How to Entertain your Dog at Home?
Written by Angélica González (Director of Waggo – Psychologist and Pedagogue – Magister in Education – Doctoral student in Ethology) and her team at www.waggo.co
We bring some exercises where you can exercise with your furry while having fun together at home. The objective is to activate the dog's muscles and exercise them, developing motor skills of proprioception and coordination. These exercises are recommended to burn more energy at home.
The sessions should be a maximum of 15 minutes, and it is necessary to start and finish the activities in a calm emotional state.
Expert tips: The sessions should have three moments: warm-up, activity, and relaxation. Remember that we want your furry to feel comfortable and have fun with the game, so if you see that he does not like it or it is difficult for him, you should modulate it so that he enjoys it. Initially, your furry friend may not understand what is happening or what you expect of him, so give him time and project love and joy with your words.
1. "You carry it."
This is a game that most of us knew in our childhood and that we can play with our dogs. Initially, you chase your dog; when you reach him, you have to touch him and run to the other side so that he will chase you. Then, you reward him when he catches up with you by saying, "very good." So the tables are turned now, and you're after him.
2. "The stalking" or "cat-style hunting."
This game consists of going towards your dog, walking very slowly as if you were a feline on the prowl, looking at him with the intention of "hahaha, I'm going to catch you when you don't expect it" (you have to give emotion to the games to dogs if not, they are boring). And suddenly, you have to launch a deadly attack on your dog by surprise. That is, run towards him in an explosion plan and simulate a super attack (make some noises playfully and pretend to bite him or grab him a little).
3. "The laser pointer."
Move a laser pointer down the hallway of your house or on the floor of a room; its light will draw your dog's attention, making him run, turn, move, and alert his senses. It seems like an exercise that will go well to play with a cat, but the reality is that many furry ones also find it interesting to follow the movements of something they want to catch.
4. "The Dam."
A game to catch and release with ease. You can do this activity with a ball or toy (which will become the prey for your furry); you just have to make sure you have two objects that are the same in shape, size, and color as what you have chosen, so your furry will see them the same value and will not take extra interest on any.
When starting, you must show one of the prey and encourage your furry to take it; this can be done with quick movements in front of him, passing it from one hand to another or involving someone else. Then, when it has taken an interest in the prey, the action will begin; you can launch it and ask it to bring it and release it.
Some furry ones do not know how to let go or prefer to run away with the toy they have obtained; that is when the twin prey appears, with which we will again capture our dog's interest in the same way that we did initially. A second prey with the same characteristics will encourage our furry to want to return to obtain it, soon realizing that it will be an exchange with the prey that he had previously won. From there the game will become very fun!
In the exchange exercise, if you have a biter or easy prey to catch at both ends, you can also play war with it to make it more fun. When your furry arrives to exchange the prey, you will allow him to catch it between his teeth, keeping it trapped with your hands at one end. Then, you will begin to shake it and gently pull it, simulating that you are going to remove it, this will be like giving life to the object, and it will make getting it more exciting. After a couple of times, your furry will realize that the prey "is alive" when you have it and "is dead" when you don't, being much more motivated to deliver the reward and incredibly increasing the bond with you.
5. Pick and Hide.
Hiding for him to look for you or chasing each other around the house can also be a very fun game. If you choose to hide the first few times, you should make it very easy for your furry, looking for a place where it is easy for him to find you. Being in the chosen place, you will have to make some calls trying to make your voice sound tempting, for which we recommend lengthening the words (Nooaaaahh come heeeere) and using a high-pitched tone. To be more effective, you should take something delicious or fun with you to give him a prize when he finds you.
We hope you put these games into practice so that your pet will relax more at home and burn more energy during these days of confinement.