Hi everyone! This week I wanted to give you some more ideas as to what to do with your dogs whilst staying at home. There are never enough ideas! So I’ve been doing some research to try and think of some “out of the box” activities that I thought sounded really fun. If they work that is!
There are so many agility classes around the country and for those who are unsure as to what that is, I’ll explain a little bit. Agility is basically like an assault course. You and your dog run around the course going through, under and over obstacles as you go. Working breeds like Collies are exceptionally good at agility. You can buy your own obstacles via the internet but you can also make your own. Be creative! You can make hurdles, tunnels or even a see-saw out of planks of wood and old barrels if you have that sort of thing at home. Check the garage or the shed, there’s always exciting things to find in there!
Once you’ve set up your very own agility course, use luring with toys or treats to help your dog work out how to go through each obstacle. This is great if you have children to give both them and your dog a goal to achieve during lock down. If Jessie can help Rover get through the obstacle course then both of you can have a little treat! Or give a time limit. If the pair of them can complete the agility course in five minutes or under then they can have a treat. Make it fun and achievable! It’s good practice for if you’d like to join an agility class after all this is over.
Yoga – For Dogs!
You read that right, why not try a bit of yoga with your dog. The craze is calling itself Doga! Again, there are classes you can go to for Doggy Yoga but for now we need to keep this at home. You can find thousands and thousands of yoga routine videos on YouTube so why not give it a go. Just do your yoga routine while your dog is with you. There are some moves that require both you and your dog to do together and it is supposed to relax and chill out your dog. The joy!
You could even do some massages and facials with your dog. Believe it or not, but dogs can also feel tension in their muscles. I give Maggie facials all the time, minus the cream and oils! She loves it and it really relaxes her. Not that she needs much help in that department! It helps her breathing a little too so if you have a French Bulldog or a Pug yourself, give it a go!
The Good Old Tennis Ball
I know a lot of dogs who’s favourite thing in the whole world is the humble tennis ball. Can you relate? Why not mix it up a bit. Try different sized balls like footballs or even a beach ball if you have one. This will intrigue your dog as we already know they love balls and also encourage them to use different parts of their body to play with it. They could dribble it with their legs or push it around with their nose.
If you are constantly throwing a ball backwards and forwards for your dog on their walks this could lead to lasting health effects. Things like muscle pain or repetitive strain injury. If you can mix it up and slow it down it will engage your dog all over again as it is something new and keep them entertained for a little longer! Try soaking tennis balls in different essential oils – making sure the ingredients are safe to do so. I’ve mentioned lots of times that getting your dogs to use their sniffer is a powerful thing, so give them new scents to explore by incorporating something that you know will already engage them.
I hope those ideas will help you go into another week of lock down with your dog. As always let me know how you get on, I’d love to see how it goes.
Until next time, keep those tails wagging!