On those days that the clouds seem to be chucking buckets of rain down, it can be difficult to provide adequate exercise and stimulation to dogs (especially if they do not enjoy being out in the rain!). It reminds me of the days I’d walk a miniature Shnauzer, Freya. She absolutely hated the rain, and when collecting her would hide away in the attempt to get out of joining in on a group walk.
If a dog does not want to walk for long periods of time in the rain, yet experiences boredom when at home, interactive toys and games can help tire their brain out, without having to step foot in any puddles. Below I have put together three ideas to help you cure your dogs boredom and encourage them to use their senses.
Kongs or k9 connectables are a great toy that can be filled and frozen to keep your dog engaged. It keeps them focused on retrieving food and keeps them busy for longer if they are frozen.
If you feed your dog canned food you can freeze it inside a Kong.
For raw feeders you can purée fruits and vegetables and then add fish, meat or stock cube.
In the opening of the kong you can stick a treat so they have something to start on. K9 Connectables comes with various parts that can be filled with treats and then slotted together, which makes your dog work even harder to find a way of getting them!
Hide and seek.
To begin this game your dog needs to recognise the words ‘find it’ or ‘search’ so that they can actively look for the treats or toy.
Once the dog can successfully ‘find it’ you can hide treats around the house for your dog to seek out. Scattering treats/food on the floor also encourages this behaviour.
Play with your dog and gain their interest in a toy.. e.g ball. Ask the dog to sit and wait, then hide the toy somewhere in the house. When you return to your dog ask them to find it.
This game allows the dog to use their amazing sense of smell to seek out fun toys and tasty treats. By using their natural behaviours to stimulate them creates a happy dog, without having to step foot outside! This game can be an introduction to scent work.
Another fantastic way of using your dogs energy in positive and creative ways is by teaching them a new trick. A dog is capable of learning around 200 words, therefore to learn a new behaviour is a perfect way to use brain power, and to build a relationship of trust.
You could teach your dog to help you around the house… e.g picking up socks or putting their toys back in the basket. Or you could practise your recall by getting your dog to sit and wait, and then calling them to you from around the house. There are lots of ideas of what you can teach your dog on my blog and other websites. If you do not have success in teaching your dog the trick you desire then you always the option to get in touch with a dog trainer in your local area.
These 3 ways will motivate your dog to engage in a fun activity and release their excess energy. It can help limit destructive behaviours and increase their attention span. Most of all, the dog will be having fun, instead of sleeping the day away, and it will also give you an opportunity to find out what your dog enjoys. So, spend some time preparing games and interaction toys for your dog, and it will make it much easier to tire your dog out on those horrible wet days!