Exercise Your Dog From Your Recliner
Buster and Ty couldn’t be more different. One area this is particularly apparent is exercise. Take Buster for a 3 mile walk … come back … he’s warmed up … you’re tired. Tell Ty you’re going for a 3 mile walk … he cries Uncle … and crawls immediately into bed.
We have the additional challenge of not always being able to walk the dogs. Bad weather. No sidewalks. A road with no shoulder. No pet friendly trails. Try walking a German Shepherd around a small campground 50 times. Not fun.
One thing our dogs do have in common is a love of food. Hmmmm, if only there were a way to combine exercise and food … with the added benefit of tiring out Buster and Ty.
Mind games! No – not something you do to a co-worker or a younger brother or sister. Nina Ottosson mind games.
A while back, we got the Dog Finder™ game to try out. Think Chutes and Ladders meets The Shell Game. Except for dogs!
The blue “game board” is shaped like a big dog treat. (Ty is already salivating!) There are 9 tracks or slides in which you can place food. (Or not!) Then you cover the food with bones. (Ty says wait a minute!)
The goal is for your dog to slide the bones up or down the tracks to a wider section and dislodge them with paw or mouth in order to get the hidden food. You can make the game harder by putting an empty bone or two in the track for your dog to remove before they can work on the treat bone. Mind games!
The idea is that the mental activity of figuring out the game stimulates and tires out your dog. It works! And it’s just plain fun watching Buster and Ty methodically pawing and sniffing.
Dog Finder is just one of a series of Nina Ottosson interactive games. There’s Twister, Brick, Casino, Magic, Spinny, and Tornado. Each game has its own mechanism that requires mental and physical dexterity to work through the challenge and reveal hidden food rewards. They can be set to differing levels of complexity, to satisfy all ages and breeds of dog. The games can also be used to entertain and exercise injured or older dogs.
The games come with set up directions so your dog doesn’t get discouraged at the outset. That was no problem for our boys – we set it up once in “easy” mode, but they figured it out in no time because they are so food motivated.
The games are compact and store away easily – something of great interest to us in the RV. They’re also tough, hard wearing, and dishwasher safe. Oh yeah – cats (and other kinds of pets) can play, too!
But seriously, the games are designed to entertain and develop training and learning skills. You can order any of them online or pick them up at many national pet chain stores. Enjoy!
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