DAY GAMES AN ARTICLE BY A CONTRIBUTING WRITER AND TRAINER
ALLISON CHRISTIAN FROM NAPLES TOP DOGS Yes, it’s July in Naples, hot and hotter. Then comes the downpour of rain. We love it because it cools us off but what do we do with our furry friends during this time? Walks and dog parks are out of the question. So here are a few tips from Naples Top Dogs on games to play with your dog during the times he cannot get out to exercise.
As you know, exercise is our #1 prescription. A tired dog is a good dog. During these rainy days, our pets are not getting the walks that they are accustomed to. So here are some tips to keep your dog busy, mentally stimulated and having FUN!
1. “Find It” Put your dog in a sit/stay (or household member assist with sit/stay) and hide treats throughout the house. Put them in their crate, behind the couch, under the table.
You will be amazed when your dog gets this game, using their olfactory system in a healthy way. Also, getting your sit/stay cue.
2. “Hide & Seek” Put your dog in sit/stay and go hide somewhere in the home, the bathtub, under the bed, in the closet etc. From the sit/stay release with your release command and clap, say dog’s name and your recall word (come). This is a fun game when multiple family members are also hiding.
3. “Name Game” Teach your dog to know the names of their toys. Start with one toy. “Tug”, for example. Have your dog take a toy in mouth and say “Tug” Repeat 10x, then bring out another toy and say “Tug”. If your dog chooses “Tug” then reward. If your dog chooses the other toy, then put “Tug” in front of the dog. Once your dog is consistent and successful
in picking up “Tug” then move onto another toy. Keep the names his toys simple. You can be unique in naming their toys, but do not attempt to say big green elephant. This is too hard and too many syllables.
4. Puzzles Naples Top Dogs are huge fans of puzzles. There are 3 levels and I particularly like the Outward Hound brand or the wooden puzzles. Put their kibble in so they have to work for their meals. This is a great confidence booster and prevents boredom. Puzzles can definitely reduce behavior problems, weight management and the best about puzzles is that your dog will LOVE them!
5. “Agility Course” Creating your own agility course at home is fun and also works on impulse control. Have your dog “place” toss a ball, then release to fetch ball back to
place. Weave in and out of chairs, starting with a slow walk then building up speed, using a down or sit cue whenever you chose. Teach your dog to jump over an obstacle, get creative, again it's raining and this is fun for you and your dog. For more information on brain games for your dog visit