Create games for your dog
Think about what your dog was originally bred to do. For example, terriers were bred to hunt vermin and labradors to retrieve. Knowing this information will help you when thinking about the types of games they might like to play. Most dogs still possess the desire to perform the behaviours they were bred to do, even if they’re just a family pet. Here are some ideas your dog might enjoy:
- Digging pit – place soil or sand in a special pit, encourage your dog over by placing treats just under the top layer. If you don’t have a garden, try a ball pool or collect some dry leaves and hide treats under them
- Paddling pool – great in the summer if your dog likes water, also good for those who like digging if you fill it with ball pool balls
- Play hide and seek games – start easily and place treats or toys in the same room for your dog to search out. Once he gets the idea of the game you can hide things in a different room for him to find!
- Scent games – make an object nice and smelly, let you dog sniff it then lay a trail by dragging it along the ground so your dog can search it out and return it to you
- Trick training – teach your dog basic commands like sit, down and paw and then see how quickly they can do them in a row. Add fun new tricks to keep it interesting.
Dog training classes
Dog training classes are a great way to get your dog’s brain working. There are many different classes to try, including:
- Basic obedience
Finally, remember to give your dog plenty of toys and chews to help keep them occupied. Rotate these regularly to keep them interesting and try different activities each week. Most of all, whatever you do, make it fun.
More enrichment ideas can be found in the book ‘Canine Enrichment’ by Shay Kelly, which can be purchased here.