Covid Canines-Indoor Enrichment Games

April 3, 2020

Here at Fetch during the time of Covid-19 we understand it is not always that easy to just go for a walk. So the dog walkers have come up with a few games to brighten your dogs day!

 

1) The (Toy) Name Game

 

The first fun brain game for dogs is the name game, and the best way to do it is by using your dog’s toys. Do you already have names for their toys? If so you’re already ahead of the curve. Start by playing with them and one specific toy, giving it a name while you do. After some practice & praise they will assign that verbal name with the chosen toy. Once they have learned that specific toys name you can test their skills by seeing if they can pick it out among their other toys. After they know the name of one toy you can move on teaching them the name of another. On average dogs can learn 165 different words, so your dog has the potential to learn the names of a lot of different toys. Chaser the Border Collie, an extraordinary example seen in the video below, knows the names of 1000+ toys. Take a look

 

Watch the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip_uVTWfXyI

 

2) The Shell Game

 

The shell game is another simple brain game for dogs. You’ve probably seen it before — it’s the game where a treat is hidden under one cup (or shell) and then shuffled around. The shell game will give them plenty of mental stimulation by giving them a chance to work on their problem solving skills.

 

How to play the shell game with your dog:

 

  • Grab 3 cups and some treats

  • Have them watch as you place a treat under one of the three cups

  • Shuffle the cups around

  • Encourage them to find the cup with the treat underneath

Watch the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DQrGvGH7d4

 

3) The Which Hand Game

 

The which hand game is an easy way to stimulate their brain and the only thing you need to get started is some treats. How to play the which hand game with your dog: Grab some treats and have them stay in the sit position Allow them to watch as you place a treat in one of your hands. Close your hands into a downward facing fist and extend them out to them and ask “which hand?” Once they touch or signals the correct hand praise them and give them the treat. If they don't catch on right away don’t worry. Some dogs get super pumped up by treats and will start pawing at both of your hands due to excitement. By only rewarding them when they touch the correct hand they'll start to catch on.

 

4) Find the Treats

 

One easy way to challenge their mind is to play a simple nose work game called find the treats. Find the treats is easy to play, and it’s a fun way for dogs to use some of their natural sniffing and scavenging abilities.

 

How to play find the treats with your dog:

 

  • Grab some treats and have them sit in a stay position

  • Whilst they are in the stay position put a few treats on the ground around them

  • Give them a release command and tell them to “find the treats” 

  • Encourage them as they start picking up the treats

  • Practice a few times until they understand what “find the treats” means

  • Start placing the treats further away and repeat the above steps

  • Start placing the treats in more challenging places that are out of sight such as under a rug or on a chair and repeat the above two steps

 

5) The Muffin Tray game

 

To set up the game, place a treat in each hole of the muffin tin and then place a tennis ball on top of the treat. For standard size muffin tins, the tennis ball fits perfectly. The goal of the game is to encourage them to sniff for the treats and try to dislodge the tennis ball so that they can get the treat. Y

 

You can then re-set and place a treat in a different place each time

 

Watch the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7KbAp5SMPk

 

Have fun playing with your pooches! Stay Safe..Woof!

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