It’s been a wet start to Autumn and you’ve probably already had your fair share of wet and muddy dog walks by now. If you want to take a break from the rain and keep your dog entertained indoors instead, then we’ve put together some of our favourite activities to keep your dog mentally stimulated and ready to relax.

Enrichment activities have some great benefits for your dog – they’re a great mental work out and can be just as tiring as a walk. They’re good for helping excitable dogs to calm down, and they get to spend quality time with you, strengthening your bond.

Which Cup?

A really fun take on the traditional magic trick – all you need is 3 plastic cups!

Start off by placing a piece of food on the floor then cover it with a cup so that your dog knows the food is underneath.

●  When your dog shows any interaction with the cup – they might touch it with their nose or paw it for example – then remove the cup and reward them with the food underneath. Repeat this a few times until they’re interacting with the cup every time.

●  Once you’ve done step one, you can add in a second cup. Put the food under one cup again, mix the cups up then let your dog work out which cup the food is under. When they get it right, reward them by moving the cup so they can get the food underneath.

●  If they’re getting it right most of the time you can add in another cup (or as many cups as you like!) to make it more interesting for them! If you want to play this game quickly or while you’re out and about you can do the same thing by hiding the piece of food in one of your hands, holding them both closed and letting your dog work out which hand it’s in.

Roll a Towel

Another really fun way to make a game with your dogs dinner is to wrap some of their food in a towel and let them work out how to unroll it!

  • Start by laying a towel flat on the floor, sprinkle some food over the towel and roll it up.
  • You’ll probably need to help your dog to start with – particularly if your dog is anything like mine and would much rather throw the towel around!
  • Start by leaving some of the food clearly visible at the edge to the roll so as they go to get it they nudge the towel with their nose causing it to unroll. As the towel unrolls they’ll be rewarded with access to more food, and so they’re likely to keep trying!
  • If you still find they’d rather play with the towel then try using some of their favourite treats to get their interest on the food rather than the towel.
Amanda Griffiths
Amanda is currently training to become a professional dog trainer, and is passionate about the benefits of enrichment and mental stimulation on dog health and behaviour. She’s the founder of The Cognitive Canine Company, providing enrichment and behavioural support to owners of dogs that require crate rest, restricted exercise or have a long term condition that impacts their mobility. In her spare time, she enjoys trick training and rally obedience with her Shetland Sheepdog, Poppy.

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