12 brilliant play ideas for you, for your dog, for great teams!
In 2016, Good Dog Practice is featuring a dog-friendly activity once a month, by courtesy of guest author, Monika Stanzig (IDBTS, certified by Sheila Harper).
These are not meant as tasks or training ideas. Rather, they are a way of sharing relaxed, quality time together. Your dog can gain confidence by doing problem-solving activities as independently as possible, while enjoying your support and attention. Just for fun!
Consistent with the values of Good Dog Practice, we feel that our dogs are not obliged to be interested, nor should they be pressured to complete a task. If they prefer to do something else or just rest, that’s just fine! Maybe another time! 🙂 A tip: many dogs take a pause from a problem-solving challenge and come back to it later. If the dog looks for your support, you can of course assist him or her.
(These activities are chosen with care, but come without guarantee for correctness or completeness. They are meant as quality-time activities. Please be present with your dog while he is doing them, also for safety reasons. Please note, we take no legal responsibility for any mishaps, damage or injury. All rights to text and photographs reserved.)
– little bits of sausage/cold meat
– little bits of cheese
– a tree or a bush
How it’s done:
Choose a suitable tree or bush in your garden or while you’re out for a walk. Spike the pieces of meat or cheese on to the twigs or wedge them gently into the bark.
Wander past the tree or bush with your dog. As soon as his nose notices a delicious smell, he’ll be interested in exploring further.
When all the treats are finished, give your dog time until he chooses to move away of his own accord. Many dogs take a little pause and then come back to the tree again. See if you can recognise if he is asking for your support to reach a treat. Let him do it all at his own pace. Your dog will show you when he has had enough and wants to continue on his way.
It doesn’t matter if some treats are left over. He can have them later or another dog will be pleased to find them 🙂
Consider how high you put the treats. It’s easier if you start with them lower at first. Please also take account of your dog’s physical capabilities.
– Check that there are no twigs sticking out which your dog could get in his eye.
– Some trees and bushes are poisonous. Please make sure that your dog doesn’t eat the bark or leaves.
We advise you always to accompany your dog. Apart from safety considerations, these activities are meant as quality time together and as a way of building your dog’s confidence and communication with you 🙂
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