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“Problem Solving” games with the dog are the mental activation games to stimulate its cognitive abilities.
A bored dog in the house is an unhappy and stressed dog.
There are situations when for a variety of reasons, you cannot leave the house and take him out as usual for his walks.
However, to help keep him busy, you and your four-legged friend can try your hand at a variety of activities to do pleasantly together.
Before quarantine, once upon a time there was a walk.
The dog must necessarily go outside to do its business.
Being able to be outside for a short time and always in close proximity to the home, plan mini-outings that do not break the imposed restrictions.
Three short walks a day (early morning, mid-afternoon, and late evening) while staying within a few meters of the house will still allow the dog to regularly perform its physiological needs.
The cleaning of paws
Paw cleaning has now become a must-do practice when returning from walks.
Use cleansers or wipes with chlorhexidine, a broad-spectrum antiseptic disinfectant.
It is absolutely forbidden to make use of detergents for human use or other substances and products that we are not those specifically indicated for dogs.
When in doubt, always consult your trusted veterinarian.
Do you play? Yes, let’s play!
How to employ the many hours spent indoors, complicit in the reduction of time spent walking and spent outdoors?
Well, know that playing indoor games with your dog will keep his activity level high and defeat the boredom and stress that are as much a cause of sadness for him as for you.
Classic games to play at home but not only those
Soft toys, rubber toys and soft balls are always among the most popular toys, but if they are in short supply, you can use other materials that can certainly be found inside your home: ropes, cloth, plastic bottles and cardboard boxes for example.
Most importantly, you can experiment with Problem Solving games with your dog.
Problem Solving games: what are they and how to do them?
These are those games in which the dog is confronted with a problem that it must be able to solve on its own.
Generally, the problem lies in being able to catch a delicacy that has been well hidden.
Perfect to play at home, Problem Solving games are used to exercise the dog’s mind, develop his ability to reason and interact with objects around him using his paws, muzzle or mouth.
Here, then, the dog will discover new movements that will enable it to find the solution to the “problem” and achieve the much-desired reward.
One of the simple and easy Problem Solving games for dogs: the ball game
You need a hollow ball, strips of wool or fabric, appetizing rewards.
Fill the ball with strips of wool or fabric and hide the goodies inside.
Your dog will enjoy taking them off one by one to win them over.
Among the games were plastic cups.
Place 3 inverted plastic cups on the floor and hide a prize under one of them.
Mix the glasses: the dog will find the food using his sense of smell and paws.
For this game you can use lots of objects, transparent and non-transparent, large and small, long or short: simply spill them on top of something appetizing.
A greater difficulty may be to wrap morsels inside a towel laid on the floor.
The dog will eat the first few treats with no problem, but to reach the next ones he will have to “muzzle” his way through.
This will keep him quite busy.
Games with cardboard boxes
Use boxes to hide food inside them.
Insert paper, fabric flaps or other boxes.
By doing so, you will create a matryoshka and make the game more complex.
Rules to follow when playing with the dog
The difficulty of the game should be gradual so that the dog can always finish the session by coming out a winner.
In fact, any unresolved game may generate a feeling of defeat in the dog, and this would lead him to become demotivated or stressed.
Start, therefore, with something very simple so that the dog feels capable from the start and can play enthusiastically.
Games should be played in a quiet environment free of distractions.
Always be present during the course of the game but do not interfere with any “helpers”-be patient and do not get caught up in the rush and the desire for the dog to get to the resolution right away.
Rather, allow him to solve the puzzle in his own way, incentivizing him to solve the problem and making sure he does not get to the point where he gives up or gets bored, abandoning the game.
Do not give any reward other than what the dog has earned by completing the game.
The reward is the solution itself; the gratification comes from there.
Observing our dog in this activity will also help you get to know him better and read his communication patterns.
If you would like to discuss this topic further with a Veterinary Behaviorist, book an appointment with our animal behavior specialists in our office.
We would also like to remind you that in case of need and urgency, La Veterinaria Clinic is always open h24 every day including holidays and with First Aid service from 8 pm to 8 am.
For the joy of seeing them HAPPY.