Not all dogs get out and enjoy winter weather like this guy! So, we thought it might be good to post the following article about cabin fever:
Going inside – and staying there – provides physical protection from the elements, but also opens the door to a mental hazard: boredom. A bored dog can wreak considerable havoc on his household in the form of excessive barking, hyperactivity, and destructiveness. Worse still, if the dog’s efforts to relieve his boredom prompt him to partake of poisonous plants or other toxic substances, he’ll need immediate veterinary attention, and you are likely to face a significant bill.
To prevent such occurrences, be sure to dog-proof your home; in other words, put any toxic, hazardous, or other forbidden items beyond your dog’s reach. Then, find ways to provide your dog with plenty of indoor physical and mental exercise. Here are some activities that you and your dog can do together indoors to help the two of you stay sane:
A rousing game of fetch – particularly if it requires your dog to go up and down some stairs a few times – can give him a good physical work out.
As long as you are not having aggression problems with your dog, a good tug session can siphon off considerable excess canine energy. Rules of the game: The person needs to start the game, the person needs to end the game, and most of the time the person needs to win the game.
- Hide the toy:
To give your dog a mental workout, try hiding a toy or treat and then directing him to find it. Hold the item for him to see, then place him in another room so he can’t see where you hide the object. Once you’ve hidden the toy, allow him to come out and look for it. When teaching this game, put the toy or treat in plain sight, gradually increase the difficulty until your dog understands how to look for it.
Source: The Family Dog
Here is a fun and useful “training” game you can play with your puppy. This game will reinforce (and teach) the following commands:
Sit * Stay * Sniff it * Find it * Come * No
You will need a willing puppy, a leash and collar, and a handful of yummy puppy biscuits, or other treats.
Begin by placing your puppy in a Sit / Stay. As soon as your puppy is settled, hold a biscuit in front of your puppy’s nose, saying Sniff It. Your puppy may grab for the treat, so hold it tight. If your puppy lunges for the treat, say NO, reinforce the Sit / Stay command, then repeat Sniff It. You might be able to see your puppy’s nose wiggle as he sniffs.
Place the treat on the floor where your puppy can see it. Insist that your puppy stay properly seated for a count of 10. Then, with an excited tone of voice, release your puppy from the Sit / Stay saying: OK! Find it! As soon as your puppy finds it, call your puppy to Come, praise your puppy, and then do it all over again.
A favorite toy can be substituted for a treat, but only if your puppy is highly motivated to find, get, and play with the toy.
During the teaching phase, the treat must be in plain sight and super easy to find. If your puppy seems confused, or has any trouble finding the treat, you must help him find it. Do several simple repetitions. As soon as your puppy understands the concept, begin gradually to increase the difficulty by hiding the treat in other rooms, or out of sight.