Sometimes going out in the great British weather isn't on the top of your list of things to do, but you feel you need to get your dog out the house before they tear the walls down.
I am lucky enough that both my girls are quite happy to stay indoors although they do love a good run in the rain.
Here are some fun games and activities you can do with your dog,
Hide and Seek
If your dog knows stay it makes the game much easier, if they don't, get another person to hold them still while you hide an watch them search for you they are guaranteed to love it.
This is one of Willow's favourite games to play.
Find the treats
Find some of your dogs favourite treats, have them stay while you hide the treats. If they have never played before start by placing the treats in plain sight until they get the idea of the game, then you can start hiding them in harder places.
You can also adapt the game to play with toys, you can hide a certain toy and asking them to find it.
We typically play this game with a dummy or a tennis ball
Puzzle or interactive toys
We love playing with a variety of different interactive brain games, There are so many available, ones to chase, ones to chew and some puzzles to keep them mentally stimulated.
We are going to share some of our favourites form each category beginning with toys to chase .
I have finally after 10 years managed to find a toy that Molly loves and will chase , that is the Tug-e-nuff frisbee, She goes mad for it jumping and skipping around the place running after it which is great to see her acting like a puppy again after the things she has been through in recent years .
We have managed to create a stronger bond and am hoping this will help her overcome a few issues that have developed since being attacked the other week.
From the same company we managed to find this awesome chaser tug toy for Willow.
Willow loves to chase Rabbits, squirrels , pheasants and until recently the chickens.
We have been using this toy train her to recall from a chase and its safe to say its going really well and I would highly recommend this for fun games of tug and to use as a training aid.
Interactive chew toys
Neither of the girls are particularly big chewers and we have never had a problem with chewing but we do try and encourage them to chew from time to time as it is very important for their oral health.
The girls both have Kong's and an interactive chew ball both of which we fill with treats to keep them interested.
Kong's are great for keeping the bored dogs busy and are one of the easiest ways to keep them entertained (I would personally not use a hard plastic treat dispensers particularly with long nosed dogs as they are prone to getting their noses stuck in the hole). The interactive ball can have all the same ingredients in it as the kong to help encourage dogs to chew.
Our favourite Kong ingredient is peanut butter but make sure they don't include sugar or Xylitol as these are both extremely dangerous to dogs. To make the kong last longer you can place it in the freezer before giving it to them, this also makes great snack during summer.
We have a huge collection of interactive brain game s that both girls love to play from a variety of different companies , but our favourites are from Nina Ottoson they are more expensive than a lot of others but in our opinion they are worth it you are able to make them harder or easy to suit the level your dog is able to work at they are also super easy to clean and have anti slip feet on the bottom although Willow still kicks it around the kitchen if she gets too carried away.
There are some great alternatives that can be made at home using a muffin tray and some tennis balls - hide the treats in the tray cover them over with the tennis balls and watch your dog have a great time trying to reach the treats.
You can also use
Other fun alternatives for an easier game is using a snuffle mat or a lickimat to hide and spread treats on,
Our lickimat often has the same ingredients as our kong.
Another great nose workout for you dog get 3 cups line them up in a row in front of your dog.
To start with put a treat under a cup while your dog is watching, give them the OK to show which one the treat is underneath. When they choose the correct cup, praise and give them the treat, Once your dog gets the hang of it make it more challenging by moving the cus around after you have placed the treat.
We use the command 'Go Sniff'
Learning how to give a dog massage is enriching for both you the owner and your dog alike. A nice massage can help sooth almost any dog. Massage is great for older dogs like Molly who suffers from achy stiff joints but can equally be beneficial for dogs with anxiety, stress. It is a great way of increasing circulation to joints and building a bond with you.
I love training and teaching the girls new tricks and skills and on a really wet rainy day its the perfect time to perfect the different moves and even begin practicing new ones, today has been particularly horrible outside I have managed to teach Willow 'crawl' and practicing 'Place', Molly has been practicing 'Bang' and 'paws up'.
Practicing your basic commands and maybe adding in a few new moves helps keep everyone's mid active whilst strengthening your bond.
Even well trained dogs enjoy having a refresher course every now and then to keep them nice and sharp.
I believe all dogs should know the basic Sit, down, stay, drop, leave and come to help keep them safe in the house and when out exploring but also so they can live happily alongside their owners.
We have a huge selection of natural chews varying from Antlers to Buffalo Horns and as dogs love to chew and its a good natural behaviour when it isn't your favourite pair of shoes.
As I mentioned previously the girls have never been huge chewers and even when Willow was little she wouldn't chew any type of treat, but we have found that antlers, buffalo horn and chicken feet seem to be her thing.
I was always against giving her chicken feet partly because we have 11 chickens in the garden and also they freaked me out looking at them. Willow has always been vey clever and after working out where the feathers come from off the chickens I was terrified she would try for their feet if she got used to them as a treat (I know that is a ridiculous thought) my dad told me not to be silly and she won't associate them as the same thing and so far so good. She is now wary of the chickens after one told her off so that has helped.
All natural dog chews are great for keeping their teeth clean and keeping them occupied when there is a chance they could get bored .
We hope you have enjoyed our first ever blog post, if you have any questions we are more than happy to answer them .
Zoe, Molly and Willow