Rainy days can definitely put a damper on you and your dog. By no means is it fun to walk your dog in the rain but what else is there to do to ensure that you don’t have a crazy dog on your hands all day due to the lack of exercise of not walking them? Being a Charlotte dog trainer, I’ve found a few ways that can help manage their energy and fatigue them mentally instead of relying on just physically working a dog to wear them out. Mental fatigue will wear your dog out a lot faster than having your dog have a play date with another dog, a mile walk or run, playing fetch for an hour, etc…
Some of the things I do with some of my dogs in training or if you know my personal dog Alces you will know he is a high driven dog that could go all day physically. You can mentally fatigue your dog in less than twenty minutes playing the right games or teaching your dog a new trick.
Have you guys ever played hide and seek? Most food motivated dogs love this game! Hide their dinner around the house and let them work for their food by sniffing it out! Make it easy at first, more obvious places like steps or a trail of food like bread crumbs Hansel and Gretel-style. Once they figure out the game up the ante by hiding food under rugs or boxes to make them really use their noses and have them work for it.
Another game you can play with your pup is having them do puppy push ups on different places in the house and doing general obedience task like using your hallway as a training space to work on different angles with your dog. For example, backing your dog up in a heel position or in front of you. Doing five to ten minutes of structured training with your dog will cap them out and you won’t have a dog driving you bonkers with their energy and restlessness.
Lastly if you’re itching to get your dog out of the house you can work them in your local hardware store like Lowes and Home Depot. These places are great because they have both human and dog distractions and you can run errands at the same time! Win win! If the hardware store isn’t your scene there are plenty of stores that are pet friendly, some of these stores even caught me by surprise! Charlotte Agenda put out a list of 12 dog-friendly places in The Queen City that are worth checking out: Dog-Friendly Charlotte Stores. Usually when I go out and about with my dogs I like to show off their structured heel, put them into a
sit/stay, down/stay and build distance while I shop, or just in general practice meet and greets with strangers. If you really want to spice it up try cleaning up their tricks in public like the hug, roll over, walk on feet, wave, or anything else you can think of. A worked and tired dog is a happy dog!
– Charlotte Dog Trainer Ashley Rodriquez, KeenDog