We have enjoyed reading over the submissions to our Ask a Trainer feature on our new website. It’s your chance to get dog training advice from the pros at AnimalSense. Every couple of weeks, we’ll answer some questions submitted. We got too many submissions to answer in one blog, but here’s our first round. Stay tuned for more questions & answers, and if you have a burning dog training question, just “Ask a Trainer”!
I walk with a cane and am looking for activities to do with my high energy 2 yr old Collie/German Shepard. He retrieves balls, and does ‘find it’ with me. Could you suggest more activities or where I could go to find them?
It sounds like you have a young bundle of energy! Enrichment is so very important in every dog’s life and there are lots of “games” you can play with your dog to stimulate them both mentally and physically.
- Feed your dog’s meals in treat dispensing balls. This will keep your dog occupied, as well as reward him as he “works” for his food.
- “Read the Paper:” Scatter your dogs’ food under newspaper so they have to dig and shuffle around for it. Turn over boxes or use closed boxes with a hole with food inside or underneath. This is a very simple version of Nose Work, a new dog spots that allows dogs to use their nose while building confidence, teaching creative problem solving and encouraging their innate drive to hunt and find scent. AnimalSense offers Nose Work classes every six weeks at our Oak Park location.
- Place novel scents in your dog’s environment and watch him sniff them out. Rabbit and squirrel scents can be purchased from sporting goods stores.
- A popsicle of low salt broth (perhaps with kibble inside or a dog treat or carrot stick) can keep your dog occupied, especially when he’s in his crate.
- Make your own treat dispensing toy by taking a washed plastic milk carton and put some kibble inside. The dog rolls it and kibble falls out.
- Take your dog for walks in new places for new sights and smells.
- Rotate indoor and/or outdoor toys and encourage play.
- Teach your dog a trick. This is a great resource plus AnimalSense offers a Trick Your Dog class regularly.