How to Keep Your Dog busy for Hours
More thinking = more treat-ing
If you have a very intelligent and hyper dog, you may find yourself constantly trying to find ways to keep his mind occupied, even if he's done a lot of physical exercise during the day. You may be stuffing Kongs for hours, purchasing interactive treat toys, and finding that your dog races right through them, swallowing far more treats than any dog should ever eat.
if you find yourself in this predicament, read on!
Interactive Dog Toys
What you need:
- Kong toys or other treat dispensing toys, as many as you have (as the owner of a smart and hyper dog, you may have many of these)
- various shapes and sizes of cardboard boxes, rolls and tubes
- tennis balls if you have some
- different small treats (commercial treats, bits of hot dogs or cheese, frozen veggies, or pieces of carrots, for example)
- a few bed sheets or blankets
Step One: Fill Stuff
Fill your Kongs as you might usually do. Use Kong cubes as I wrote about in the link here. Or just fill them with a little peanut butter or Kong stuffing.
Put one or two small treats in each of the different toys and cardboard boxes. Do not put too many. You can slice open a small slit in a tennis ball and pop some treats in those as well.
The trick is to not put too many treats in any one object. Make the treat tasty and smelly. Hot dog bits work well, and tiny pieces go a long way.
Step Two: Wrap It Up
Take the bedsheets and put them on each other on the floor. Fold them and make hiding spaces.
Hide each toy in the layers of the sheets and blankets. Don't wrap them so tightly that the dog's only recourse would be to chew through the sheets. You want him to realize that if he roots through everything and untangles the sheets with his paws and nose, he'll get the treat toys. You can help get him started by placing a toy close to him and draping the sheet over his head so he can obtain the toy.
Now, for every toy, he needs to work twice as hard! And since each toy only contains a few treats, he'll have to keep going back for more. Each toy will work his mind in a different way.
Add Some Extras
Sprinkle a few tiny treats in the folds of the sheets, making sure to spread them out evenly throughout. After the dog is done with the toys, there are still more treats to be found!
(P.S. This makes a great interactive toy for cats as well!)
Please supervise your dog when you play this game. Dogs will easily begin destroying fabric and the pieces can cause choking and tangling in the intestines.
Watch your dog carefully, and if he attempts to shred the fabric, teach him to burrow through the blankets.
Dogs should never be left unattended with toys or food.