Going for a walk is inevitable even in bad weather, but sometimes dogs have to be kept busy at home. If you do it cleverly, you also have a tidy-up aid in your four-legged friend.
The weather is more than uncomfortable, the dog is injured or is not allowed to romp around for other reasons: Of course, the animals cannot go for a walk completely. However, you can also keep your dog busy with all kinds of games at home that will keep him mentally busy.
Another advantage: the bond between two and four-legged friends is further strengthened. Since dogs play well into old age, the four-legged seniors can also be kept busy.
Thinking game: unpacking
Mind games, for example, are mentally strenuous for the animals. This also promotes the dog’s creativity. Many dogs love to unpack something. This is very easy to do: For example, you can put pieces of food in newspaper and put them in a cardboard box along with other paper.
If you want, you can also glue and pack the box. Then the dog receives its “present” and is allowed to unpack it. This is also good for anxious dogs. You can help them in the beginning, for example by opening the package yourself a little.
Search games: nose work is exhausting
Whether cell phone, reading glasses or car keys: The dog has fun in the search game without food and learns useful things on the side. Wave the object a little in front of the animal, then place it in sight of it and give the search command. The find is rewarded and afterwards the search becomes more and more difficult until the dog only has to rely on his nose in the end.
The treat search game is also popular. Treats are hidden in the apartment. Initially, the dog is allowed to watch and on a command such as “Search” run to the treats and eat them. When letting the dog wait, the dog can also practice self-control. After all, advanced dogs are no longer allowed to watch while hiding their coveted prey.
Sniff carpets that look similar to flokatis are also suitable. They can be bought in stores or, with a little effort, can be made yourself. There are a number of instructions on the Internet. The pieces of food are hidden in this carpet and must be found by the dog. However, one should not overdo it with such search games. Nose work is very exhausting for dogs. Five minutes are easy enough to get started.
Movement game: retrieving
If your dog likes to retrieve, let a ball roll away. Only when the command “bring the ball!” let the animal get him. Repeat this with other objects, which are always clearly named. In a second stage you can put two things next to each other, but only give a clear retrieval command for one.
The animals are mentally challenged when they learn tricks. For example, the dog can be taught:
- to get the slippers
- to take off the socks of its owner
- Open the drawers
If your pet likes to bring things, you can also have them tidied up. Put a toy in the room and ask the dog to bring it. You sit right next to the box in which the dog is to put the toys. Hold your hand over the box and let them give you the toy first. Pull your hand away during training – this will teach the dog to throw things into the box.
Advanced dogs can clean up several toys that also have a name. So they can put away the “teddy”, then the “pig” and finally the “ball” on command.
Build a course
If you want more action and have enough space, you can set up a small course at home. Several chairs placed one behind the other form a tunnel, and two buckets and a broomstick become an obstacle to jump over. The dog can run slalom through small pylons. Or the person forms a circle with his arms and the dog jumps through it.
Distortion games are very popular and a classic. You and your dog pull in opposite directions on a toy, for example a rope. However, this is only suitable for dogs that do not become aggressive in this game, accept abandonment of the game, do not defend their prey and where the relationship to humans has been clarified.
Desensitize to loud noises
You can also use the activity in the house for meaningful training. So you can also query the normal obedience exercises such as “sit”, “down” and “stay” in the dog.
It can also be desensitized in the house – for example to loud noises. For example, there are CDs with corresponding noises such as thunder. Play the noises quietly at first, while you play with the dog and give him treats. This is how he connects the noises with something great. Once the animal has got used to the soft thundering noises, you can play them louder and louder.
Outdoor game: man trailing
When man trailing – the search for people – dogs track down a certain person, for example from the family. To do this, give them one of that person’s clothing to smell, then ask them to find the person. The distance to the hidden person must not be too long at the beginning, it has to be trained gradually.
Under-challenged dogs cause nonsense
Undertrained always occurs when the dog’s needs are not adequately met. The result: the dog looks for something to do for itself. And you don’t always have to like that. The animals gnaw on furniture, scrape the wallpaper from the walls or try to untangle tangled cables – which can be very dangerous.
Under certain circumstances, insufficient demand can make dogs really sick. This does not apply to all dogs. However, especially with older dogs, boredom can eventually turn into depression.
Dogs also need rest breaks
A dog generally cannot concentrate for long. If he is also overwhelmed, it can be, for example, that he scratches himself, licks his mouth frequently or is restless. Typical signals are also when the animal yawns or no longer wants to participate properly.
A dog needs rest sometimes. You should limit the exercises to short, but not fixed times, otherwise the dog will be excited about them. If the exercises are increased every day, a dog can develop a certain addiction and demand more and more. A sense of proportion is necessary so that you do not become the dog’s entertainer.
Important: you need to be in control
Anyone who trains their dog should always be in control. You have to determine the game, the exercises and the timing yourself, not the animal. If the dog determines, it can affect the hierarchy between humans and animals.