Do you ever feel as if taking the dog for a walk is so much work? I mean, you have to put on your shoes, grab a leash, put it on, and then, walk around. Exhausting, right? I’m not sure why I feel like this, especially since once I’m outside, I enjoy the exercise, the outdoors and of course, the benefits of having a tired dog after the walk.
If you’re having one of those days, that you can’t make it out the door, here are a few things I do to challenge my dogs and burn a bit of their physical/mental energy.
1) Old-fashioned Game of Fetch- Grab a beer, sit on a chair, and play fetch. You don’t even have to touch the ball if you have one of these nifty ball launchers.
2) Food-foraging Scavenger Hunt- I bring my dogs inside (close the blinds so they can’t “cheat!”), and then I hide treats around the yard. I make them sit/stay before I release them into the backyard for their search of treats. The less smelly the treat, the harder it is for them to find.
3) Even Lazier Version of the Scavenger Hunt: Take a handful of treats and throw them into the yard. (It doesn’t get much lazier than this!)
4) TV Show Trick: While watching TV, I’ll get my dogs into a down/stay and reward them (with increasing time intervals) for staying and being calm. The hardest part is trying to reward them they’re not waiting for me to reward them.
5) Working for Their Food- At the very least, I make my dogs sit/stay before they eat their dinner. Other nights, I treat them with small scoops of food when they complete tricks. Some nights, I scatter their food on our patio.
6) Plastic Bottle Dinner- I fill plastic bottles (Gatorade works the best) with their food and let them try to figure out how to get the food out. (Thanks, Nancy, the most awesome dog trainer, for this idea!)
What are your lazy dog training tricks?