There are many ways to occupy your dog. The dogs are so diverse!!
If there is a common basis of well-being for all our dogs, it may be an equation between the interactions that cause good emotions, physical exercise and entertainment.
This could include things like cognitive stimulation and allowing your dog to exercise his natural talents.
In any case, you generally try to balance all this a little, to see your dog feeling good about himself!
But everyday life, its share of obligations, imperatives or the compromises it forces you to make, can make you forget your priorities, including your dog.
You do not lack initiatives to occupy your dog. You start to lack regularity.
If this has ever happened to you, here are three ways to avoid spending too many days before realizing that your dog hasn’t done much except snore, empty bowls and run around the block!
1-I play with my dog on a more regular basis
Over the past few years I seem to have heard and read just as much, if not more often than not, that I don’t know what to do to occupy my dog, things like I don’t play with my dog as much as I used to and we used to more things together before.
Perhaps before the dog becomes an adult. Or before some sort of routine sets in.
Idea n°163 from the book 365 ideas to make my dog happy could help you if you think you have a regularity problem.
One of the main difficulties for many people are those things that you only do occasionally for your dog, when you would like to do them daily, especially to play with him.
The daily appointment that many people never miss is the walk and, for the most part, more than once a day.
For the other activities, it is not rare that it is not so ritualized.
Today’s leading experts in human behavior tend to say that to create a new (lasting) habit, you need a trigger.
It is an already existing habit. It is a behavior that triggers another behavior.
Coming back from walks with your dog, or one of the walks, is one of the best triggers for ritualizing an activity that you would like to do with him every day, not once in a while.
Your “taking care of your dog” behavior – that can be anything you want, as long as it’s pleasing to him! -, no longer depends on the time you have, your motivation or your energy. It’s part of the routine, a pretty cool routine, in this case!
Something specific that you never fail to do when you return from a walk is one possibility among others. By finding the right trigger, you make having fun with your dog as systematic as “taking him out”.
2-I spend more time with my dog
We all want it, but work, obligations or even fatigues do not always allow us to achieve our intentions.
If you have a time management problem, to take care of your dog as much as you dream of doing, idea n°336 of the book 365 ideas to make my dog happy could be a game-changer.
When you lack time to occupy your dog (or energy at the end of the day), a possible solution is to get up earlier in the morning.
In the book 365 ideas to make my dog happy , occupations are suggested for periods shorter than an hour.
It’s a big change. Gradually get your body used to falling asleep earlier and waking up earlier.
In one hour, there is a lot to do with a dog: going out and walking or running, sniffing everywhere, playing, rehearsing to learn a new word, eating while looking for food… Check here for more details about pet water bottles at Family Pooch
You will find, in the book “365 ideas to make my dog happy”, some other ideas to start the day with something other than pee, kibble, goodbye and see you tonight… whether you are in the morning or not!
3-I don’t let too many days go by without giving my dog something to do
Keeping track of what we do is an effective way of not letting everyday life distract us from what really matters.
I buy a schedule and I give an evaluation every day
Buy a large annual planner and hang it on a wall where you can see it.
Every evening, at the same time, write a note out of 10 to evaluate the level of fun of your dog, this day; 10 being the best possible score. Above all, decide what allows you to give yourself the average!
When it looks like your dog had a good day, give yourself a good note on the schedule.
When this is not the case, the note is bad. If you ever have too many bad grades one after the other, try to get better grades quickly!
This is idea n°301 of the book 365 ideas to make my dog happy .
There are about twenty of the same type, for all kinds of dogs and also all kinds of people!
Teaching Your Dog to Put His Toys Away
Teaching your dog to put his toys away is a trick that requires several minutes of repetitions a day for days.
It takes a lot of patience…
I had taught this trick to Lila, a few years ago. In the video below, you might have the impression that it is learned very quickly, while it takes a long time to repeat.
For my part, I say “so much the better”: by learning tricks, my goal is not so much to make my dog do spectacular things, but to keep us busy!
I hadn’t mastered my timing very well when I learned the trick to put away his toys and I was less precise.
As I did it again, I noticed what I had done wrong the first time. After the video you will find some tips that may help you.
Tips for better success in teaching your dog to put his toys away:
- Don’t see the tour as an end in itself, but as a way to spend time with your dog
- Stop as soon as your dog seems to have had enough
- Stop as soon as you feel you’ve had enough
- Choose the times of the day when you are going to do your rehearsals carefully, for your dog (for example, not between a 3 hour nap and time for the walk!) but also for you (it requires a lot of concentration!!)
- It is better to train for a short time but every day, rather than for a long time irregularly
- Pay attention to the toys you use to teach your dog to put away his toys: some toys are too enticing for dogs to play with, other toys are difficult to grab from the mouth or difficult to place correctly in the toy box, etc.
- This trick is typically the kind of trick for which “material” problems can arise (problem choosing a toy, basket too small, badly placed, etc.); so, if you “stuck” along the way, always remember to think about the “material”!
Warning: putting objects in a container is distressingly commonplace for us humans, but never forget that it is not at all obvious for a dog!
Finally, we all have our “hurdles” that may arise along the way, according to our dogs . For me, the difficulty was, in particular, the fact that my dog took back a toy put in the basket to play with. I found it useful to play, before starting to repeat to learn how to put away his toys (+ I temporarily added a word between two “range”). If you block because of an unexpected problem, have the reflex to tell yourself that it comes from you.
Give yourself the freedom to think it’s yours without judging yourself and you’ll avoid thinking it’s your dog’s.🙂