Dogs thrive on mental and physical stimulation. If your dog is obese, destructive, or just lies around the house, sleeping and showing no interest in toys or going out for a walk, he may be suffering from a lack of environmental stimulation. He may need something to motivate his senses.
As Don Gutknecht, our Director of training, always says, “Dogs are bred and meant to do a job.” Domesticating out pets has put them out of work, they no longer need to herd, hunt or forage, which are their instinctual behaviors.
Don offers a few ideas to help you put your pet back to work:
- Hide his food dish under a bag and let him forage for his meal.
- Put his regular meal in a food dispensing toy, like a Kong. This will provide both physical and mental stimulation.
- Provide appropriate chew toys. Chewing is another instinctual behavior and it can help relieve stress.
- Play a game of Hide & Seek with one of his favorite toys.
- While spending time outdoors, drop a personal item of yours, and praise him enthusiastically when he finds it for you.
- Teach him a new trick.
- Take him to an obedience training class and then practice together what you’ve learned.
Dogs are social animals. They need motivation, stimulation, attention and love to keep them happy and healthy. If you need more help finding a job for your dog, stop in and see Don; he would be happy to help you put your pet back to work.