Entertain and Exercise Your Dog while Quarantined
It seems like everyone is quarantined during this pandemic, and it also feels like the days are dragging on and blurring together. It is important that both you and your dog get regular exercise to keep a happy mind and a healthy body. You’ve probably resorted to taking your dog on a long walk multiple times of day, but that is probably getting really boring. Have you ever noticed your dog has so much energy after a brisk walk but completely passed out after a short training session? That’s because just 10-15 minutes of mental stimulation, an activity that requires your dog to concentrate and really process information, is about as physically exhausting as a half-hour of moderate exercise like walking or playing. So when you’re both stuck inside and your dog will not settle down, try exercising your dog’s brain!
- PUT TOGETHER AN INDOOR AGILITY/OBSTACLE COURSE
All of this time indoors can be painfully boring, but you can still have your dog practice agility exercises while being comfy on your couch. There’s portable agility equipment! If you’re looking around and window shopping online, you can easily find tunnels that pop up and when you’re ready to use them you just pop them up! They can be flattened to store easily anywhere. And you can also search for free-standing weave poles that don’t need to be anchored into the floor. If you’re not wanting to spend money on those kinds of things, you could also use your own furniture to create a challenging agility course for your dog. Using chairs, tables and couch cushions could make it more interesting for your dog and how fun will it be to get on all fours so you can do the course with your dog?
- TEACH AN OLD DOG SOME NEW TRICKS, OR YOUR PUPPY SOME OBEDIENCE
I’m sure that you’ve already gone through the basic commands of sit, come, & down but this extra time would be a great opportunity to work on those more advanced tricks like speak and stay. Once you and your furry best friend have mastered those commands, try the more intricate commands like roll over, high-five or play dead. These cool new tricks with definitely strengthen the communication and bond between your dog and you. Your dog will LOVE all of the treats for learning new behaviors, and you’ll have some awesome new tricks to show your friends once we are out of quarantine. Just a tip, when giving lessons to your dog, keep them kind of short, like 15 to 20 minutes at most and make sure to end on a positive note! Your dog may not grasp the new trick easily on the first time around, which is okay, just go back to what your dog knows and end the training session with something that your dog knows! This will help keep the excitement going for more training and your dog will look forward to the next session.
- HIDE ‘N SEEK & BRING OUT THE SCENTS
Your dog will love these activities because it involves treats! Soft and meaty treats will work best for this activity or any other smaller treats. While your dog is watching you, toss a few small treats on the floor. When your dog runs to them, say “go find them” and after a few more tosses, start hiding the treats in various options, on lower shelves (about the noise level of your dog) and in the corners of your house. Always use “go find it” cue when your dog goes off to find the treats. After your dog has caught on to the game, try putting your dog in another room while you hide the treats in different places in a different room. Use the same location as the first time you started the game for the best success in finding the treats. Allow your dog to go into the room with the treats and say “go find it!” and watch your doggo work hard to find those tasty treats. If your dog has a bit of a hard time finding the treats that you hid, try standing closer to where you hid the treat or toss some additional treats in that direction. Eventually, your dog’s nose will start working and it will take your dog all around the room to those delicious treats.
- DOGGIE PUZZLES AND GAMES THAT EXERCISE THEIR BRAINS
There are a ton of games and puzzles out there that are specially designed for dogs. There are simple games that dispense toys that require interaction by your pup and elaborate puzzle games that force your dog to solve a problem. Dog puzzles are such a great way to exercise your dog indoors. Research has shown that a few minutes of mental exercise is way more exhausting than the same amount of time physically exercising, and your dog will be entertained for a while. It’s a good idea to start off with simple puzzles and to let your dog master those first before you introduce more advanced puzzles – you don’t want your dog to lose interest too early!
- THE FAMOUS TUG-O-WAR
Tug-o-war is relatively easy, it doesn’t take up a lot of room, and it is fairly cheaper since you could really use anything to play. Another positive about tug-o-war is that your dog is going to lose a lot of physical energy! Depending on how much of a rigorous player your dog is, you will need to find something that will last long enough for all of the pulling and something that is safe for you to hold on to.