It has been raining for days and you start thinking about what you could do with your dog in the time of the monsoon. In the meantime, your beloved pet keeps slamming his heaviest solid rubber ball against the floor, trying his best to ensure that your headache will never disappear. In such a case, it is worth coming up with a few tricks, so that your furry friend can sleep through other gloomy days when there is nothing to do.
It is an important point here to tire him out mentally, for it would be quite difficult to do so physically in the pouring rain. Unless you are keen on taking a walk in wellington boots and a mackintosh. To tell you the truth, I am not against it at all.
The main question in a mental tiring process is how much time you can spend with the dog at home. If mental drills are usually not in the focus, you can quickly achieve the desired level of tiredness with the help of short, easily understandable exercises. One of them is a very simple and concise trick: sending the dog under the table. Here, the point is not the table but rather to choose a place that the dog doesn’t use for sleeping or passing and thus is not well-known for him. At our place it is the table. This is the task: try luring the dog to the desired place with the help of dog treats, then, if your attempt was successful, add a short command, in this case ‘table’. Repeat the entire process several times, trying to increase the distance and make him perform the task by himself when he hears the command, preferably precisely and calmly. If this process takes more than 10 minutes, the dog is likely to stay relaxed for half a day. Then, you can find other simple forms of mental training.
On the one hand, owners understand their trained dogs better and thus are aware of exercises that cause greater challenges for dogs. On the other hand, they know what they would like to teach the dog next. In our family, distinguishing between objects and fetching the one that I tell him to fetch, are such tasks. For this, the dog must be able to perform the ‘fetch’ command confidently and place the object in your hands or keep it in his mouth. It needs a lot of work to achieve this with most dogs, so it is worth trying because the dog will surely have a good sleep. But let’s go back to more complex tasks.
First, make the dog get to know the objects one by one, for example, play with only a glove in the beginning. While the dog is sitting, put the object somewhere at the other end of the room, then return and say the ‘fetch’ command but add ‘the glove’. He will remember this after a few repetitions. Then, you can switch, for example, to a purse. The process is the same: repeat for a while and then place the two objects next to each other. He will be uncertain in the beginning, thinking a lot – and this is the point. By the time he is able to accomplish the task, he will be tired out mentally, what is more, if the objects are far enough, then also physically (at least to a small extent). What is best in the whole process is that it can be done endlessly, for there is a wide range of objects to be found.
You can invent any exercise which can be accomplished within reasonable limits and does not endanger the dog’s health. Such exercises include finding toys, backing, pushing door handles, etc.. The dog is happy about everything and he is glad that you spend time with him, while regular exercising keeps him mentally fresh and thus will understand everything you expect him to do within a much shorter time.
So it is worth starting, the results will speak for themselves!