Help! My dog is busy, busy, busy

Many breeds of dog with bags of energy (particularly with a combination of their ‘teenager’ hormones asserting themselves in their almost adult body :o) can give us plenty of challenges, together with golden opportunities to channel their intelligence into ‘games’ where they can make good use of their minds and which, as a result will tire them, and which they will also enjoy. Anything really that makes a dog ‘think’ rather than ‘do’.

So we might channel this intelligence into asking a dog to bring us a named toy from his toys - we name the toy first, clearly, slowly, then put it down, ask for it, point to it, and when a dog gets it right this can be repeated the next day, as a slow, thinking game - not a whizz to the toy box and back… :wink:

We could teach a dog more tricks, expanding on giving a paw to giving “high fives”. We might follow this up with " left paw", “right paw” later on.

When out walking we can ask a dog to “walk on” or “turn right” or “find the shop” … after we have taught these commands of course! It is rewarding to see how dogs enjoy being asked to work their minds.

We can sit a dog in front of us and hold him ‘steady’ for a few seconds until we release him to lay down, then hold ‘steady’ again, then roll over, each command taking time and ensuring avoidance of any quick, sudden movements. This is our one-to-one quality time with a dog, with each ‘instruction’ being completed by a dog at as slow a pace as possible, allowing for the age and health of a dog. This slow pace is to help a dog to realise he can get great attention from us (praise) by behaving calmly around us.

If a dog starts to become ‘too busy’ when we want to settle down, then unless we are extremely adept at remaining patient, (which can be nigh impossible at times!) it might be useful to have a slow feeder at hand with extra treats or kibble scattered on top.

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