There’s nothing worse than a hyper dog on a rainy day! While it might be impossible to get your dog outside for his/her daily walk during inclement weather, there are many games you can do inside to burn off that excess energy. The following games are not only enjoyable for you and your dog but they provide much needed stimulation both mentally and physically for your dog when you just can’t get outside.
Tug of War
For years and years people were advised not to play Tug of War with their dog as it was feared this game would increase aggression or allow the dog to feel “dominant” over the owner. After much investigation by animal behaviourists, this has proven not to be the case. Tug of War is a hugely satisfying game for a dog to play. It burns energy on rainy days, helps bond the dog to the owner and provides a great training opportunity for “Take It” and “Drop It”. However, there are rules when playing this game to prevent unwanted exuberance which may encourage accidental biting.
Rules of Tug: The dog may not grab the toy until he/she is invited to do so by commanding “Take It”.
The dog must let go of the grab toy when asked by commanding “Drop It”.
No teeth on skin or clothing. If while grabbing or adjusting his/her grip, your dog nips you (however accidentally) the game ends with a “Too Bad” and the toy is put away.
You start the game and you finish the game.
Put the tug toy away after the each play session. Tug toys only come out when Tug of War is to be played.
Certain breeds – Rottweilers, Dobermans, Bull Terriers can get very excited when this game is played. If anytime the game gets out of hand – STOP IT!
This is a fabulous game to play with your dog on a rainy day. This exercise is mentally exhausting for the dog and with practice the dog becomes very excited at the prospect of finding the object therefore making him physically tired too. To teach your dog the SEEK IT command, you will need a treat or favourite toy and three or four containers. You can use empty flower pots, tupperware boxes, small marker cones or old shoe boxes. Put the dog in a SIT-STAY or tie the dog up if his/her SIT-STAY is not solid yet. Show the dog his/her favourite toy/ball/treat and hide it under on of the containers and command FIND IT or SEEK IT. Let your dog sniff out the toy or treat and deliver it promptly. Once your dog understands the command, you can progress to having someone cover the dog’s eyes or keeping the dog in another room then hiding the object under furniture or behind plant pots and letting him/her FIND/SEEK IT.
There’s no time like the present to revise all the commands your dog should know. If it’s raining outside, give your dog a training session and work through the eight essential commands needed for good behaviour ….. Watch Me/Reflex to Name – Sit – Down – Stay – Come – Leave It – Drop It – Walking to Heel (although this one will be difficult indoors). You’ll be amazed at how tired and relaxed your dog will be after the session.
Try feeding your dog in a more challenging and interesting way during times when your dog is trapped inside due to bad weather. It’ll take him/her longer to eat their dinner and provide mental stimulation whilst doing so! Stuffing a Kong with his/her favourite food is a good way to make dinner times interesting and your dog will enjoy licking and chewing the food out of the Kong. You’ll need to make the food wet with some canned dog food or something else like a little peanut butter to make it more difficult for your dog to get the food out. For dogs who really get the hang of it and is emptying their Kong in record time, you could try making up his/her dinner the night before in the Kong and put it in the freezer overnight! This will make it more challenging for your dog to get the frozen food out.
To follow up or make an appointment or find out more information about Ringwood Dogs, Ashley Heath on the Hampshire and Dorset border, please contact Isabelle Adams-Papé by clicking on the Contact Me tab.
I look forward to meeting you and working with your dogs.
Happy dog training.