Exercise their minds

dog trainingWith the shorter days upon us and some pretty horrible weather around, it can be hard to get your dog out doors for long enough to keep them satisfied and stimulated. Walks can end up being short and functional, rather than long and exciting, which inevitably means that they will be stuck inside much more getting very bored. The problem is that a bored dog tends to be a naughty dog and you’ll soon find that your slippers, the post or anything else that comes to hand (or rather paw) becomes their new toy to break the monotony.

But just because you can’t get outside, doesn’t mean that you can keep your dog stimulated and engaged and avoid that destructive boredom. Here’s our top ten ways to keep your dog occupied during the dark winter months…

  1. Make them work for their supper – instead of just giving your dog their meal, make them work for it by hiding it, or by teaching them to sit and wait until they are told they can start.
  2. Toys with treats – Kongs and other similar dog chew toys that can be stuffed with food will keep them amused for hours, constantly rewarding their efforts with another taste of the treat.
  3. Teach them new tricks – dogs love to learn, so use the time you would’ve spent on a longer walk by teaching them some new tricks. They will love the interaction as they learn and the attention that comes with getting it right.
  4. Take them on errands – if you can’t get out for a long walk, take your dog along in the car as you run errands and visit friends. Any new place will be full of interesting sights and smells to keep them amused.
  5. Introduce them to new people – if you can’t get out visiting with your dog, invite friends and family round to visit you. New faces and smells, and all that extra attention, will break up a boring day.
  6. Teach your dog new words – they say that a dog has the vocabulary of a two year old child, so work with them to learn some new words. Name their toys or name new foods to stimulate their minds.
  7. Build an obstacle course for your dog – you can give your dog plenty of indoor exercise by building them an obstacle course out of furniture and boxes. It’s a great way of wearing them out inside when it is pouring down outside.
  8. Get them a puzzle toy – most larger pet shops will have dog puzzles designed to stimulate your dog and promote learning. Work with your dog as it figures the puzzle out and reward them when they succeed.
  9. Sniff it out – your dog doesn’t have to be a bloodhound to sniff out a pungent hidden item, so play hide and find with them to keep them entertained.
  10. Make time together – even if you don’t get out for a long walk, it is still you dog’s time, so make sure you spend it with them instead of using it for something else. A good cuddle or a roll around on the floor is all they want to make their day a bit more interesting and fun.

Another way you can break the winter boredom is to enrol your dog in some obedience classes in Lancashire at A&T Trained Dogs. We can either work with the two of you together, or we can take your dog on its own for a week or two for residential training. Dog training courses are a great way to keep them occupied, and you’ll start the spring with a whole new, more obedient dog. Talk to our friendly team today for details.