Lock-down Time, How to share it with our K9 Partner
Most of us are going through hard times, this Lockdown periods have really affected our life in many ways, not to mention, only economical, but emotional, overwhelming feelings flood our life and we feel trapped allowing our thoughts which many times are not so "Sweet" take charge of our emotions! For all of us who have the benefits to have a K9 partner in our home, there are millions of ideas on how to get ourselves distracted and even take the chance to include our kids and family in games and training events we can share with our dogs.
On my side as many of you know, my life here with my dogs has always been the same, so really the lockdown has not affected me that much, I have many dogs and puppies to take care of and i enjoy every minute of our work and fun time. I love taking pictures and sharing them, and posting them with either funny sayings or inspirational quotes, I like to not only share the beautiful emotions my dogs bring, but also extend that light to all of my friends who like me enjoy and feel the energy of being part of this dog kingdom!
I have to say, I have been dwelling for a while now how can I contribute to all of my Southernwnd doggy friends and all other K9 friends , we are all together in this and any sense of wellness we know it will be greatly appreciated!.
We know our dogs can sense our feeling and can read our body language way better than any member of the family, which means they are also charged with the exhausting dark emotions we are faced each day, we know its not fair and we can understand it, but they do not have the ability to understand the reason behind all these heavy emotions and this is the moment we need to lift the weight off from our shoulders and give us the opportunity to allow ourselves to think and visualize the way they are feeling and visualizing the energy that is surrounding them.
The Benefits of Keeping Your Dog Busy
Bored dogs get into trouble. We’re their main source of entertainment, so if we don’t give them stuff to do they’ll come up with activities of their own — and that’s when we end up with chewed up shoes and curtains.
By playing with your dog a few times a day you can decrease the likelihood of them developing destructive habits such as excessive barking or chewing.
There is a growing acceptance among scientists that play is very, very important and the type and frequency of play are a really good indicator of a dog’s quality of life. – Mark Evans, former RSPCA chief veterinarian
I have made some research and also going to share some personal fun time exercises that will not only help you and your family to get involved in activities that make you drift away from your present situation, but also helps in the training and structure of your puppy also creating a Special cool bond between him and the family which at the long run we all benefit from!
PLAY THE GAME OF FIND YOUR TREATS. Nose work games are one of the easiest ways to tire out your dog. When you teach your dog some basic nose work games such as ‘find the treats’ you’re mentally tiring them out and helping them hone in on some of their natural skills. (chopped up carrots are my favorite treat to use for this game) Grab some treats and have your dog watch as you place them around the room. Give your dog the cue to “find the treats” and encourage your dog to pick them up, remembering to praise them every time they find one. After your confident that your dog understands what “find the treats” means you can making it a bit more challenging. Have them stay in another room as you hide the treats, and start hiding them in spots they have to sniff out such as under a rug.
HIDE & SEEK
Does your dog know how to stay? If so it'll make this game much easier, if he doesn't get a human helper to keep him sit still while you hide. This is my dogs favorite indoor game by far, and there's something so awesome about how simple it is.
TEACH YOUR DOG TO CLEAN UP HIS TOYS If your dog’s toys are kept in a container you can teach them to put their toys away. I know it sounds weird to teach your dog to clean up after themselves, but it’s actually a lot of fun. Teaching your dog new skills boosts their confidence, and it’s a great way to give them more mental stimulation. If your dog already knows “drop it” have them pick up a toy and give them their drop it command once they’re standing over the container. Praise them like crazy, then rinse and repeat. Eventually with consistency you’ll have a dog that will be able to clean up after himself.
TUG OF WAR
Played correctly tug is a great way for our dogs to get in a lot of meaningful play and exercise. Before you start make sure your dog has a good "drop it" or "leave it" command. If your dog gets extra rowdy or starts mouthing you it's time to stop the game. And contrary to popular belief you can let your dog win, there's no evidence that it promotes dominance -- in fact studies have shown that letting your dog win just shows that you're really fun to be around and makes them want to play even more.
MASTER THE BASICS OF OBEDIENCE TRAINING Does your dog know all of the basic obedience commands? Does he have a reliable recall and stay? Even well trained dogs need a refresher course now and then to keep them sharp. All dogs should have a reliable sit, down, stay, drop it, and come here. A few quick training sessions (5-10 minutes) each day are a great way to help your dog master the basics, and they’ll help keep your dog mentally stimulated.
THE WHICH HAND GAME
This is a great starter game for dogs who haven't practiced nose work before. Simply take a piece of kibble or a dog treat and place it in one of your hands. Hold both of your hands out towards your dog in a fist and have them pick which hand it's in. If your dog doesn't play nicely and mouths you or claws at your hands you can practice some basic impulse control first.
PUT YOUR TOYS AWAY
One of my favorite "games" ever, and surprisingly my dog loves it, though that might have to do with all the awesome praise she gets once they're are cleaned up. Start by having your dog pick up a toy near where they're normally stored. Have your dog "drop it" while standing over the toy box. This might take awhile for your dog to get, I know it certainly did with mine. But with patience and a lot of praise you'll end up with a dog that can clean up after themselves.
FREE SHAPING GAMES
Free shaping is building a particular behavior based on small steps. It's a method of training that allows you to train a new behavior without physical corrections, but by encouraging your dogs natural ability to learn. One of the easiest ways to start with shaping is by using a prop like a box. What I like to start with is having my dog touch the box without me giving any signals. So I'll set out a box in front of me, grab my clicker and treats and wait for my dog to simply touch the box. Once she touches the box in any way (with her nose or paw) I'll give her praise. And then you build on that behavior by next having your dog put their foot in the box.
LEARNING THE NAMES OF TOYS
According to studies our dogs have roughly the same intelligence as a 2 year old child, with the capability of learning over 200 words. We can put some of those brains to good use by teaching them the names of their toys. Start with one specific toy and start using a name for it; dogs tend to put a 'value' on their toys, and by repeating the name while playing with it they'll start to pick up on the name you're using. After practicing with a few different toys you can then set them out and have your dog go get their red ball.
CREATE YOUR OWN INDOOR OBSTACLE COURSE Create your own obstacle course inside your home. Have your dog jump over some towels, weave through his toys, and then lay down on a blanket. Use your imagination and come up with a set of obstacles for your dog to follow. Once your dog has learned how to jump over the towels you then move onto the toy weave. Building on prior tricks will keep your dog mentally stimulated and encourages focus.
TEACH YOUR DOG THE "GO TO" COMMAND
Does your dog know how to go to the couch or to his bed? This trick is simple to teach and it’s helpful when you’re making dinner or having guests over. If you tell your dog to go to his spot while you’re making dinner enough times it will become a habit. No dog in the kitchen while cooking means you won’t be finding dog hair in your dinner as often.
FROZEN KONG RECIPES & TREAT DISPENSERS
One of the easiest ways to keep a dog entertained is with a treat dispenser or frozen Kong. There's a wide variety of treat dispensing toys out there, just make sure to supervise your dog when giving him a new toy. Not many toys are truly indestructible, especially with dogs that love to chew. If your dog is already familiar with treat dispensers you can make it a more of a challenge by freezing the treats inside of the toy first.
PUZZLE & INTERACTIVE DOG TOYS
There are so many interactive dog toys available - there are toys to chase, toys to chew and puzzles to figure out. If your dog likes to chase you can make your own chase toy by attaching a toy to the end of a rope and tying it onto a stick you can wave around for your dog to chase. If you're going to make a chase toy try using a bungee as the rope so it'll be easier on your dogs neck when they do catch it. You can also make your own puzzle toy with a muffin tin, some tennis balls and a few treats. Place the treats in the tin & cover them up with the tennis balls and you've got yourself a DIY dog puzzle.
THE THREE CUP GAME
Another great nose work starter game. Get out 3 cups and line them up in a row in front of your dog. To start put a treat under one of the cups while your dog is watching, give him the OK to show you which one is the right cup. When he chooses correctly praise him & let him have the treat. Once your dog seems to get the hang of it you can make it more challenging by mixing the cups around after you place the treat.