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4 tips for keeping your dog active

Updated: May 20, 2022

One of the best ways to have a healthy dog is to keep her active. It's also an amazing tool in minimizing unwanted behaviors. A dog that has her mental and physical needs met is less likely to act out in the house.

The winter months or rainy days can be challenging when it comes to getting in daily exercise. Here are some fun choices to stimulate your dog on those days.

Play Hide and Seek

This is a super fun game that we have played with all of our dogs. If your dog won't STAY then you will need two people to play. Put your dog in a stay and go hide in a closet or behind a bathroom door. Call the dog to you (we always said SEEK so that it is not confused with COME or HERE).

You can also play this game with TREATS. Simply hide the treats around a room while your dog is in another part of the house. If your dog is new to this game you can hide a treat in your hand and say SEEK so your dog gets the hang of it. It's very mentally rewarding and stimulating for a dog to search out a treat or toy.

Play Tug with a Toy

There are some great tug toys, and ropes to play this game. This is a fun game for dogs and tuckers them out. When you play tug of war with your dog, remember to let them win sometimes and be sure to keep things light, positive and fun. Games like this tap into your furry friend’s natural instincts, making it a motivational, reinforcing, and high-value indoor exercise. I often use this game after retrieving sessions as a reward.

Play Fetch

Though I always told my kids don't play ball in the house, I made an exception for the dogs on rainy days. We always played in the hallway so the hound had to come to us and could not run all around the house (which I did not want to encourage). It's amazing how winded your dog can get playing fetch in your hallway.

Get a New Toy

Dogs get super excited for new toys! In 2008, researchers from the University of Giessen in Germany and the University of Lincoln in the U.K. found that dogs prefer new toys over familiar ones. We also rotate our dogs toys, since we have a lot. I keep them in a basket on top of their crates and every now and then I put away and old one and bring out one they have not seen in a while. However you do it, whether rotating old toys or getting a new one, your dog will love it! The main thing is dogs like variety, just like us!

Teach Your Dog a Trick

The act of learning a new trick is mentally and physically stimulating to your dog and can keep your dog’s body active on cold or rainy days.. Try to teach your dog to Sit Pretty or Roll Over. Mental stimulation is just as important for dogs as physical exercise. In fact, a bored dog is more prone to exhibit unwanted behavior so a few trick training sessions a week will not only help your dog stay active, but will also cut down on barking, whining, and destructive behavior.

If you live in the Vienna or Oakton VA and need assistance with dog walks, basic obedience or problem solving reach out to schedule a FREE Meet and Greet where we can discuss your dogs needs and solutions! I love working with dogs and their owners and look forward to meet you!

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