Cabin Fever!

When the weather is terrible,  your dogs still need some kind of stimulation.  Curling up on the couch with a cup of cocoa is not going to do much for your dog.  So as promised I have put together a few suggestions for entertaining your dogs on snow days.

Play hide and seek

This is fun for families,  Have one person keep the dog busy, have the other person go hide.  Then have the other person call out for the dog,  when the dog arrives give a treat.  Make this really easy at first, so the dog gets the idea, then make the hiding spot a bit harder to find.

Play find it

Your dog should pick this up very quickly.  Start out by placing a treat near your foot and say “find it”.    If your dog doesn’t find it right away, help out by pointing to the treat,  Repeat this several times until your dog immediately starts searching when you say “find it”.  Now you are ready for the fun part.  Put your dog in another room,  hide small treats around the room, then go get your dog and say “find it”,  you can help by pointing  and some dogs will respond to your voice if you give positive feedback as they get closer to the hiding spot.  You can be really creative with this by using empty boxes and leaving some of them empty so they have to figure out witch box has the treat.

Teach your dog a trick

Try teaching your dog to touch your hand on command.  Most dogs learn this one quickly too and you can teach this while sitting on the couch and it’s really fun.

Step 1:  Hold your open palm less than 1 inch  in front of your dogs nose,  say nothing,  when your dog touches your hand with his nose say “YES!” and give a small treat,   Repeat This until the dog consistently touches your hand  when you hold it in front of his nose. Then say the word you plan to use, such as “touch” or , “Say Hi” and repeat the sequence.

Step 2:  Hold your palm in front of your dog,  say “touch”,    when your dog touches your hand  say “YES” and give a treat.

Step 3:  Once your dog has this down,  add variety.  Hold your hand high, then low and make your dog jump to get to it.  Have fun with this

Don’t forget the kongs

If you really want to spend the day on the couch with a good movie and a cup of cocoa, you can help your dog entertain himself.  Give your dog a kong stuffed with something special.  This takes a little pre-plannning,  but stuff your kong with things like peanut butter plus crushed treats, cooked sweet potato, yogurt mixed with kibble, or cheese and lean meat. Freeze it overnight, then give it to your dog to enjoy.

Whatever you decide to do, be safe, we have another crazy storm headed our way!

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