dog walker

How to entertain your gundog during Lockdown

It does feel like the world has gone mad, people fighting over toilet rolls, cancelled sport events, no Soaps and not knowing what day of the week it is.

World has we know it, has completely changed.

I will admit it I do feel a bit lost.

I miss walking my client’s dogs, which was normal for me.

It does feel like normal life is on pause for a while. Other people are going through hell right now, so I am determined to find a silver lining from this.

On Monday 23rd March 2020, Boris Johnson announced that we should only go out for very limited purposes. We can go out for basic necessities, travel to work and one form of exercise.

What only one walk per day?

How the hell can I give him the extra exercise without going for a second walk?

I am sure, you thought the same.

Instead of the walk, I replaced it with brain games.

15 minute mental exercise is the same as 1 hour of physical exercise.

It has made a huge difference, Finn  my dog, is a lot calmer and our bond has got even stronger.

Here are my tips;

Ditch the bowl –  I know that this may sound weird, when all you have ever known is to use a feeding bowl.

 Instead scatter feed his breakfast or dinner in the garden. Use kongs, puzzles, treat dispensers and lick mats. Since Finn was a puppy, I have put his food in a kong. It has always kept him entertained and stopped him rushing his food.

You could split his meals in  a tupperware containers and place them around your house and garden.

Sniffing uses mental energy and will tire him out quicker and gives me something to do.

Teach him something new–  You probably have a lot of free time on your hands so it’s a perfect time to teach him something new like trick training such a spin, rollover, through the legs and touch.

Currently, I have been working on Finn’s self control. I place a gravy bone (he loves them) on the floor. I ask him to wait and look at me then I release him by saying ‘ok’. You can see him using all his mental energy not to nick the gravy bone. This is great for those Labradors who think with their stomach.

At the park, if your dog does not come to you when called first time.  This is the perfect time to work on this, as you will need to avoid the park anyway.

The recall needs to be learnt in the house first, so every time you say ‘insert dog’s name’ then say come when he does, give him a treat and keep doing this.

 If he gets a yummy treat each time, he will learn something good happens every time he comes.

Give him a job to do –  Gundogs  are great  at finding and retrieving things, so get him to do more of this. Dogs are a lot happier when they are doing things that they were bred for.

You could hide his toys in a room and let him find them. Teach him to retrieve items for you. A member of your family could go and hide. Ask your dog to go and find them. This is a great game for the kids and rest of the family to get involved.

It’s hard at the moment to find a routine. Things are changing all the time. Like us, dog love routine so try to keep to the same routine.

My dog has been a great comfort to me, while all this has been happening. Finn always puts a smile on my face, no matter how crap I feel.

I’m sure your dog does the same.

If you would like to tire, train and transform your dog’s mental exercise, while having a better bond with your dog.

Come and join my Free Facebook group ‘Coronavirus Canine Challenge’, daily tips and tricks to help you with your bored dog.

Stay home, protect the NHS and play with your dog.

Harriet x