by Jill Murray
Beat the heat with indoor activities
Dogs, like humans, need mental and physical exercise. When a pup is bored, they take matters into their own paws and make decisions we’d rather they’d not. What are you supposed to do when it is too hot, rainy or even too cold to go outside and play?
Here are several suggestions for indoor activities:
• Hide and seek. This game can be played three ways. Place your dog in a “stay” and hide pieces of a favorite treat or yourself. Release your dog and have them search for whatever is hidden. You can also play this with one of your pup’s favorite toys. I usually let mine pick the toy!
• Tug of war and fetch. These two games are classics. Be careful playing tug of war and avoid tugging up and down. Fetch is great for practicing recall and “drop.”
• Monkey in the middle. In a hallway or large room, you and another person toss a favorite toy back and forth, engaging the pup with play before tossing it back. The more fun you have, the more fun it will be for your dog!
• The cup game. Put three plastic cups upside down on the floor and hide a treat under one of them. Let your dog sniff it out and find the treat.
• Obstacle course. Get creative! Use boxes, chairs, pillows and whatever you have to create an obstacle course for your pup. Your objective is to get them moving and thinking. Make it fun and watch as they navigate the over, under and around challenges you set up for them.
• Puppy push-ups. If your pup doesn’t know, “sit,” “down” and “stand,” use this opportunity to play and train. Have your dog “sit,” go “down,” “sit,” “stand” up and repeat. Remember to reward.
Play sessions should be fun, engaging and not more than 10 minutes at a time. Change the game when your pup loses interest and be creative. Your dog will enjoy interacting with you!
Jill Murray, a certified dog trainer, operates Wags & Kisses LLC in Burgess. Contact Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org.