Does your dog love to play? Are you missing game ideas? Here are some game suggestions for the summer to allow you to spend as much time outside as possible with your best friend.
Why playing is important for your dog
Playing is an essential activity for dogs in order to meet their needs and to stimulate them. What I like about playing is that it’s an activity that can be done with dogs. So, the opportunity is ideal to maintain your relationship with your companion.
Also, it is important to add an intellectual portion when we play with our dog to encourage good behavior and even if your dog is excited.
The traditional “Go fetch”
When playing “go fetch”, every toy is appropriate. The important thing is to find the toy that your dog adores, a plush toy, a ball, a Frisbee. Also, the texture, the shape, the color and the noise of a toy will have an impact on the willingness of your dog to bring it back to you.
Learn good manners to your dog, before you throw the toy ask him to sit down and you will quickly see that sitting behavior will soon become a reflex.
Hop in the water!
Whether it’s an above ground pool, inground pool, a plastic kiddie pool or even your watering hose. If your dog loves swimming and the water, he will be so happy. Do not forget the floating toys!
If you do not have a swimming pool, but your dog loves water, we have more and more dog pools in Quebec, for example at the “Complexe Animalier Accès Vet Blainville”, allowing you to enjoy it all year long.
At the same time, encourage your dog to come back to you when asked. Do not forget that swimming is much more exhausting than a walk. Take your dog out of the water after 15-30 minutes or make sure he can touch the bottom or come out regularly to avoid drowning.
Digging to china!
Does your dog love digging? Why not offer him his own garden with some plastic toys hidden in the ground. Digging is a necessary behavior for several dogs and being able to redirect him to an area or bin for it will save you from losing your own garden.
You will have the opportunity to teach your dog the “dig” demand, very useful to help you in your own gardening or your weed war.
Searching for toys
Hide toys in the yard and encourage your dog to find them, so you can reward him with his favorite treats when he finds them. You can also throw his meal in the grass and encourage him to seek it.
You can take advantage of the situation and work the demand “stay” while you hide his toys and kibble.
Contrary to what people believe, the tug-of-war game is very fun and positive for most dogs. I recommend you choose a long and stretchy toy. To avoid hurting your pet’s neck, your movements with the rope should be horizontal.
If your dog is the hunter type you can hold the toy to a stick or rope and encourage him to chase it and pull with you.
Encourage your dog to easily let go of the rope just by stopping to play, but still holding the rope. As soon as your dog decides to let go of the toy by boredom, say “loose” with a cheerful tone and start the game again.
In conclusion, do not forget to remain careful during the summer. When the temperature is high, it is recommended to stay outside for a shorter time and go out early in the morning or later in the evening. Also, prioritize the grass to play with your dog to protect his pads from the heat. Remember that your dog will never have enough water at this time of the year.
Once again, we transport you into the skin of your cat as he is getting ready to play with his favorite human. Observe how the cat prefers to play with you.
By the time your favorite owner approaches you to play, you are in the middle of one of your main and favorite tasks as the feline of the house. You are very focused to offer the best performance … sleeping. That’s why you need a little more time before you’re completely alert, about half a second.
This time, your owner seems to have learned from your last game session when you scratched him without any intention. In fact, it was his fault. Since you were young, he has been playing with you by using his fingers as if they were mosquitos. For years, he allowed you to play with his skin as if it was a toy, do not be surprised if anything that looks like skin has now become a toy for you.
So, after his bad experience, your owner has equipped himself with a cat teaser. At the end of the stick, you see what looks like a mosquito or a bird. It even makes noise when you move it. What a great idea! You are excited about the idea of catching this new toy and you are ready when your owner is “twirling” it round in front of you. Seeing that this doesn’t seem to interest you, he starts to make it fly from left to right. Since when do birds or mosquitos turn in circles or from left to right like that? Are there asylums for bugs that fly in circles? Seeing that you don’t seem quite excited by this movement, your owner decides to make more random and fast movements. Ha! Now it’s fun! It’s a much more natural way to fly. It is really when your owner immobilizes the prey on the wall momentarily or makes it disappear behind an object that things become really interesting.
You start on this artificial prey with the firm intention to catch it but you fail. Wow, it’s not easy to catch! You start again and miss again. A third and a fourth time with the same result. It’s obviously not easy. So far everything goes. In the wild, there are also prey that are not easy to catch. But after ten consecutive attempts without success, it’s not very funny and you decide to give up. After all, why spend energy on something you are never able to catch? And we wonder why cats become less interested to play with time. If you always lose at a game, you would lose interest in this game after a while, right?
Lucky you, the next day, your owner accidentally notices an article of the Cat Educator on the website of BeOneBreed (what a happy accident!). Which explains that you should let your cat catch the prey game once every three game. So you are satisfied, because you finally catch the prey and when you do, it behaves exactly like a wild prey would by struggling for a second or two between your paws and then it stops. Believing that you really had it, you lift the paw to check and hop, it starts again to fly, making the game more fun and natural, not only allowing to prolong the game but also to spend more energy.
Now you have played 10 minutes intensely and as a good sprinter as you are, you start to run out of energy. So you lie down in your favorite recovery position, with the front legs stretched out in front of you and the hind legs on the side. Your owner should then understand that the intensity should gradually drop and that the artificial prey should quietly die in your paws.
After a while, you decide to grab the toy and you run away with it to a quiet corner. Your owner returns to pick it up and the game starts again for a few minutes. It is very stimulating and you repeat this game during a few minutes until you are very tired. Your entertainer seems to have understood, he no longer makes the prey fly in all directions. Once finished, he puts the toy away. You would have liked to be able to continue playing, but you must admit that putting the toy away makes it much more interesting for next time.
This new way of playing is much more challenging than the old way: the laser pointer that you were never able to catch. With this game technique, you have a pleasant activity that seems like a real hunting sequence. If your owner could play a minimum of 10 minutes twice a day, you would be a happy kitty. You would have a lot less energy to do bad things like climbing the curtains or unwinding the toilet paper!
Spring and summer are great periods to potty train a puppy. This step is crucial to get off the right paw with your puppy that can also provoke a lot of headaches. Here are 6 simple steps to successfully potty train your puppy!
- Choose a location!
Choose a corner or a portion of your backyard to allow your puppy to know his landmarks. Choose a room or a specific location in the house or your condo to prevent your puppy from choosing the entire home in order to relieve himself.
For the outdoors, your puppy could go anywhere without it being problematic. On the other hand, for potty training inside, I recommend a room like a bathroom or laundry room or even the balcony if you are in a condo. Your puppy should have a visual fence. That’s why I encourage a room instead of an open space.
- Maintaining a logbook
Your logbook should be very simple, you should write down what your puppy did, the time, the place and what he was doing just before. A puppy urinates an average of 7 to 12 times a day and can make 2 to 5 stools. It is important to be able to recognize the times of the day when your puppy needs to relieve himself.
The logbook will allow you to better recognize the times when you need to be attentive and proactive with your puppy. You can better remember the schedule and routine of your puppy.
- Environmental monitoring and management
It is difficult for your puppy to hold back or prevent possible accidents. It is your responsibility to monitor your puppy at all times. You can tie up his leash to you while you prepare supper or put it in his kennel or fences to avoid accidents.
Do not hesitate to close nonessential doors to your puppy. Fences for toddlers are also great ways to restrict your puppy in a safe way.
- Accompany your puppy
You should be next to him when it’s time to relieve himself. No need to stay 30 minutes or more outside. Escort him for less than 3 minutes and then you go back inside and keep watching him if he has not done anything.
Do not hesitate to put your puppy on a leash to manage his space and to help him concentrate. You must also accompany him to encourage his successes.
- Reward your puppy
Contrary to what we believe, it is not necessary to give a treat to your puppy when he successfully does his business outside. I simply recommend you to literally explode of joy by talking to him and petting him. So, your puppy will be so valued for his good action that he will have the reflex to start again in the same way.
Punishment must absolutely be avoided. Do not force your dog to smell his poop and don’t reprimand him physically. The punishment does not have the effect of teaching a puppy a good behavior. As potty train is not a natural behavior for your puppy, you have to accompany him in this learning.
- Communicate with your puppy
Potty training is like teaching a puppy to sit down. You have to choose a word so your puppy can associate the action of relieve himself. For example “toilet”, so every time your puppy does it, you repeat the word “toilet”. This will allow you to better communicate with your puppy. Once inside, if you see him turn in circles or smell the floor, you just have to tell him “toilet” and he will have the reflex to move to the intended place.
Finally, by adhering to the 6 steps your puppy should find his landmarks in just a few weeks. Puppy education courses are also a good way to get your puppy trained with the help of a canine educator to make sure your new companion is developing normally.
Let’s continue in the spirit of our previous articles where we carry you in the skin of a cat the time of an article to better understand his behaviors. Without making the anthropomorphic error of thinking we know what a cat really thinks.
This time, you are in the shoes of a cat that has just been adopted by his new family. After spending a few weeks in a shelter, you might think you would be relieved to find yourself in a house, but you do not. This is another stressful change and you just got used to the shelter.
Luckily for you, your new owners are familiar with the CatEducator and have read BeOneBreed’s blog on the introduction of a new cat at home (They are well informed and smart. You are lucky!). That is why, as soon as you arrived, they isolated you in a room with a litter box in one corner of the room, water and food in the other. You immediately notice two things. The first is that your olfactory sense tells you that you are not the only feline in the house, which further increases your anxiety. The second is that the room is filled with treats … treats all over the place!!! WOW!
After having carefully walked around the room with the belly on the ground, pushed by your gluttony, you are reassured that the other cat is not in the room. In fact, you understand pretty quickly that he’s on the other side of the door, because you see his paws under the door. You do not have think about it. Your new owners shake a toy stick that stimulates your hunter instincts and makes you forget all these new stressful elements. In fact, you find the place rather nice with these treats and games.
Then, the door opens. You think that the other cat will take a swing and jump on you, but you see that he has been placed in another room to allow you to explore the house alone and without hassle. As you explore, you’ll find treats in every corner of the house. Each turn reveals treats, which prompts you to explore the place much more quickly. During your exploration, you see one of these new Katt3 (these new owners are really amazing!), cushions, interactive bowls and a water fountain, all you can say is that you are so lucky!
All this makes the experience much less stressful than you anticipated. Then, as you were not convinced enough of staying here for the rest of your life, you suddenly get a bowl of wet food … Your nostrils cannot believe it, McDonald’s for cat! You rush to the bowl to devour it and while you are busy to eating, the owners open the door of your room a few inches. You see the other cat, also feasting himself away from the other side of the door. As the door is only a few inches open, there is no chance that he can jump on you even if he saw you, he seems too busy eating his succulent meal.
– ” Hello!‘’ you say without stopping eating
– ” Hello!’’ Says the other, distrustful
– “Is that always the way it is? Do you always have cat McDo to eat? ”
– ” No! In fact, since you’ve been here, it’s amazing how many feasts I’ve had. I do not know what you told them, but thank you buddy! ”
– ” I thought it was because of you!”
As you are about to finish your bowl, the door closes. You can’t be more delighted with this first encounter. The scenario is repeated several times a day. They bring you a feast, the door opens, you see the other cat and it closes once the meal is over. You notice that each time your bowl moves closer to the door and that the same happens with the bowl of your new buddy. At one point, you find that the other cat is too close to you. Even if the door still prevents him to reaching you, you cannot help but throw a meow towards the other cat that does the same in return. You turn to the owners waiting for your punishment to have been bad, but they surprise you, they only move the two bowls from the door and put them at a more comfortable distance without saying anything else. How lucky you are! If they had punished you, you would have associated this punishment to the other cat and would surely have taken him as an adversary.
This merry-go-round continues for about a week, until you and your new roommate can eat at a distance of one foot on either side of the door, without any fuss. You sometimes exchange glances, nothing more. And if one or the other expresses a little dissatisfaction, the owners only take the bowls away and do things more slowly next time.
Then comes the day when the bowls are positioned at a good distance, the door open completely. The owners let you negotiate your territorial contracts together and share the resources without intervening, unless it turns into a fight. At the first sight of growling and small slaps, they will let you settle this between cats.
So you begin to purr of happiness at the idea that you have really joined an extraordinary family that will give only give you joy.
“Treats,” “food,” “sweets,” we often use food rewards because we want to spoil or encourage the good behavior of our dog. Let me give you some tips to use rewards properly.
What is a reward?
Whatever he likes! Food, a toy, a word, a caress. A reward is simply something the dog wants to get. Every dog is different and it is important to recognize your best friend’s preferences.
How to recognize the value of your reward?
Depending on the situation, the value of the reward may vary. For example, if your dog likes to run after your cat and you command him to “stay” if he listens you will you tell him “good dog” or offer him an enticing treat or even pull out a toy to play with him? We often make the mistake of offering something less interesting than the behavior we find disturbing.
Why reward our dogs?
Because a dog does not reproduce any behavior that is not profitable. If you do not use a reward to encourage good behavior, you may have the reflex to punish bad behavior and often this type of method does not always discourage behaviors that you want to see stopped in addition to causing anxiety to our companions.
Is rewarding always necessary?
Yes, because it is utopian to believe that your dog will “listen” to please you. Your dog responds to your requests to get or avoid something. However, the same type of reward is not always essential in all situations.
Should the reward be cut off?
Yes of course! We have to reward everything and then less and less often. It is wrong to believe that we will always have to give something to the dog, but we must remind him once in a while that good behavior could be rewarded.
In closing, we now know that we learn more from our success rather than our mistakes. All the more reason to encourage your dog’s good behavior and thus develop a strong relationship with him for many years.
As you seem to have enjoyed entering into the skin of “Mr. Cat” or “Miss. kitty”, in our last article, let’s repeat the experience. Again, the goal is not to make anthropomorphism (the worst enemy of the behaviorist) but to try to make you see the world from the cat’s perspective. This allows us to better understand what he perceives when we punish him and to be more informed on how to educate him. Ready? You now have four legs, whiskers and meow instead of talking!
You climb onto the table. That’s when your favorite slave … oops! True, he doesn’t like to be called that way. Let’s go for “owners” and let him believe he is the real owner of the house. So you just got on the table and your owner approaches you with his angry face and he is saying:
– FLAN DSERIT, RLU FSA SU KCHAI … flali oust, treflla!
You do not understand what he tells you. If you had a human-cat translator, you would have understood that he said:
– NO cat, NOT ON THE TABLE … get down now!!!
In fact, all you know is that he speaks loudly and that it is unpleasant, but you really do not know why. Here he goes into the kitchen without saying anything more. Why did you yell after me? It’s hard to understand this slave … oops … owner! Hoooo no, here he comes out the “water spray”! You know what happens when he has this in his hands! He sprays water on you so it is better to run away.
You run into the living room and climb into your cat tree, your brand new Katt3 by BeOneBreed, that you adore (yes yes it’s free advertising … it’s the price to live in the skin of a cat now :-). Your owner seems satisfied now. Does he really believe you understood that you should not go on the table with this water spray? Absolutely not. After all, the vaporizer never pursued you in the house. It is always held by the owner. Also, if you had really understood, you would not go back to the table every day. If you really did not have the right to go to the table, would you be punished every time you go? But you’re never punished when your owner is not there and even when he’s there and watching TV, he’s never upset that you’re on the table. So the problem is not the table, is it?
In fact, when you think about it, the only common point of all these punishments is … your owner himself. He is the problem. As a cat, you live only in the present moment and your owner does not seem to understand that every time he punishes you, it is for what you are doing at the time of punishment. Now, when he punishes you, sometimes you washing yourself, sometimes you looking outside or you looking at him. Every sanction punishes different actions and less you understand what he wants to punish. Especially if, when he approaches you, it is to pet you or punish you. If this continues, you won’t take a chance and you will keep your distance at all times. If ever this little trick continues, you might come to defend yourself or become a little wilder so that he does not want to approach.
You turn your attention to the television and you see the face of your idol the Cat Educator who explains another method to how educate a cat (yes, yes it’s another ad to thank him for writing this funny blog!). You meow loudly to attract your owner’s attention. Meow, Meow … darn, it doesn’t work! Desperate, you meow again. You know the one who attracts his attention at night?!
Finally, it works! He approaches you, pets you and decides to listen to your idol who says:
“… and therefore instead of punishing him, why not tell him what behavior you prefer him to adopt instead and reward him when he adopts it? Very often ignoring bad behaviors and rewarding the good ones with his favorite treat (a quarter of a treat, it’s a treat even for cats with little overweight), the cat will soon realize that he has a lot more interest in adopting paid behavior. ”
Your owner turns to you with a little strange smile and he speaks to you. If you had your human-cat translator, you would understand this:
“You’re so gluttonous that it’s going to be easy with you!”
No exception is possible, if you have a dog you certainly must maintain his fur and his body in general. Obviously, several breeds and mixed breeds require more attention. Here are the essential manipulations for daily care.
The daily care of your dog is a matter of good hygiene and it brings many benefits to his overall comfort. If your dog’s claws are too long or knots are more and more present, it is obvious that this causes pain and a risk of injury to your companion.
You can always ask for help from your animal health technician or an experienced toilet stylist. The right people can advise you on the frequency, the techniques and the good tools to use for your dog.
The impact of grooming on your relationship with your doggie
We see our dog as a full member of the family. It is obvious that we wish to maintain a relationship of trust with him. In grooming, the popular myth is: “Brush him all the time, even if he does not like it and he will get used to it.”
What it means is opting for a technique called immersion which consists in creating a situation that disturbs your animal and forces him to give up. After a while the dog becomes “inhibited” in the situation and develops an “acquired distress”. You understand that your dog does not like brushing anymore, but he has simply given up.
When education makes grooming more enjoyable
Instead of “forcing” your dog to grooming, here are some examples of exercises to train your dog to voluntarily participate in the various manipulations and tools needed.
Train your dog to place his head on a chair or any surface and stay there. Very handy for any handling like brushing, cutting claws, cleaning ears and eyes and brushing teeth.
- Take a stool or a coffee table with a cushion or even a chair or the corner of the sofa, and with a treat “lure” your dog by approaching his head towards the surface.
- After a few rewards, your dog will simply come to lay his head down on the chosen surface and saying “chin” and rewarding him immediately.
- Your dog will prove to you that he understood the exercise if when you say “chin” he lays his head down by himself.
- Subsequently, you must work on the “duration”. He should be able to stay on the surface for a few seconds and even minutes. It is important to reward your dog after every efforts and good decisions he takes.
- Finally, you have to work with the “distractions” that in this case are the brush, the claw cutter, the cleaner, and so on. Reward your dog whenever he agrees to stay in place when you groom him.
In addition to offering your dog a physical wellbeing, all the enjoyable moments that you spend with him will positively affect your relationship with your dog.
What’s more unpleasant than choosing a beautiful bed and seeing the dog lie down on the hard and cold floor instead? Here are all the important aspects to look at to find the perfect bed that will make him change his mind.
The bed size should not only satisfy the dimensions of your room. It is important to ensure that your dog’s body finds enough space and the reverse is also true, too much space could be disturbing for your little dog.
The shape of the bed is just as important as the size. Like humans, dogs have preferences when it comes to sleeping position. If your dog likes to curl up in a ball when he sleeps, a softer bed that mold his body is a great choice. If your dog likes to stretch out to sleep, choose a fairly long and firm bed. Eventually, if your dog likes to have his head supported, choose a bed with a contour or with the ability to rest his head on an edge.
The quality of the materials will prevent deformation. Do not forget, if the bed’s comfort changes with time, your dog will be less interested to relax on it. It is better to invest in a good quality bed that will be useful for a few years. This is especially true if you have a shy or fearful dog who is more comfortable when there are not too many changes. Also true for dogs with articulation problems who could create an aversion to the bed if they do not feel that their body and movements are supported.
A bed should always have a soft texture on top and an anti-skid bottom, especially if the bed is on a slippery surface. Also, for the very cozy dogs, you can add a cozy blanket to let them create their comfort.
It should always be simple to clean your dog’s bed. The washer and dryer are very handy to keep the bed fresh, but it must remain nice for the olfactory sense of your dog. I recommend using baby products or other fragrance-free products.
Location and quantity
It is obvious that if the bed is far from you, your dog will not want to rest on it. This is why it is essential to move the bed closer to you or simply add beds in some areas of the house to allow your dog to choose his resting spot.
In conclusion, to avoid mistakes, why not bring your dog with you to “try” the beds before you buy one as we would with a mattress? So you can find the suitable bed for your canine companion.
For the time of a blog, you will be called “Mister cat” or “Miss kitty”, according to the case. The goal here is not to make anthropomorphism or try to get into the cat’s head (which any behaviorist should avoid), but to try to make you see the world from a cat’s perspective and understand the importance of height in his life. Are you ready? You now have 4 legs, whiskers and meow instead of talking.
You are sleeping peacefully when you suddenly hear noise coming from the living room. Then you stretch (not too fast!). You show up in the lounge where your favorite servants … oops … your favorite owners (you know, it’s not polite to call them servants!) are accompanied by children running around the living room. The furniture has been moved to make more place for their unrestrained races.
All this commotion starts very badly your day. First, they have made changes to what is most important to you, your territory. Then, all this activity disrupts your routine, almost as important to you as changes in your territory. Result: you are stressed out. You must regain control of the situation. Despite your very sociable character, you do not know the children who run, so you cannot predict their reactions. You must study them before approaching them.
You then quickly run into the dining room and climb onto the kitchen table. This is your favorite place in the house, to the dissatisfaction of your servants … oops … owners (a habit!). The reason is simple. In most houses, the table is located in a central place where you can see the kitchen, the corridor, the living room, the front door, the door leading to the basement, etc. It is the perfect watch tower to oversee the entire house. If only your owners understood that by placing a cat tree nearby and higher than the table, you would most likely leave it for this cat tree much more interesting.
Now, for several minutes, you analyze the movements and ways of the children and you begin to see that they do not seem very dangerous. To be quite sure, you approach cautiously. You are lucky, because your owners have placed at your disposal a high place in each of the main rooms of the house. Like the time the sister-in-law came with her dog, these heights allowed you to approach the unknown at your own pace, to analyze it safely and thus desensitizing you more quickly. So you’ve reduced your stress.
Obviously, higher the place is, further you can see and you are able to monitor a larger territory and the less you will be stressed out. So you run to the cat tree in the living room and reach it just in time, because one of the children is looking at you. You forgot two things. The first is that this new cat tree is not very stable and you feel it wobble under your weight. You would want to shout at your servants (for that, they do not deserve you to call them owners) this is supposed to be cat tree. A tree!!! It must be well entrenched. However, it is normal that you do not trust a tree that will fall under your weight in the event that you have to leave quickly.
You forgot that you share the house with another cat (easy to forget, she’s an old grump who does not do anything all day long). Fortunately, this cat tree is not like the one in the bedroom where there is only one way to reach the highest shelf. As the old grump always sits on the middle shelf, you must constantly wrangle with her to dislodge her and climb to the top shelf. On the other hand, the living room cat tree makes it possible to reach the upper shelf in several ways, thus avoiding unnecessary fights.
On your watch tower, you bring your attention to the children. Fortunately for you, your owners followed the advice of your human idol, the Cat Educator, and they explained to the children that when you are in the cat tree, they have no right to come and disturb you. Good! This will save you from having to scratch or bite them to have peace.
After a while, the children calm down and sit in the middle of the room. Perched on your cat tree, you see them assemble something. At first, you do not quite understand the utility of these white cubes with several holes in them, but this is intriguing you. It is when the children stack the cubes that you understand. You hear one of your owners say: finally, a cat tree that does not clash with the decor!
Wow! White boxes that form a cat tree! Boxes! The most wonderful invention for you. You can barely control yourself like every time your owners come back from the store with boxes. They do not understand how your ambush hunter nature inexorably attracts you to boxes or anything that looks like it. Being able to see without being seen. They do not know that you are a master in the art of becoming invisible behind a stem of grass. So imagine inside a box!
Moreover, in this new cat tree, there are cushions and toys. And as if it was not enough, the kids place treats around and in the cat tree. You suddenly forget your fear of children and you decide to approach them. Your favorite treats! Great! How can they know that? After all, they are nice children because they give me treats!
Your cat instinct leads you to think that you are being used to talk about a fantastic new product, but you are not sure and you do not care. After all, the Katt3 is a fantastic new cat tree and you have your favorite treats!
You can now become human again. You enjoyed the experience but you cannot continue to be a cat and sleep ¾ of your time and be caressed the rest of the day. Come on, we go back on two legs and go to work to be able to feed the real owner of the house … and I named the cat!
With cold weather and our occupations, it can be difficult to go out as long as we wish with our dog. In the winter time, we are less active and our dog can develop disturbing behaviors. Often the solution is not to change the behavior, but rather the environment of the animal by creating a rich environment. Let me suggest you to the best activities to entertain your companion.
Ideas for food activities
Eating is already an activity that your dog should usually do twice a day. The common mistake is to buy a metal dish and simply pour the kibble into it. This type of bowl is suitable for drinking water, but is very annoying for your dog.
I always recommend to encouraging your dog to play while eating! There is a variety of ways to feed your dog. Slow feeder bowls are the simplest and fastest example. It is a fixed bowl on the floor, but with shapes and compartments that encourages the animal to seek his food.
Ideas for masticatory activities
If you have a dog that destroys his toys, masticatory activity is definitely interesting to confirm the real usefulness of a toy. Destructive dogs are often simply lacking masticatory activity and suddenly attack toys that are allowed.
Masticatory activity allows a dog to use his jaw for mastication. Natural or enzymatic rawhide sold at your veterinary clinic are excellent sources of chewing. Using toys that contain rewards inside will also encourage your dog to chew but avoiding the destruction of the object.
Also the “tug of war” is a good way to satisfy the masticatory need by making sure the toy remains unscathed, because you are at the other end of the “tug”. You can teach your dog to release the “tug” on demand and thus being able to let go and chew upon request.
Just pull and move horizontally while your dog holds his tip. For your dog to let go you just have to stop pulling and put the “tug” between your legs and wait. Your dog will pull to drive you to play again and after a short period of time he will simply drop the toy and at that very moment say “Loose” or any word of your choice. All you have to do is repeat in small sessions of 3 to 5 minutes.
Fun games Inside
Playing is fun, but it is important that you be a part of this activity. I always recommend to do at least 3 periods of playtime per day of about ten minutes each. Even if you play outside, you can create fun inside playtime.
You can play classic games like throwing a toy or bickering. You can also play the hide and seek with your dog and encourage at the same time the “recall” command. The games where you hide the toys with a small reward inside are very stimulating for the sense of smell of your dog.
You might as well teach your dog how to put away his toys. If your dog knows how to “bring back” and “give” his toys, learning will be a breeze.
- Take your dog’s toy basket.
- Throw him a toy for he brings back to you (you can also tell him to take a toy if he knows the request)
- Hold the toy basket in your hands next to you.
- When your dog brings back the toy, simply ask him to put it in the basket instead of your hands.
- Use a new word like “basket” or “put away”.
- Repeat with different types of toys and increase the number of toys to bring back.
- Soon, you will be able to leave the basket in its place and simply tell your dog to “put away” his toys.
Lastly, activity is a routine that must be developed inside to allow your dog to have stimulating occupations that allow him to use his intellectual side. An intelligent and amused dog is a happy dog.