We are at a time where almost every government in the world has either announced a lockdown or is seriously considering the prospect. Loneliness, loss of income, and general despair are some of the major problems most people will face during this pandemic.
If you’re a pet owner, being confined for months will not only affect you personally, but it will also interfere with your dog’s physical exercise regimen. Unlike humans, dogs were not meant to be sedimentary, and require varying levels of exercise for both physical and mental wellness. If you totally can’t go outside, here are effective indoor dog training tips you can try out:
Teach a New Skill
Think of any skill that your pet needs to learn or polish, and create an indoor training schedule. If you don’t know where to start on this, you may want to check out the skill sets and training resources at Canine Good Citizen.
For maximum effectiveness, pick one skill at a time, and train for at least 30 minutes every day until your dog masters it. Also, remember to prepare your room before every session to make it conducive for the particular skill you want to teach. For instance, if you’re trying to polish your pet’s heeling, you may want to methodically arrange some smaller sized chairs and tables around the room so they can serve as miniature obstacles.
Play Teasing Games to Activate Their Brains
One advantage of the outdoors is that your dog is always chasing something – your neighbor’s cats, passers-by on your way to the store, etc. This keeps them mentally alert and consequently improves their cognition.
While indoors, you can tease your dog’s brains by playing hiding games, such as Hide and Seek or just hide their toys and make them find them. If you fancy hide and seek, you may want to include a family member, whose role is to give the dog a cue to come and find you after you’ve gone. Such games will not only help you build a stronger bond with your furry mate but also trains them to think on their feet.
Do Some Exercise Won’t Hurt
If your dog is smaller, whether, in size or age, you know it needs lots of exercises to stay fit and healthy. Fortunately, there are lots of engaging exercises that can be done indoors, such as the classic ball (or bone) retrieving games.
You can also convince the dog to run with you around your living room, or play some music and invite them to dance alongside you. Other beneficial activities include speed drills – where you instruct them to sit, run, stop, and lay down at varying intervals.
This is the best time to learn new skills and try out new things, and there’s no reason to exclude your four-legged friend from your activities. For one, research on some nice DIY dog-friendly treat recipes, prepare a couple of them, then play long sessions of Trick and Treat. Since you probably can’t go to the pet store, you can use paper towels rolls or cardboard containers as your treat dispensers.
Maintain Your Sports Program, or Start A New One
If you’ve enrolled your dog into a program (if not, you should seriously consider it), you may be at a loss, considering the program has temporarily shut down due to the ongoing epidemic. Nonetheless, you can still train your dog on disciplines like agility, scent work, and rally even from the comfort of your living room. Go through the extensive video library for tutorials, and also browse YouTube for additional dog training tips and routines.