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  • Results 1 to 6 of 6
    1. #1
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      Tanya's Avatar
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      Working Their Brain (Mental Exercise)

      What do you do with your pups for mental exercise?

      Since Rocky is physically able to do less, I've really started making him work for his meals. Some stretches but mostly mental exercise. I'm always looking for more ideas

      - part of his breakfast is in his daily kong
      - "burrito" (use a dish cloth layed out, scatter kibble all over, then roll it up and give it to him)
      - Muffin Tin Game (put kibble in the muffin tin and cover with balls)
      - various food toys (some Nina Ottoson, some from Outward Hound I think it is, and some from Petsmart).

      The funny part if I used to joke he wasn't very good at any of this but with a wee bit of patience (on my part) to let him work it out he actually is pretty good!

    2. #2
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      Training, just be patient and teach him new things. He may be a senior but he can help pick things up off the floor and hand them to you. There are several stimulating mental games you could do as well. Like one I play with Hemi is the old shell game or 3 card monte, I get 3 solo cups. put a treat under one and then mix them up, let him pick which one it is under. What about teaching him his colors, yes dogs can see colors, Hemi has learned 4 distinct colors. Basically go to like dollar general look for some cheap but completely identical things like cups, plates, child sandbox toys like bucket and shovel that are all identical in shape but different colors. Start with just 2 colors and two objects, but introduce more different objects of the same color later. It may take a few sessions to figure out what you are asking once he has 2 colors add a third. Lay them out, point to each one several times, and say the colors loud, This is Blue, This is Red. Then ask him to point out the red one. If he is correct treat and praise and reinforce saying yes that's the red one. If wrong say no thats blue, I want the red one and show them red. Its a lot of fun once they understand colors.

      A good book with a lot of interesting ideas and brain games is Beyond Fetch by Caroline Coile Beyond Fetch: Fun, Interactive Activities for You and Your Dog: D. Caroline Coile: 9780764517679: Amazon.com: Books

      Oh and sometime its just good to be fun and silly with them. Seize the moments that happen. Like last night I was playing the piano, Hemi came over and was nudging my arm, I was like you want to play? I told him to put 2 paws up on the bench, which he jumped up on the bench in my lap. The piano bench is not that big but here we were. So I pushed the keys, he mashed the keys with his nose. We made a terrible racket for about 10 minutes doing this off and on but a tail was wagging and he was smiling the whole time. Then he got bored and got down and I could finish playing what I wanted while he slept beside me.

    3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jeff For This Useful Post:

      Annette47 (08-25-2017), barry581 (08-25-2017)

    4. #3
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      I bought a book of games and tricks for Oban when we quit working level rally because it would stress his sore legs. BUT, very few of the things in the book do not involve some, in some cases considerable, moving around, turning, and also stressing the front legs. Oban doesn't like the static games anyway, he wants to run and jump. I should try your burrito roll though, food involved might interest him. Except he won't work at his kong if stuff is stuck, just gives me a sorrowful, reproachful look.

      Here it is, "Brain Games For Dogs" by Claire Arrowsmith

    5. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
      Training, just be patient and teach him new things. He may be a senior but he can help pick things up off the floor and hand them to you. There are several stimulating mental games you could do as well. Like one I play with Hemi is the old shell game or 3 card monte, I get 3 solo cups. put a treat under one and then mix them up, let him pick which one it is under. What about teaching him his colors, yes dogs can see colors, Hemi has learned 4 distinct colors. Basically go to like dollar general look for some cheap but completely identical things like cups, plates, child sandbox toys like bucket and shovel that are all identical in shape but different colors. Start with just 2 colors and two objects, but introduce more different objects of the same color later. It may take a few sessions to figure out what you are asking once he has 2 colors add a third. Lay them out, point to each one several times, and say the colors loud, This is Blue, This is Red. Then ask him to point out the red one. If he is correct treat and praise and reinforce saying yes that's the red one. If wrong say no thats blue, I want the red one and show them red. Its a lot of fun once they understand colors.

      A good book with a lot of interesting ideas and brain games is Beyond Fetch by Caroline Coile Beyond Fetch: Fun, Interactive Activities for You and Your Dog: D. Caroline Coile: 9780764517679: Amazon.com: Books

      Oh and sometime its just good to be fun and silly with them. Seize the moments that happen. Like last night I was playing the piano, Hemi came over and was nudging my arm, I was like you want to play? I told him to put 2 paws up on the bench, which he jumped up on the bench in my lap. The piano bench is not that big but here we were. So I pushed the keys, he mashed the keys with his nose. We made a terrible racket for about 10 minutes doing this off and on but a tail was wagging and he was smiling the whole time. Then he got bored and got down and I could finish playing what I wanted while he slept beside me.
      I'm sure Hemi knows that he's got one of the coolest owners/Dads of all time.
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    6. The Following User Says Thank You to SunDance For This Useful Post:

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    7. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Snowshoe View Post
      I should try your burrito roll though, food involved might interest him. Except he won't work at his kong if stuff is stuck, just gives me a sorrowful, reproachful look.
      Almost spit my drink at the screen!

    8. #6
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      thanks for the ideas

      Rock's mobility is low and he gets exited fast (which leads to panting which is bad). So I have to be more careful on what I make him do. I joined a Canine Enrichment group on facebook with lots of ideas. Some I found funny, like using a paper toilet cardboard to hide treats and the dog "finds it" (I can see many labs CHEWING the thru )

      Poor Oban I had fosters who wouldn't try the kongs for awhile until I made it super super easy

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