5 Activities to Keep Your Puppy Stimulated

golden retriever puppyAll of the games and skills discussed below are designed to contribute to both the fun and the positive upbringing of your puppy.

These energy-producing exercises act as building blocks that make advanced training easier and enhance the bond between owner and puppy.

Grooming Practice: Starting grooming procedures at an early age teaches the puppy acceptance of hands-on treatment over all parts of his body and emphasizes relaxed “stays.”

Grooming also assures the owner of dominance as nails are cut and teeth are cleaned, as the puppy learns to be quiet and tolerate-these “house-cleaning” techniques.

Hide & Seek: Hide and seek is fun for owners and puppies alike and helps teach your puppy how to come.

1. Put your puppy on a sit-stay or have someone else hold his leash.
2. Hide behind a nearby tree or, if inside, a piece of furniture.
3. Wait five seconds, then call him excitedly.
4. When he “finds” you, praise him with lots of love and a tidbit or ball.
5. Make each hiding place a little harder and a little farther away. Sometimes return to your puppy and end the game at that point so he will not think he always has to leave to get you near him.

Find The Toy: Find The Toy teaches early discrimination by smell.

1. Tie your puppy to a chair or have someone hold his leash.
2. Let him watch you put several objects on the floor: a can, bottle, box, telephone. Use a glove or just barely touch these articles when placing them on the floor.
3. Go back to your puppy, take his favorite toy and hold it in your hands for several seconds, and let him watch as you throw it in with the other objects.
4. Release him and tell him “Fetch!”
5. When he does, praise him lavishly.
6. As he gets good at selecting his toy, use one of your well-scented gloves or socks and put it with similar objects that are unscented. Pretty soon scent discrimination will be an understood part of his life from your viewpoint, not just from his viewpoint.

High Jump: At first, try just walking over the jump with the puppy at your side. If that works, fine; if not, put your puppy on one side of the jump and get on the other side. Use a piece of food to coax him over. If you have a leash on the puppy be sure to keep it loose when he jumps. You never pull a puppy (or a dog) over a jump.

Bar Jump: Same as above, except start with the bar on the ground. Slowly raise it after each successful jump.

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