your dogs mind - I
|Description of problem:
|My dog is extremely energetic,
no matter how long our walks are, he doesn't
|Reason for the behaviour:
|Dogs are highly intelligent
beings and they need mental stimulation to
Here are a few activity exercises that are
good for them without being stressful.
A wolf that wonders across the terrain, will
sooner or later encounter a problem. The wolf
will not have a nice, loving owner that will
help it out, it has to manage on its own.
The most common problem is to decide how to
outmanoeuvre its prey. Another problem can
be to negotiate the terrain. The wolf might
want to cross a wild stream to get to a prey
that he can feel the cent of on the other
side. That would become a problem of getting
around the object, in order to get to the
The conclusion would be that our dogs can
never get enough of problem solving exercises.
It is natural for them and it will make
them grow into more self-confident dogs.
As dog owners we have to learn not to rush
to our dogs side and help them before they
even get around to trying to solve their
problems. If you have the time, try to let
your dog solve the problem it self, like
getting untangled from its lead or finding
the hole in the fence where they got through
to the other side. Or maybe get to that
toy that fell between the stairs. In addition,
we can give our dogs some extra, home made,
treats under a cloth
a clean old towel or cloth that you don¹t
need anymore and put it on the floor with
a treat underneath it at the very edge of
the towel. This is to ensure that the dog
will find the treat and that he/she won¹t
give up and loose his self-confidence. Continue
this training by putting the treat further
and further in under the towel. When your
dog can handle this, it is time to make the
task a bit more tricky. Put the towel flat
on the floor, put a treat at one of the corners,
on top off it. Start rolling the towel up,
diagonally, placing treats strategically along
the rim of the roll. Stop when you have reached
halfway and the towel is at its longest.
Present the dog to the towel from the tip
of the triangle that is left. Now let your
dog sniff up the treats and roll the towel
up. Some dogs don¹t understand the
exercise and need your verbal support, so
try to encourage him/her to continue sniffing.
When your dog understands this exercise,
you can roll the towel all the way to the
other tip, leaving you with a towel full
of treats (don¹t overdo it, even if
you have a big towel, don¹t put more
than about 15 treats in peanut size, in
the towel). Let the dog figure out how to
unroll the entire towel to get to the treats.
When your dog knows this exercise, you
can roll the entire towel up with treats
in it, and try to make a knot out of the
rolled towel. It shouldn¹t be a very
tight knot to begin with, we still want
the dog to manage the task.
When your dog can handle the knotted towel,
even when you have started tying the knot
really tight, it is time for you to get inventive.
Put the knotted towel with the treats in it
in a box or a bucket or hide it somewhere
in the house. Maybe you could put it underneath
another towel or put it up in a tree in the
garden, just high enough for your dog to reach.
At this stage of the training it is up to
you where you want to take the exercise!
The dog is a direct descendant to the wolf
and wolfs travel great distances when they
are out trekking. Up hills and down hills,
over rocks, under branches and over streams.
Just like the wolf, the dog has an amazing
sense of balance.
Exercising your dogs balance is really
important and it is both a mental and physical
|One word of warning before
you start - be careful with this kind
of exercise if your dog is still a puppy,
under a year old, or if your dog has got any
physical problems like hip dysplasia.
is what you can do
When you are out in the forest or a in a
park with your dog, try to find a fallen
tree, a slanting rock or a low park bench.
Try to get your dog to climb up and balance
on the object. But do it without any force,
just coax your dog. I would use a treat
or a favourite toy. If your dog seems reluctant,
make sure you take it very slowly and praise
your dog for putting one paw on the object.
Keep training with getting that one paw
up on the tree or rock. You will notice
after a couple of training sessions that
your dog will carefully try to put a second
paw up. If he/she does give him/her
masses of praise.
Continue exercising until your dog is up
on the tree or rock with all four legs.
This may take a couple of weeks training,
if your dog is reluctant, but keep trying,
coaxing your dog to get up on the object.
Never, never help the dog up physically
that will not only destroy the exercise,
it will also turn into a fragile situation
that can make your dog insecure.
Also be careful so you don¹t choose
a tree that is wet and slippery or a rock
that is too high. Safety should always come
first. This should be a fun exercise for
your dog, not a tedious task, so make it
|Good luck with your training!
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