By Stan Beck
Dog stimulation is a vital factor that you should learn in order to keep your pet’s physical and mental faculties sharp and in good condition in all phases of its development. A daily walk is necessary for your pet to have exercise where it could spend its excess energy but it is not enough because the activity doesn’t provide your pet with mental stimulation.
Stimulate your dog physically
One of the methods to physically stimulate your dog is to train it to engage in physical games with you. This will give your pet the kind of physical stimulation that it needs. Among the games that you and your dog can enjoy playing together are:
A pre-requisite for this command is for your dog to learn to “sit,” as you will have to let it sit before taking out a ball or your pet’s favorite toy and throw it about six paces away and command it to “fetch.” As your dog runs to get the item, you should follow it for a few steps.
GIVE & TAKE
As your dog picks up the toy, you must run away and let it chase you. By the time it is already running by your side, face it with an extended hand and telling it to “give” you the item that you asked it to fetch.
Rewarding your pet for successfully performing the task you gave is always a part of its training, as this will motivate it to perform better.
Increase the stake
Practice regularly and be consistent with your rules in order to avoid confusing your pet. As it learns to perform your command, you can gradually increase the distance of your throw, but mindful of its mood. Any sign of fatigue or boredom is a signal for you to stop at once. By the time your dog has mastered retrieving your practice item, you can now try to teach it to fetch specific items such as a shoe, a towel or a lead.
Train your pet to retrieve the new items by commanding it to “fetch the shoe/towel/lead!” as you throw it. In time, your pet will learn to identify these things with constant practice.
There are also other games which can physically stimulate your dog. These are tug of war and hide and seek.
Use food to stimulate your dog’s mind
Food is a basic need for the survival of every living creature, but this can help in the dog stimulation process if feeding is done in an imaginative approach.
A simple yet effective to mentally stimulate your dog as it takes its meal is by hiding its food in small amounts around the house instead of feeding it in single sittings with its feeding bowl. This will give your pet the chance to hunt for its meal with the use of its sniffing power.
Lots of pet owners use kongs or hollow toys to contain the food their pets should hunt. The dog’s food or treat is placed inside the kong and it’s up for the dog to discover how to extract the food so that it can have a meal. You can also conceal the kong somewhere to keep your dog busy.
Another dog food container that works similarly with the kong is the activity ball, but it requires dry solid treats to contain as these are made to allow the food to fall out as your dog rolls the ball on the floor. This is also one way to give your pet some activity while you’re gone.
Boredom is one thing that makes your pet feeling lousy or develop some negative behavior. You can prevent your pet from getting bored by regularly exercising it through frequent walks and engaging it in mentally and physically stimulating games that will keep the two of you together in bonding moments.
Stan Beck is offering his Dog Training Guide for free, as he wants you make your dog a well-rounded happy pet. He also maintains a website filled with useful Dog Training Articles which can give you useful insights about dog behavior formation and training.
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