Bored dogs are bad dogs. Break the cycle with these four fun and stimulating activities from Claire Arrowsmith’s Brain Games for Dogs (Firefly).
- Box o’ Fun. Fill cardboard box with scrunched-up paper, treats, and toys. Fido will do the rest. Tip: Use dry treats to keep mess from getting out of control.
- Balancing Act. Ask Fido to sit. Balance flat treat on his nose, pick it up, and tell him to “take it.” Gradually increasing the time treat remains on nose teaches urge control and focus.
- Treasure Hunt. Fill child-size swimming pool in your backyard with clean, fine sand, rubber toys, and large dog biscuits to allow insatiable diggers to burrow to their heart’s content.
- Splash Down. Using the same pool, this time filled with water, toss in a toy for dogs to retrieve.
Pets aren’t the only ones who will benefit from these games: “Happy dog, happy owner. The more time you spend having fun training and playing with your pet, the stronger the bond between you will be,” Arrowsmith writes.