Previously, we spoke about dog enrichment activities and the benefits. We also shared a few simple games (101 basic training) to keep your BFF happy. Today, a few more great ideas (a bit harder this time) like puzzles, problem-solving to enrichen your dog's activity levels both physically and mentally.
Muffin Tray Dog Puzzle
Τhis enrichment puzzle will excite you as much as your dog because it's so simple to do but really works a dog's brain. Grab a muffin tin, or something else similar, a few tennis balls, and a few dog treats! You can put these in every muffin placement and cover it with a tennis ball. Make him sniff out the gift. As your dog gets better at this puzzle with practice, only put the food in a few of the placements. It's a great way to work their sense of smell and problem-solving.
Build an Agility Course for Your Dog
You can make an easy agility course for your pup in a hallway or go all out with a full course out in the garden. Use regular cones or even cardboard boxes to create weaves and jumps if you don't have actual agility equipment. Please make sure the obstacles you set up aren't overly challenging (or too high) for your dog and walk them through a few times, rewarding them for working through each obstacle. It's all about having fun! This activity is excellent for building what's called "proprioception," your dog's awareness of their body in the environment and ability to balance.
Play The Which Hand Game
If you've been thinking about teaching your dog some scent work games, this is a great game to get you started. It's very similar to the muffin game mentioned above. The only thing you'll need is some dog treats, and if you don't have any on hand, you can use some chopped up fruits & veggies or make your homemade dog treats.
(check our previous post)
How to Play the Which Hand Game:
Place a treat in one of your hands.
Close your fists and hold them out in front of your dog.
Let the dog choose which hand it's in.
When your dog sniffs or paws the right hand, open it up and give them the treat.
If he chooses incorrectly, don't discourage him, it takes a few tries to catch on.
A gentle "touch" command will be helpful.
Teach Your Dog to fetch His Lead
Before you teach your dog to bring his lead ( or anything else), you need to teach them simple fetch tricks. As a bonus teaching your dog to fetch their lead or harness is an excellent way to get in some extra mental stimulation. Also, they know it's their walkies time!
Play with a Flirt Pole
Flirt poles are a magnificent toy that tires out high-energy dogs quickly.
What exactly is a flirt pole, you ask? A flirt pole, also called a "flirt stick", is a piece of exercise equipment for dogs that entices a dog to chase a fast-moving lure. Think of it like a larger cat toy or fishing pole. It makes it easier on us humans to play with our dogs without having to run around as much since the pole gives you a way to get your dog chasing after a toy while you can stay stationary. It does take some practice to get comfortable holding and moving around, but once you've got the hang of it, it's a fun way to engage in play with your dog.
If your dog loves chasing after the flirt pole, they might enjoy it.
Sweetie tip: DIY a Flirt pole.
You will need
Bungee cord or rope
An old, fluffy dog toy
Step one: Depending on how big your dog is, it will depend on how long you'll want your pole. Cut your pole to the size that you wish to use a coping saw
Step two: Cut your rope or bungee cord to size using a knife. You'll want this to be the length of the pole and add at least 40cm onto the end.
Step three: Push your rope through the pole until it starts to stick out at the other end, then tie this end in a knot, so that the rope is secured within the pole. You may need to tie more than one knot to make sure the rope doesn't fall through the pipe.
Step four: Tie the loose bit of rope around one of your dog's toy.
It's as simple as that!