TIPS ON PROVIDING ENVIRONMENTAL STIMULATION FOR YOUR DOG…by Tammie Willersdorf
Written by our valued team member, Tammie, here are some great tips on how to provide mental stimulation, environmental enrichment and boredom busters for your dog!!
Get them working for their food – Banish the bowl!
Enrichment feeding options:
• Kibble in cereal boxes, egg cartons, tissue boxes etc
• Feed from various treat dispensing toys (e.g. Kongs, Kong wobblers, busy buddy toys, Aussie Dog toys etc)
• Put a chicken neck in a Kong
• Peanut butter/vegemite smeared on the inside of a Kong
• Throw food out on the grass (do occasionally)
• Bones (in replacement of meal, not in addition to)
• Hide treats around the home/yard
Practice basic obedience exercises as much as possible – even 5 minutes a day can make a big difference!
• Regularly replace a walk with a training session!
• Implement NILIF (Nothing In Life Is Free)– in order for your dog to get something that they want (e.g. attention, pats, food, a walk, jump up on the couch/bed), they must first do an exercise that they know.
• Practice known obedience exercises in different scenarios, such as: sit to greet visitors or family members coming through the front door, sit/drop before clipping lead on to go for a walk/get in the car etc, sit before walking through a doorway, sit before having the ball thrown or playing with the toy.
• Teach tricks
• Go for a car ride with the windows down!
Mix up the physical exercise routines!
• Minimum 30 minutes exercise daily.
• Have 3 or 4 different walking routes, and alternate them daily, and/or walk them in reverse.
• Once or twice a week, do a half hour training session instead of going for a walk.
• Once a week, teach and play fetch or tug of war for half an hour instead of going for a walk.
• Play fetch for a few minutes before a walk to help reduce excitement
• Doggy play dates! Organise a regular day for your dog to spend the day with their doggy friend
Moral of the story: Mix it up & keep it interesting!