How Do I Keep My New Puppy Entertained?
Puppies are naturally curious and energetic, and as such, they tend to get bored quite easily. As a new pet owner, one of the challenges of getting a puppy is that you would need to keep your puppy engaged and entertained if you intend to have a well-adjusted and happy puppy.
There are various advantages to keeping your puppy busy and entertained, the most pressing of which is keeping your clothes, shoes, and furniture unchewed. Puppies have a higher-than-average energy level, and they spend a lot of their time trying to explore everything around them. Failing to keep your puppy entertained may steer him towards exploring your clothes, shoes, and furniture, hence you want to keep your pup entertained as much as possible.
Admittedly, it can be challenging to keep your puppy entertained, and trying to come up with ways to entertain your puppy is equally demanding.
The general rule of thumb is to keep your puppy engaged, mentally and physically stimulated to keep his energy levels under control. However, there is no single way of keeping your puppy entertained, however, you can select from several of the suggestions that we will be providing below:
1. Treasure Hunt
A great way to stimulate your puppy’s nose and encourage his sniffing and tracking skills. You have to keep treats hidden all around the house or yard and encourage your puppy to sniff them out. By the time your pup has tracked down all the hidden treats, he will be mentally fatigued, but his natural skills would be much sharper for it.
Ensure that our puppy gets to watch you hide the treats and encourage him to find all the treats after you’ve hidden them. Remember to shower him with a lot of praise every time he picks up a treat.
2. Find The Treat.
Classic gambling game, find the treatment can also be played with puppies to train their observational skills as well as their sense of smell. You place a treat under one of three cups as your pup watches, you then proceed to shuffle the three cups around and encourage your pup to find the treat. This game provides your puppy with tons of mental stimulation and encourages him to work on his problem-solving skills.
3. Clean Up
This is not exactly a game, but you could make it a game for your puppy. Start by always placing all his rubber dog toys in a container. Once your puppy associates his interactive dog toys with the container, you can encourage him to put his toys away. It may seem weird, but it takes away from your list of chores while encouraging your puppy to help keep your house clean. It is a great way to, mentally stimulate your pup and prevent him from growing into a messy dog.
You may have to do this in stages, but the payoff is worth it. Teach your puppy the drop it command. Once he has mastered this command, you can then proceed to get him to pick up a toy, and drop it in the toy container. Shower him with lots of praise and repeat the process. With consistency, your pup will eventually be able to clean up his puppy chew toys after playtime.
4. Using Treat Dispensing Dog Toys.
Your puppy’s curiosity is not something to discourage. Rather, if your tap into it, you would be able to stimulate him mentally in a lot of ways. Your pup is just as prone to boredom as you are and if you are to leave him alone, especially for hours on end, you may get him bored. You could try stuffing a toy with some of his favorite treats. This should keep him busy and entertained for a while.
5. Tug Of War
One of the best ways to engage in meaningful playtime with your pup while bonding with him, tug of war provides excellent physical and mental exercise for your puppy. An added advantage is that 5ug of war requires a little amount of space, so you can play indoors as well.
Contrary to many people’s belief, tug of war will not encourage your puppy’s aggressive tendencies, neither will letting him win make him dominant. If you let your puppy win, you only make the game more fun for him, after all, who enjoys playing a game they lose all the time?.
Be sure to teach your puppy a few basic rules such as stopping the game if his teeth touch your hand or if he growls at you.
6. Helping With Your Daily Tasks.
Dogs are more intelligent than we give them credit for, and as such, it is perfectly normal for a puppy to have a job. Conversely, if your puppy does not have a job, he might find one for himself, one that you may not like. Giving your puppy a job provides excellent mental stimulation and encourages him to use his natural intelligence.
You may give your puppy a simple task such as fetching your slippers in the morning or whenever. Teach your puppy the names of items in the house and encourage him to retrieve them for you. You could even teach him to open the refrigerator door by placing a towel around the handle and teaching him to pull on it.
7. Earn Your Food
Most dogs have a nice, comfortable life where all their needs are provided by their owners. This is great, but it may bore them in the long run. It is important to remember that puppies were bred mainly to work alongside men, and not giving your puppy any mentally stimulating tasks to do will bore them. Naturally, dogs are scavengers, and as such, having to earn their food is in their nature, and it can also be quite stimulating mentally. Encourage your puppy to earn his meals by making him do simple tricks or perform certain tasks before he gets his meal. If you want, you can use a food-dispensing toy to feed your puppy at mealtime.
8. Naming Things.
It has been established multiple times that dogs are quite intelligent, so much so that they can learn the names of certain objects. Some dogs have even learned up to a thousand words and can identify their organic dog toys by individual names. Getting a good start on naming things is a great way to breed an intelligent dog. You can start by teaching your pup to identify his bowl, toys, and even your favorite slippers by name.
Once your puppy interacts with an object, name the object and provide lots of positive reinforcement. Over time, your puppy will associate the name with the object and if you mention the name, your puppy will retrieve the object. Do this for all the objects you want your puppy to be able to identify. There are no limits to this exercise, so you can name all the objects in your house and teach your puppy to identify them all.
9. Choose The Hand
Yet another game that children play, but your pup can also enjoy. You place a treat in one hand, letting your puppy see the hand. You then hide both hands behind you and present your puppy with both hands for him to choose which hand contains the treat. If he chooses right, let him have the treat, pick another treat, and repeat. If he chose wrong, show him the treat, and try again.
10. Hide And Seek
A favorite for most dogs, hide and seek provides excellent mental stimulation and physical exercise. A good way to start the game is by ensuring that your puppy knows to stay. If your pup does not know the stay command, you can get a family member to distract him while you go hide. For best results, however, teach your puppy the stay command.
Keeping your pup entertained will get you a grown, physically fit, and mentally well-adjusted adult puppy, so you should start early. It also helps the bonding process and you can get a best friend for the rest of your pup’s life.