Thanks to Hurricane Irene, it’s not great weather for walking the dog today. So Verona-based dog trainers Chris and Natasha Burns have sent out some alternative ways to drain your dog’s energy.
Play Hide The Biscuit:
Level 1: Get your dog in a sit-stay position. Allow them to see you placing a few treats around the room on the floor. Release them to go “find it”.
Level 2: Allow your dog to see you placing a few treats around the room on floor and more creative visible spaces. Release them to go “find it”.
Level 3: Do not allow your dog to see you placing treats around, so have your dog sit and stay in another part of the room not visible to where you will be hiding. Release them to go “find it”.
Level 4: Place treats under items and hide them well!
Always supervise your dog while playing this game. If your dog is a counter surfer or recovering counter surfer or couch/and other inappropriate item chewer, think about where you are hiding the treats and stay away from areas they are learning not to jump onto.
Play Biscuit Ball:
Cut a hole in a plastic toy ball. stuff with carrots, treats, or your dog’s food (must be something the dog really likes). Place the ball (filled with treats) on the floor with one treat set up to fall off or out of the ball when the dog touches it with his/her nose. This teaches them that when they touch the ball a treat will fall out. You can keep a few loose treats in your hand and squat down to their level right next to them and the ball. Each time the dog touches the ball with his/her nose, drop a treat near the ball so it reinforces their touching the ball behavior. Do this in a sneaky manner so they don’t think the treat is coming from you, rather it comes from the ball. Once the dog begins “rolling” the ball around with his/her head/nose/paw to obtain a treat, you’ve trained them how to play biscuit ball!
When cutting the hole beginner balls should have holes big enough that they will have high success in obtaining a treat. So the size of a half dollar. When they advance, make it harder for them and use another ball and cut a hole the size of a quarter etc. This game should be supervised as sometimes the ball rolls into areas where the dog may knock something over! This helps drain the brain and increase new physical behaviors and coordination. This is a great game for all dogs, especially seniors!!
Train For Obedience:
Obedience is another great way to help drain their energy. Remember those skills taught in puppy training? Go ahead and review them. Up the bar!! Try making them stay for longer durations before earning the treat! Have them stay from a far at further and further distances in your home before earning the treat or affection. What to advance your stay? Try releasing them from a stay from a far! Teach a new trick!!
Break out new toys to play indoor fetch or show them the new toy, then hide it just like the game hide the biscuit. Break out the raw hides or bull pizzles!!
After playing if you haven’t had enough dog-related fun, check out some cool informative flicks like Dogs Decoded or Science of Dogs on Netflix. Want an app for your iPhone or iPad? Check out Perfect Dog. It’s a free app that offers brief information on breeds and is listed alphabetically.