Your dog provides you with love and attention, and you want to do the same, but what types of activities will your pooch enjoy?
First off, all dogs love some kind of exercise. Dogs need to burn off extra energy, and they enjoy spending time with you. The typical walk is fine, but sometimes your best friend may get tired of that and be looking for something else. After you’re both tired of the morning walk and the typical fetch games, start looking for some other ideas to keep you both occupied.
1. Train your dog to do something. If he doesn’t know the usual commands like sit, stay and speak, then that’s a good place to start. Use a food treat that your dog likes and reward him as he does the behavior. You may have to begin by rewarding behavior that’s close to what you want, and then gradually reward only behavior that’s closer and closer to what you’re looking for. If your dog is ready to learn something more challenging, then try teaching him to catch a ball or roll over. The physical exercise and mental challenge will be good for him and entertaining for you.
2. Freeze a block of water with a treat inside. Most dogs enjoy licking and playing with ice, and he’ll soon learn that there’s something even better inside to work for. This can keep him busy for quite some time, but can be messy.
3. Teach your dog to play hide and seek with a favorite toy. First, spend some time teaching your dog the name of the toy, and reward him when he brings it to you. This may take some time to get right, but be patient. Most dogs can do this if given the time. When your dog reliably brings the toy to you when asked, begin hiding the item and encouraging the dog to look for it. Walk around the house and help your dog search. He’ll enjoy the challenge and excitement of finding where his toy is next.
4. Take your dog out for the day. Whether it’s to the park, a forest, for a swim, etc., getting away from home can be as important for your dog as for you. Be sure to keep him safely on a leash, and supervise him. Even if he knows his commands, the excitement of being in a new area can cause many dogs to ignore their owners, often endangering themselves. If you’re not the outdoors type, then take your dog shopping at a local pet store. To reduce his excitability, walk him a bit first before entering the store to burn off some energy.
5. Play a game of Which hand Put a treat in one hand, but don’t let the dog see you do it. Then, encourage the dog to sniff both hands and reward him when he chooses the right hand. With practice, you can even teach your dog to pat or lick the hand that holds the treat.
With a little creativity, you can spend quality time with your dog and encourage him to exercise both his body and mind. It will make you both happier.
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