Garden Games at FMDW HQ
While our usual dog walks are presently limited, I’ve been finding new ways to keep both myself and my own dog Belle occupied while we spend the majority of each day at our home in Knaresborough.
Thankfully there are loads of great online dog training resources available (many of them currently at discounted rates and some even for free), so the internet is a great place to find some inspiration and fun ways to engage and train your dog during this time.
- Please note you’re looking for dog trainers who advocate modern, science based dog training methods that are kind to your dogs health and well being. You’re looking for someone who uses ‘reward based’ training or ‘positive reinforcement’. Dog training is supposed to be fun!
- If you’re worried about a change in your dogs behaviour please seek help now. The likelihood is whatever the issue it will only get worse meaning an even bigger problem to deal with post lockdown. We have some fantastic local dog trainers offering virtual consultations and sessions – please contact me if you would like a recommendation.
I found a really fun training programme from the dog training company Nosey Barkers called “Wonder Walks” (http://www.nosey-barker.co.uk/product/wonder-walks). The programme is broken down into different exercises to learn at home before taking them out for a test drive on walks (or to the garden at the moment) – all designed to help teach your dog that hanging out with you is super fun, therefore making walks easier because your dog WANTS to engage with you and not just the exciting outdoor environment.
We’ve been “mooching” and playing “hide and seek” – both super easy games that build engagement and that all important human canine bond. We’ve been practising “paws up” and “tree surfing” – we often do a bit of doggy parkour on our usual dog walks (how do you think we get those pawsome team photos?) so we’ve been sharpening up our skills and putting them on cue. Our “go around” is coming along nicely although “find my keys” we’re having to take quite slowly. We’re taking baby steps (its really important to go at your dogs pace) to make sure we really nail each phase of learning before trying to move forward (you can follow our progress on our insta stories please excuse some of my WFH outfits)!
Playing these kinds of games gives your dog a little brain work out and provides you both with the opportunity for a little extra physical exercise – something I definitely need while limited to just one dog walk a day instead of the usual four when I’m working!