Simply being in the house with your dog isn’t always enough to keep your dog entertained. Avoid the “play with me” eyes whilst working from home with your dog with our top tips on keeping them happily occupied whilst you’re focussing on your work:
There’s a wide number of toys you can buy which are all designed to challenge your dog to earn their treats by switching on their brains. Mental stimulation is not only good for keeping your dog busy, it’s also a proven way to tire them out!
You can buy a range of weird and wonderful boredom-busting gizmos in pet shops and online, but our favourites are easy to make yourself (and are kinder on the bank balance too!)
Snuffle mats work by secreting treats within the folds of their torn up material, leaving your dog with the challenge of locating them. If you don’t own one, you can easily make one yourself from old scraps around the house. You will need:
Watch a video tutorial here.
Hide & Treat
Encourage your dog to think for their dinner by creating a simple puzzle. Place a row of halved toilet rolls or upturned match box cartons in a shoe box, with treats hidden under one of them and let them work out where it is. You can also twist treats into a scrunched up roll or plait of newspaper, or knot them into an old tea-towel to keep them busy while they work out how to get to the goodies!
Christmas Come Early
A simple but wonderfully effective game – simply wrap up their favourite toys in paper and watch them relive the joy of the very first time they discovered it! In fact, you’ll probably find that they’re more interested in the paper than what’s inside it…
Teaching your dog new tricks is not only a great way to keep them mentally stimulated, it also helps to build the bond between you, and gives you both a rush of oxytocin. “Little and often” is the best approach for teaching your dog new skills, so it’s the perfect activity while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil (or perhaps while you’re stuck on a particularly dull conference call – just don’t forget to mute first!)
We believe that the most fundamental skills to teach dogs are those which help them learn how to live a happy and safe life within the home – that’s why we recommend focussing on commands like “sit”, “wait”, “settle”, “gently”, and “leave it” as a priority. That said, we’re suckers for a good party trick, so now’s a great time to teach your dog something a little more jazzy than usual!
Impressive though this trick is, it’s actually very easy to teach – so perfect if you’re looking for optimum “show off” points! Here’s how to teach it:
Another crowd-pleaser, this is a great trick for dogs who love a belly rub as it’s easier to teach to those who naturally like to show their belly!