Sit! Fetch! Stay! Who’s a good boy?
If you have a newcomer in your household who still needs to be named, or an oldie but goodie dog companion who’s been with you through good and bad, we bring you some easy ways to connect with him through his stomach. Every barker is a sucker for a delicacy at any time of the day. But simply finding the food in the bowl is no challenge for them.
Is your Dog Bored?
If a dog is bored, the destructive instinct emerges from him very quickly. The problems are mainly due to the fact that we cannot give our dogs jobs that they were born for. They don’t have to work for food, love and toys as they all get it from us. You’d think getting things without conditions is a great thing, but sadly, it’s not, for it can leave a serious mark on a dog’s life and lead to boredom. Anxiety could kick in and the lethargy would be even more serious.
What exactly happens when a dog is bored? They get in trouble in general. If we don’t mentally exhaust them or occupy them somehow, be sure they’ll come up with a particular recreation. This, in turn, is in most cases no good for our fragile objects.
A great way to strengthen the bond between a pet parent and a bow-wow is through exercising with food.
- Let’s play “Find It”
While wolves are looking for their meal themselves, dogs are no longer in need of search. However, they will still pursue food if we expect them to. You can easily make the “Find It” game a daily exercise where the dog will use his instincts like a wolf would in the wild.
We simply start by hiding a treat while he is watching us do so and allowing him to find it afterward. To make the game more fun, later we can organize the task to be more challenging if the dog is in another room waiting for us to hide the yummy snack.
- Teach them command words and tricks
Most dog owners regularly use food as a positive reinforcement while teaching their pup some of the commands. This gives dogs the opportunity to work for their food and to focus their attention to us. A daily 10-minute training is plenty for our dog to get the daily puzzles he needs for his brain. We should continuously practice older tasks, but always try to bring some new ones into the game as well.
The most important thing to know about reward bites is to never overdo the amount given to your dog. Keep in mind that you’re not feeding the animal, but just rewarding him for a job well done. Be sure to include the amount of calories in his daily energy intake so that your pet gain weight.
- It can be useful for the “Stay” command
The “Stay” command is one of the most useful things our dog should know, it could even be a life-saving one in some cases, but it is certainly an essential element of cultured dog breeding. The time before receiving the food is a great time to practice staying in place, and we can even slow down the intense gobbling the food down the throat.
The exercise is quite easy. Sit down with your pet in front of the food and only start eating if we give permission. We can increase our distance from the doggo and its bowl so that he doesn’t just stay in place because of our presence.
- Present the tail-wagging animal with a food puzzle game
Also a great way to get our dog to work for the food. It will slow down the voracious eating and will occupy him so not to get bored. There is a wide variety of food toys available in stores, made of solid rubber that has reward bites hidden inside. These kinds of toys can occupy a dog for hours on end.
Frozen peanut butter is a winner for the majority of dogs. All you have to do is put the frozen peanut butter into the toy before you leave the house and you’re guaranteed he won’t even notice your absence until he runs out of the delicacy in it.
- Play the game “Find the lady”
It’s great fun, requiring complex knowledge from both the dog and the owner. Let’s start with massive plastic utensils and some yummy bites, put the treat under one of the cups (or whatever you decided to use), mix the two utensils in front of your dog’s eyes and wait for him to show you where the food is. To do this, you might want to teach the little barker the “shake” hands command so he could signal which vessel the food is hiding under. Or, he could just show you with his nose. Once you’re sure he’s had enough training, you could always add one more dish.
Guest Blog written for Pet Treater by Jackie Brown, a pet expert who has spent 20 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet publishing industry
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Many purrs and barks,