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Enriching Your Dog's Life

Things to Do Together continued...

When playing outdoors with you, your dog may enjoy chasing a stream of water from a hose. Use a sprayer attachment for maximum enjoyment. Try spraying the ground a few feet away from your dog and then rapidly moving the stream of water away from her, along the ground. Many dogs can’t resist chasing and trying to bite the water. Another unique way to satisfy your dog’s desire to chase is to purchase a bubble-blowing toy made for dogs, such as the Fetch a Bubble Big Bubble Blaster or the Bubble Buddy™. These toys produce bubbles that taste like bacon, chicken, peanut butter or barbeque!

Round-Robin Recalls

This is a fun obedience game you can play with the whole family. Have everyone spread out around your living room. Take turns calling your dog to you, and treating and happily praising her when she reaches you. Make her earn her entire dinner in a game of Round-Robin.

  • With family members at least 20 feet apart, have one person happily say your dog’s name and then give the cue “Come!”
  • If your dog hesitates, don’t say “Come” again (nagging just teaches dogs to ignore you) but encourage her with clapping, slapping your thighs or making high-pitched noises.
  • When your dog gets to you, gently grab her collar, say “Good girl!” and treat her.
  • So that she’s ready to focus on the next person when she’s done eating, look away from your dog, and put your hands and treats behind your back. Then it’s the next person’s turn to call.
  • Whenever one person is calling your dog, the other(s) should remain quiet and boring (treats behind back and looking away) so your dog isn’t confused about whom to go to.
  • When your dog’s good at recalls in your living room, spread out further around the house, even where you can’t see each other.
  • When she’s a champ at that, take the game outside into your yard or a fenced area.

Sports and Other Activities

These days there are all kinds of organized sports and activities that you can do with your dog, including flyball, agility, musical freestyle (dancing with your dog), lure coursing, competition Frisbee (disc dog), tracking, herding, weight pulling and carting. There’s something out there for everyone. You can learn more about these exciting activities online:

  • For flyball information: North American Flyball Association: www.flyball.org
  • For agility information: United States Dog Agility Association: www.usdaa.com
  • For freestyle information: Canine Freestyle Federation: www.canine-freestyle.org or the World Canine Freestyle Organization: www.worldcaninefreestyle.org
  • For lure coursing information: American Sighthound Field Association: www.asfa.org/coursing.htm or American Kennel Club: www.akc.org/events/lure_coursing
  • For Frisbee/disc dog information: The International Disc Dog Handlers Association: www.iddha.com
  • For tracking information: American Kennel Club: www.akc.org/events/tracking
  • For herding information: The American Herding Breed Association: www.ahba-herding.org or American Kennel Club: www.akc.org/events/herding
  • For go-to-ground earthdog trials for dachshunds and small terriers: www.akc.org/events/earthdog/
  • For weight pulling information: International Weight Pulling Association: www.iwpa.net

 

WebMD Veterinary Reference from ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist

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