Hey Buddies! So, we know it is really cold outside – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your buddy inside! Play some fun, interactive games with your doggy inside to promote mental stimulation and break the boredom!
One game our doggies love to play is Hide-and-Seek. Not only is this game fun, it will also challenge your dog. By setting ‘game rules’ - such as, ‘Buddy must stay until the hider says “COME!” – your dog will also be practicing basic obedience commands. Who says learning can’t be fun?!
So, here are the basic instructions for the game:
1. Get a high reward treat or toy. Our German Shepherd LOVES balls – so we always use his favorite ball. However, you should use whichever toy or treat is your dog’s favorite so that your buddy will be really motivated to play.
2. Tell your dog to “Stay” – then, take the high reward treat or toy and go hide! This may be easier said than done. However, we have added a few tips below to help you with this command. Once you are hidden, stay quiet so that you truly challenge your buddy!
Here are a few tips to help you with the command: “Stay”:
Make sure to be patient with your dog as you firmly yet calmly say: “Stay”.
You may want to incorporate a hand gesture so that your pooch has something to visually focus on while hearing ‘stay’.
Also, be sure to follow through with your command – that is, stand firmly in front of your buddy as you command stay so that they have time to process the command.
Do not just yell ‘stay’ and scramble away – this will create excitement, and your buddy will want to follow you.
If your dog is just learning the command: ‘stay’, you may want to practice short distances a few times before ‘hiding’. To practice short distances:
Stand firmly in front of your dog and calmly say, “stay”.
Continue to stand in front of your dog for a few seconds so that he or she can process the command.
Continue to face your dog while taking a few steps back.
If your dog does not move from his or her position, walk back toward your dog and give a reward.
If your dog does move from his or her position, it is okay! Remain calm, and try it again. Remember, this is a time in which you and your buddy can bond with one another. If you remain calm and understanding, you and your buddy will grow and learn together!
3. Signal for your buddy! Whether you use a clicker, clap your hands, whistle, or say: “COME!” – only give a short signal so that your doggy has to truly search for you! So do not repeatedly shout: “COME!” Challenge your buddy to find you!
4. Wait patiently for your buddy. Give your doggy time to sniff you out!
5. Reward your buddy! Whether it be a tennis ball or a delicious treat, make sure you let your doggy know how awesome they are! Paws up! Woof!
So what are you waiting for? Go out…or rather, STAY IN and PLAY!