We are living in unprecedented times, for those of us fortunate enough to share our lives with a dog this means more time with them but perhaps under tighter controls. So here are some things you can do with your dog without setting foot over your threshold!
1. Teach your dog to use their nose – we know that our dogs’ primary sense is smell. Their nose is amazing, but a lot of the time is overlooked because we just have no idea what the world is like for them. If you haven’t done any scent work with your dog before it’s so easy to make a start. Either get someone to hold onto your dog or pop them behind a door and lay some treats out which are really easy for your dog to find. When you bring your dog out tell them to ‘find it’ and off they will go to find those treats. Gradually make the hiding places more difficult. You can also get them to find toys in the same way,
2. Teach them some new tricks – a dog is never too old to learn so brush up on some old skills or teach them something completely new. Either work on your obedience or tricks, it’s all the same to your dog. They will just enjoy the bonding experience with you and of course lots of treats.
3. Make a homemade agility course – this needs to be suitable for your dogs ability! But you can use bamboo canes, plant pots, planks of wood, hula-hoops. You can be as imaginative as you like. You can make jumps, weaves and teeter walks.
4. Interactive feeding – use your recycling to make interesting toys for your dog to work for their dinner. Cardboard boxes they can rip apart, plastic bottles with holes in that which they can push about for their food to fall out of. Muffin tins with their food put into the holes covered over with tennis balls.
5. Snuggles on the sofa – spending time bonding with your dog is a huge part of this, it will make them feel secure and countless studies have shown how it reduces our anxiety.
In these troubling times please look after yourselves, keep yourselves and your loved ones safe.
Hopefully, your dog will help in these times but there are organisations out there who will help you with your dog if you are struggling.
About Kimberley ...
Kimberley Grundy is a canine behaviourist and trainer, based in Yorkshire. She has practised for more than ten years and has two masters degrees – one in animal behaviour and welfare,
the other in psychology.