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colliehound

Enrichment ideas

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We have young dogs and I am looking for more enrichment ideas. 

We have a large property, digging area, sand pit, water play area, I do daily treats in boxes, in kongs, whole boiled eggs etc. 

What else do you suggest to keep it interesting? 

We do herding, showing and basic obedience but I am looking for at home ideas to keep them stimulated on the days my health doesn't allow me to be running around with them. 

Both large working breeds. 

Thanks. 

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I have a few toys that only come out when I’m unwell.

When I knew I was going into hospital, that morning I set homework for bubs.

 

If your dogs know toys by names, you could try releasing a few into the yard and asking that whilst you’re away, they go to the tree, pick up Ted, and bring him to the porch, that sort of thing.

You can get covert in this if you want, buy a few toys which are unnamed and unliked by your dog, often glare at them whilst you mutter about how annoying “those guys” are. Do things every now and then like walk past them and pause and glare, remind your dog how “we don’t like them”, so on. Bring them inside so your dogs don’t see them unnatended. 

One day, happen to leave them out in the yard and see what happens. Praise lavishly when a corpse is produced ;) 

Or you can pull your dogs aside and tell them to take care of these guys for you, that’ll give them something to chase purposefully :). 

 

Otherwise there’s the Fitball - even the ones from Kmart are very durable and can buy you a few hours of herding.

Release it into the yard, downhill preferably, and watch the herding begin.

If you can supervise this from inside it’s preferable just incase it bursts, but if not, start with slippery inflatable balls and praise the dogs for retrieving a corpse for you.

 

Flirt pole - I made one from a sturdy cardboard roll and some cords, tied a drink bottle with pebbles to one cord, and had countless hours of fun watching that thing get chased. I imagine a real flirt pole would work even better ;) 

 

Elastic - this is the ultimate winner.

if you can rig up something to chase on one end something to hold on the other, you can basically stand still (with the exception of a few steps here and there) while your dog thinks you’re running together. 

 

Frozen toys - freeze a bunch together and bring it out to chew on. Not Kongs or food things, just toys, bottles stuff like that.

 

Bottles - crackly plastic, odd shaped, hard to pick up, all of those are fun to chase down and collect.

you can add a “get them from here to here” if you want. 

 

Cardboard - ripping cardboard seems to be awesome. 

Bunnings have cardboard boxes that you can get free, they provide a lot of entertainment by way of ripping and carrying. 

 

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