Ever get bored of the same old walk or putting the same food into the same old bowl? Your dog probably does too! It’s very easy for us to get into the same routine of going to the same park or doing the same tricks every day. But this can be very boring for our four-legged friends! Dogs are very smart creatures and need to have mental stimulation. However, this does not mean you must spend a bomb buying loads of fancy products! It is very easy to enrich your dog’s lives with everyday items in your home!
One example of this is going on a new walk. This could simply be going a different route to the park or going to a completely new park, field or a friend’s house! Going somewhere new will mean your dog will sniff new places they’ve never sniffed before. The new smells and sights will help stimulate your dog’s brain. But when you do go somewhere new make sure you take the time to allow your dog to sniff every new blade of grass and every new lamp post they come across!
As well as going to new places, you can help your dog to explore new areas by teaching them an “on” and “off” cues. This will help give them added exercise by using muscles they may not have used before and helped them explore new areas!
It’s not just about going out and about, you can get your doggy’s brain working from the comfort of your home! I have created a few things you can make with common everyday items.
Everyone reads the newspaper at least once in their life. So why not let your perfect pooch have a little read as well…
For this, all you need is a newspaper you are finished with (please make sure you have read it first as their might not be much left at the end of it!) and some of their kibble or tasty treats.
Firstly, lay out the newspaper and scatter some treats over is, then roll it up. Do this 3 times.
Once you have your 3 rolled pieces of a newspaper you can either twist them together at the top, then start to plait and twist the end together! If this is your dog’s first time, you can put some treats on top and in between the plaits to get them interested. Then watch the madness unravel in front of you!
There’s one thing that every household will have: TOILET ROLLS!
Everyone has them and there are so many things you can do with them. I’ve made a few with various degrees of difficulty.
The easiest one is simply treats in the middle of the tube and the ends folded in - simple, right? You can make it harder by stuffing newspaper or shredded paper in if it’s too easy for your little pooch.
For this one simply cut the toilet roll into strips and cross them over each other until they make a ball. Before you put the last one on put some treats in the middle!
The last toy we made was a little bit more difficult. For this one, I cut off a bit of newspaper and rolled some treats up in it then stuffed that through the toilet roll. It took Cody a little bit longer to figure out that he had to pull the newspaper out to get the treats. These are just a few things you can make out of a toilet roll; the possibilities are endless!
One thing that every dog owner loves to do is spoil their little pooch with endless toys and treats. If you’re anything like me having things a click away online is just too tempting sometimes. So, when your next delivery of goodies arrives to keep the cardboard box to one side because that is possibly the best thing in the world!
Cardboard boxes can be made into anything and everything! You can hide things in them, you can cut treat sized holes in them so your dog has to push them around. You can make it as easy or as difficult as you’d like it to be, you can get very creative and it’s a great way to bring the family together; making toys for your family pooch.
I kept things simple for Cody and just put some treats into the box and closed it.
It’s always best to supervise your dog with enrichment items. Thank you for reading!
For more mental enrichment, our classes offer fantastic learning opportunities for both you and your dog and we also have some other tips for fun and games with your dog in our classes.
We hope you and your pooches have as much fun as Cody did in creating this blog for you! If you have any questions about our classes or training for your dog, please get in touch with us: [email protected] or call us on: 01582 807524, follow us on Instagram: @DogSchoolHertfordshire and follow us on Twitter: @DogSchoolHerts