dog clicker training. The clicker is a tool for training, with which you can positively reinforced correct behavior. Stand in front of your dog, without saying anything, click once and reward him with a treat promptly. In this case, timing is crucial so that the dog associates the click sound with food and reward.
This exercise can be repeated several times a day. After a few days the dog will associate the click with a reward. You'll see that the dog will look after every click to you and you will have his full attention. From this point on you can use the clicker as training aid and teach your best friend desirable behavior or new tricks or commands.
Massage and Wellness
Even dogs like to be massaged. With a few skilful tricks you can offer the dog a relaxation of the muscles.
Your dog is on the side and his feet pointing in your direction. Stroke with both hands over the body with slow and gentle movements. Your hands should always move on the muscles. The heat will relax the muscles. Here you can also use a heated cherry pit pillow.
With your palm, you can massage on the upper arm and thigh of your dog, which has an antispasmodic effect for the muscles. The pressure should not be too tight and not too low.
Take the top layer of skin on the neck of your dog with both hands between the thumb and fingers. Then move gently your hands in s-shape against one another in the direction of the tail. In this case do not touch directly the spine, but the side of the spine. With this massage the adhesions in the upper skin layers will loosen.
On a cold and cheerless winter day you can bath or brush your dog. Any type of grooming that is made with love and care, is a kind of affection that strengthens the bond between dog and man.
In the second part I will show further possibilities of indoor activities such as hide and seek games, indoor agility, Intelligence toys for dogs or hearing programs against fears. Until next time. Keep it puggy!
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