Exercise in our dogs is essential for their health, both mental and physical. An all day dog on the couch can develop inappropriate behaviors and it is almost impossible to be a balanced animal. Given the confinement, which will be at least until April 11, it is important that we develop activities of smell with pets. Professionals remember that an activity of smell of about 15 minutes is equivalent to about 40 minutes of walking. Thus the dogs will not be stressed and will be in good health.
During the state of alarm the recommendations and the norm is that the dogs go out to the street as little as possible. And although there are catastrophic versions of professionals in the animal world who are already saying that dogs are giving problems because they are confined, the reality is very different. With a few simple exercises a day taking advantage of their food, pets can overcome this confinement normally.. Here we are going to indicate some simple games so that your dog is not stressed.
According to an article by Juan Antonio Moraña Borrageiros, veterinarian, dog trainer and director of CEDIVE, published in the reference dog magazine Barking, “We can use the dog’s sense of smell to their benefit because exercises of this type require a lot of concentration and generates more effort than physical activity ”
Also the dog educator, Monica Corchado of the DogCoaching Institute, agrees on the importance of mind games for dogs: “It is much more important and necessary to stimulate the mind, to work on smell … to make it think and not only move its body.”
If you have come this far reading, you are interested in mind games for your dog. We are going to indicate some that you can certainly prepare with the four things you have in your house.
When the coronavirus crisis started, many families went to supermarkets to buy huge amounts of toilet paper that they now have piled up in the corners of their house. Those rolls are going to save the dog from stress and help him to cope with confinement. How, the toilet paper? Yes, of course. Only the rollers in the center cardboard are needed. Take a few and put them standing in a box that you cut out first. It is as simple as putting a little of your favorite feed, or your sweets or pieces of sausage inside each roller. It is not necessary to put food in all the toilet paper cartons so that the dog has to look for them.
When the time comes for your daily intake, you just have to leave the box on the floor and wait for your sense of smell to lead you to rummage through the rolls. It will be a fun time, and it will even be much more exhausted than if you go out for half an hour on the street.
Another toy that they love because they have to use their sense of smell is made with empty water bottles. With old woods or a cut cardboard box, a piece of curtain rod or broomstick is placed side by side. The bottles have a hole made in the middle on both sides and they are put in the stick. Then the bar is hooked or tied to the wood and a little of your feed or your favorite treats is put in the bottles. The dogs in when they smell it they will go crazy to move the bottles until they get to turn some of them and their sweets fall.
Dogs will have a great time, they will develop their sense of smell and they will end up more relaxed than if you take them out on the street a hundred times, something, in addition to being prohibited, counterproductive for both the dog and the owner.
Other exercises “to think” even simpler, indicate from the prestigious dog training school “The Guardians” are the following:
- Looking for the treasure. A good way to start is to leave food on the floor at home in front of him and go find it. First, it is important that you see how the food is leaving, at the same time that we are walking and the food is letting go. Little by little we are separating, and we can even get to lose sight of it so that we can follow the trail. In a second moment the prizes or pieces of food can be placed on high in places furthest from the ground.
- Go for an old sock. Another game that makes dogs develop their ingenuity is having to get food out of a closed sock with a knot. In time you will learn to open it.
- The cracked ball. In a rubber ball, a not too big slit is made and pieces of the food are put inside, which is your best prize. The ball is thrown and he is allowed to manipulate it until he manages to get the food out and gobble it up.
- In which hand is the food? Food is hidden in one of the hands, the fists are closed and it is left to smell in which hand the prize is. You have to teach him to point to the hand that has food with his paw.
- Dish upside down. An easy way to “work” to get your prize is to put it on a surface under an upside-down plate. You have to be patient and wait for it to come out.
- The trilero. Exercise 4 can be “complicated” by playing the famous trilero. Three non-transparent glasses are placed upside down and only food is placed in one of them. They move and wait for the dog to point in some way to where the food is or to tip the glass over and eat it.
- Roll of prizes. In this mental exercise, some food is inserted into a cardboard roll, which can be one of kitchen paper, and closed at the ends. Small holes are made and food is introduced so that as it moves, the prizes will fall
- Basic obedience games. Traditional games through food to teach the dog to give you the paw, make the croquette, sit down, jump, lie down, bring the leash, etc. They are very beneficial mental activities both to develop their cognitive abilities and to establish a good education in canine obedience.
- Messi or Ronaldo? Playing with the ball is one of the most attractive activities for most dogs. In order for him to develop his mind, it is good to teach him to return the ball in the exact place that we indicate, changing places from one time to another. But, without a doubt, the star of this exercise is playing football with him, haggling face to face and trying to score goals. You will enjoy trying to figure out which way the ball will be sent to you.