Creative Exercise Manages Energy
Using creative exercise is one way that we manage Keeper’s incredibly smart brain and wear his little butt out! I’ve been using fetch with Keeper, to have him fetch his dummy for exercise.
When I’m gone during the day, Leila uses this as well. BUT the end results of being tired, did not last that long. But she discovered that if she took the very same fetching bumper that we use and she hides it while he’s in his crate her world gets better!
Creative Exercise Stimulates Your Dog’s Brain
She uses this creative exercise to tire his mind out. She puts him in his crate so he can’t cheat, tThen brings him out and says, “Find it.” The nose goes to the ground and he’s off and looking.
The result of using such creative exercise is: he is a lot more tired from doing that after about four to six “find it’s” . Find it, exercises his doggie brain more than fetching. Fetching is a no brainer. He’s a Retriever, so he just runs and gets it, brings it back, and it’s just physical exercise, which is good for dogs, don’t misunderstand me, but working his mind gets him extremely tired. When you have a smart dog you have to get creative with exercise.
We exercise him physically and we’re also exercising him mentally. Do some nose work with your dog like Leila did with Keeper.
Keeper has to use his nose to find the bumper that Leila hides in the house. This is great for a rainy day too. If Keeper’s looking to go for a walk on a rainy day and we just don’t want to get out in the weather, then we’ll do some find it games.
How We Do The Find It Game
What we’ll do is we’ll either put him in his crate, or put him on his place or dog bed while Leila hides bumper or his toy. You don’t always have to use a fetching bumper. You can use a stuffy animal or something like that one of your dogs favorite toys.
She’ll hide it in one of the bedrooms, maybe under a pile of dirt clothes, and then we’ll come back, let him out of the crate and we’ll send him to go find it. He is mentally exhausted and sleeps for a couple of hours after that. He doesn’t do that after a good game of fetch, okay, so mental creative exercise works!
Here’ s the thing, if your dog is not a fetcher, not a retriever naturally, they still have a highly sensitive sense of smell. You can use something out of your kitchen cupboard. You could grab some vanilla extract, put it on a cotton ball and drag it across the floor, while your dog’s not looking and then put some cookie crumbs in the scent trail and a big food treat at the end as his prize. Then, bring him in, point to it and say, “Find It”, and he will associate the food treats with keeping his nose to the ground and following that vanilla extract or whatever scent you use on the ground till he hits the big prize at the end of the trail.