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The Whippeteer: Whippet Dog News, Issue #0038 - Dog Games
November 09, 2012
Welcome to the new edition of our newsletter!
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An here is this month's featured article
Now don't get me wrong, our dogs need their exercise, just as we do, but sometimes when the weather is too bad, or maybe your dog is unfit for outside exercise for a short period, playing games is the Perfect Answer.
It provides your dog with mental stimulation, the opportunity to use his brain and problem solve, brilliant for relieving boredom and providing entertainment.
He will feel calmer, more relaxed and happy to settle for a nap afterwards, meaning you don't have a frenzied, hyperactive canine either hounding you or wrecking the house!
Play With Your Dog - Some Fun Winter Games to Keep Your Dog Happy When it's Nasty Outside
Well, it's that time again, it's wet, it's muddy, it's cold
Fear not, this month's article is full of ideas for games and things you can do with your dogs, without spending too much time outside!
Now don't get me wrong, our dogs need their exercise, just as we do, but for those days, when you've already been out once and got soaked, the wind is howling, the rain is pouring and you just can't face another trek into the weather (you know the days I mean!) or maybe you have a sick or injured dog that is unable to take exercise for a short period. A good dose of one-one bonding with a large measure of mental stimulation can provide our dogs with some excellent 'brain exercise' which can quite often prove more tiring than the physical stuff.
Hide & Seek
The simplest things are often the best, one of my (and my dogs fave's) a good ole fashioned game of hide & seek. You can get the human members of the household to hide whilst you keep the dog in one room, then release him off to find them, they can call him to give him a clue, especially if he's never played this before, once he gets the hang of the game, try not calling him to make it harder. This is a fantastic game to play with the kids, everyone loves it and ends up falling around in giggles!! Remember, when the dog discovers you... have a big praise party, so he finds it fabulous fun to find the 'prize' you could reward him with a yummy treat or favourite game.
Alternatively you could hide your dogs favourite toy, then let him out and encourage him to find it, again if he's never played the game he might need a bit of help to start with but he will quickly get the idea. As soon as he finds the toy, heap on the praise, and have a game with the toy he has found. If you have multiple dogs in the house, (like mine) this game then becomes a race too, who can find it first!! (I always make sure everyone wins an equal number of times, don't want any tantrums!!)
The big fave with most dogs, but not all dogs naturally want to fetch and need to be taught and encouraged to do so. Remember to try lots of different toys for this game if your dog is not a natural retriever, some dogs prefer particular toys over others, for instance, when we play this indoors, my dog would much prefer to fetch a teddy than a ball. If your dog has never played this game, or seems reluctant to pick things up, most dogs will prefer something soft to start with. Clicker training can be highly effective for training a dog to hold things and fetch them.
If your dog is severely restricted in his movement (due to injury/illness) then this is maybe not such a great game until he is a bit more mobile, a good one for that in between convalescing period perhaps.
Name that Toy
This is a fun game to play, and also a cool trick to show friends and family. Start by choosing just one of your dog's favourite toys, and as you show it to him, give it a name, teddy, kong, ball etc. Toss the toy a short distance away and ask him to 'fetch teddy'. If he runs to grab it praise him and treat him, even if he doesn't bring it back to start with. Repeat this many times until you are sure he understands, then toss teddy into a pile of other toys and practise it this way, he has to choose teddy over all the others. Once he can do this reliable, start teaching the names of other toys in the same way. This game can lead in nicely to...
Tidy up your toys
Teach your dog to fetch his toys and put them in a box or basket to tidy them up. Again this is a great game for him to play, very stimulating, great fun and also useful!! Your dog will love being told how clever he is! Once you have taught your dog to tidy up his toys, you can then transfer this learning to other things that could be useful, tidy up the rubbish, tidy up the clothes etc.
Once your dog is reliably returning to you with his named toy, have a basket or box in your hand as he brings it back and hold it out for him to drop the toy into, click and treat him for getting it right and he will quickly realise what you are asking him to do. Practise practise until he is reliably bringing named toys and dropping in the box to get his reward!
If you would like further info on how to play or teach your dog any of the above games or any other games, please visit http://www.tru-nature.co.uk
Find out how you can live in complete understanding with your dog, communicate with him effectively and have him choose to behave the way you would like. Catch up with my articles here and at http://www.tru-nature.co.uk or visit my ebay shop http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Tru-Natures-Dog-Shop for more educational material on how to live an extraordinary life with your beloved dogs.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michelle_Masters
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