by Rebecca R.
Fall is fast approaching, but warm weather is poised to stick around a while longer, making dog heat safety a continued priority. It’s important to avoid exercising your dog during the hottest times of the day, between noon and 3:30 pm. But how do you keep your dog stimulated while waiting out the heat? Fortunately, there are many easy ways to engage your dog’s brain and provide an outlet for pent-up energy.
Brush Up On Dog Obedience Skills
Even if your dog has a good handle on obedience skills, practicing commands is a great mental exercise. Take time to run through fundamental commands like sit, down, sit-stay, down-stay, and recall. Be sure to keep it fun by including rewards like praise and treats. The advantages are two-fold: Your dog gets all-important mental stimulation, and the practice reinforces the skill set your dog already has.
Put your dog’s smarts to the test with the challenge of a pet puzzle. These interactive toys come in a variety of styles that often use food to engage dogs. Motivated by the presence of a treat, dogs will use trial and error to solve the puzzle and claim a tasty reward. For dogs that aren’t particularly food motivated, puzzles with hidden squeaky toys are another option. Puzzles can be purchased or made at home. Some DIY puzzle ideas include using balls to cover treats placed in a muffin tin, or hiding smelly treats in containers around the house. Remember, whether retail or DIY, puzzles don’t have to be high-tech or fancy to be effective. For safety, always supervise dogs when they play with any toy. Once interactive playtime is done, be sure to store puzzles out of your dog’s reach to avoid injuries from unsupervised play, as the ingestion of puzzle components.
Teach Dog Tricks
Add to your dog’s repertoire by teaching them a new trick. Tricks like “shake,” “high five,” and “rollover” are good for beginners. Not sure how to teach a trick? Let the Internet be your resource. Organizations like the AKC have videos and instructional guides that walk owners through the necessary steps for teaching a trick. Remember to stay patient and positive as your dog works to achieve the desired behavior; every dog learns at its own pace. And be sure to provide rewards to reinforce the correct actions positively.
Need Help With Dog Training?
Performance K9 Training is a boutique facility in San Diego North County, offering comprehensive board and train programs that help pet parents achieve the perfect pet relationship. We specialize in aggression cases and top-shelf obedience skills under distraction.
Are you interested in learning more about Performance K9 Training? Contact us now to learn more about how we can help your pet family.