Yesterday certainly highlighted how hugely important it is to have some fun activities planned for when your pup is at home. Awful weather, illness, recovery time from ops……all of these could render your daily walks and outings somewhat null and void. So, have some back up ideas for keeping your pup entertained and occupied when he can’t (or you can’t), for whatever reason go out.
Indeed, many dog trainers actively encourage you to have ‘duvet days’ periodically, where you spend time with your pup at home for the day. If the unfortunate were to happen and your pup couldn’t go out for whatever reason, he would see this as the ‘norm’ and not have a minor meltdown at the thought of missing a walk. He will be quite used to having ‘home activities’, and won’t suffer any detrimental effects from missing an outing.
There are SO many things you can do at home, which will really get your pups senses going. We’re thinking olfactory (smell), we’re thinking gustation (taste), we’re thinking tactician (touch). I guess we’re thinking vision too! We’re thinking exploratory and investigative, we’re thinking learning and development and we’re thinking FUN. We want to make our home activities beneficial for your pups developmental progress, but also we want any activities we do to be enjoyable for your pup and you too!
So, here’s a few ideas:
- Scent work/find it – scatter treats about and your pup has to find them! You can use your pups breakfast/lunch/dinner for this too, make feeding time more fun!
- The ‘freeze’ game – dance about like a lunatic, your pup will jump about with you, you then ‘freeze’ and ask for a sit/down (or whatever behaviour you like), and when your pup performs this behaviour you carry on dancing!
- Grooming – ‘well that’s not fun!’ I hear you cry! But why shouldn’t it be? It can work like this; ‘I comb your ear – you get a ball throw’, or ‘I clip a claw – you get a game of tuggy’ etc etc.
- Interactive toys – there are SO many out there to choose from. Activity balls, kongs, Nina Ottosson toys, snuffle mats….we could go on! All interactive, all involve your pup manipulating an object, problem solving, olfaction (their very best sense!), encouraging exploratory behaviours whilst being rewarded for amusing himself! Win win.
- Ball pits – so many balls! Try throwing some treats in and watch your pup amuse himself trying to find them all. You could hide toys in there too, he won’t expect to find them, double the fun and double the surprise!
There are so many more ways to entertain your pup at home, just get in touch for more ideas. Just because your pup can’t go on walks, whether he isn’t old enough or for any other reason, it doesn’t mean he can’t still have fun and learn and enjoy his day. Have a think, what does your pup enjoy? What would his favourite game be at home? Why not have a go with a few ideas!
For more information just get in touch.