DOG WALKS. IS HE ENJOYING YOUR WALKS?
Have you ever wondered why your dogs bark and lunge frequently when you take them out for a walk? You are taking them out for relaxing dog walks, but they repeatedly cower and hide behind you or even try to run home?
Then you should know that walks might be doing more harm than good!
In this blog we have included some other ways to exercise your dog physically and mentally that you both might enjoy more:
1. SCENT WORK
Learn to create fun sniffing puzzles for your dog in the comfort of your home. It’s great mental stimulation and surprisingly tiring!
We have six million olfactory receptors; dogs have up to 300 million. Additionally, the part of the brain that analyses smells is 40 times bigger in dogs than humans. This enables dogs to find lost hikers, discover buried truffles, or even locate cadavers beneath the water. It stands to reason then, that we should somehow be harnessing this amazing power in our own pets.
Once dependent upon their noses to survive, most domestic dogs today are a bit out of practice. But the good news is that, with just a little planning and patience, you can add fun scent games to your dog’s repertoire of behaviours and help them utilize this untapped smell power!
Find the Food
This is a simple way to engage your dog’s scenting prowess. It requires you to do nothing but place treats randomly around the home in the hopes that she will locate them by scent. Once she finds the first one (often by accident), she will quickly key into the possibility of finding others with her nose.
Start by placing one or two treats down in full view, while she is out of the room. Then call her in. She will eat them happily and look for more. Repeat this process, but begin placing the treats in less obvious places; in a corner, just beneath a sofa or coffee table, or even partially beneath a doggie cushion. Place them while she is outside, or in another part of the home. Then simply let her find them on her own. You will soon see her scenting for them rather than looking for them.
Vary placement and quantity; some days just hide one treat. Once she “gets it,” vary the hidden item. Try hiding a food dispenser toy filled with treats. Hide a feather rubbed with cheese. Hide a frozen cube of meat or broth (on a plate of course!). Then move it out into the yard and do the same, making it easy at first then progressively harder. Try hiding a chicken egg out there! You can even try this in your car or in a friend’s home.
2. DOG PLAY
If your dog likes to play with other dogs, schedule doggie play dates.
For the best experience try to:
» Know what your dog digs
» Choose players wisely
» Pick a neutral location
» Set expectations
» Focus on the dogs
» Understand body language
» Encourage hydration breaks
3. ACTIVE GAMES
Games like fetch, flirt pole, puppy ping pong, agility, hide and seek and chase might release some of his energy and will make him feel much better!
4. ONLINE TRAINING
Train skills at home that will help your dog cope with the world better:
» Coming when called
» Leash walking
5. PUZZLE AND TOYS
Try a variety of toys and let your dog tell you which are their favorite!
6. WALKS TO GO
Collect things your dog likes to sniff on walks and hide them in your yard. Then let your dog enjoy the sniffing adventure!