We recently caught up with the founders of The Canine Story, Alex and Harry to talk about all things pooch. Not only was it great to learn all about their exciting new business in our previous story, co-founder Alex (who is also trained in dog behaviour and training techniques) gave us some top tips to try at home with our much loved canine companions.
So here's a few tips and tricks to try at home with your dogs...
8 Things To Try At Home With Your Dog
Alex Says - 'Incorporating enrichment to your dog’s daily life is a really simple and easy way to keep them entertained and happy. Additionally, enrichment can reduce boredom, lower energy levels and build confidence. It’s easier than you think, here are a few ideas to try'
1. Reduce energy levels at the start of the day by pouring your dog’s breakfast into a puzzle bowl or a snuffle mat (you can find these in most pet shops). This encourages them to use their thinking skills and their noses! It also means they will eat slower.
2. Teach your dog some party tricks and practice them randomly throughout the day, things like roll over, high five, spin etc. While these might seem unnecessary tricks for daily life, learning tricks helps build confidence and improves their ability to learn in the future.
3. Make some time in the day to play games like ‘hide and seek’ around the house, this is an entertaining game for the whole family. It’s also a fun way to practice recall and encourage your dog to use their senses to find you.
4. You can buy toys that hold food for a long-lasting treat! Try a Kong or a Lickimat with soft food such as cheese or peanut butter - you can also freeze to make the treat last even longer.
5. Make your own special digging area for your dog by using a children’s sandpit container. Fill with pet-safe dirt or sand and hide toys, treats or chews for your dog to find. Encourage and praise your dog when they dig in their sandpit. Not only is this a great way for dogs to release energy and have fun, but by allowing your dog to only dig in this area, your flower beds will be safe!
6. Save all your parcel boxes, cereal boxes, packaging and toilet roll tubes and have a go at making some DIY enrichment activities (make sure to remove any staples or packaging tape). Try filling a medium sized box with paper packaging and scatter some treats inside, using their incredible noses your dog’s task is to find all the treats!
7. Scent work is a brilliant activity for breeds that love hunting and sniffing. You can start with an easy game using a muffin tin and tennis balls. Start by hiding treats in a few of the muffin holes and cover with a tennis ball. Next cover all empty muffin holes with tennis balls and give to your dog. They will have to sniff out where the treats are and move the tennis balls to get them! Change up where you put the treats each time you prepare this activity.
8. All dogs need plenty of exercise, but if you don’t have time for a long walk take them on a short walk but encourage them to sniff everything! Sniffing can tire dogs out just as much as a really long walk.