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.)
You will need:
– things you’ve collected from outdoors such as pine cones, feathers, branches, gardening gloves
– interesting objects which smell of other dogs, e.g: a harness, a lead or a dog blanket
This is how you do it:
There is nothing more fascinating to dogs than unfamiliar smells. If you occasionally bring them home something exciting, they don’t even have to leave the house or their own garden to experience it.
Your dog will definitely be thrilled to investigate a pine cone containing various treats, or a collar you’ve borrowed from the neighbour’s dog. Maybe allow your dog to inspect your shopping now and then. Just make sure that he or she doesn’t want to steal anything out of it!
A cautionary tip:
Should you have a dog who defends his food, let him sniff only at things which he is allowed to keep.
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