Sight - Finding activities that let our dogs natural ability track and find are great fun.
- dog safe bubbles
- tug or fetch
- flirt poles
Sound - Letting our dogs listen to dog tv or the radio give our dogs a chance to experience new sounds and vibrations. Remember to keep the volume low and
Smell - Scent games like 'Go Find', 'Muffin Tin Game', 'Box Hunt'
- Create your dogs very own Sensory Garden by adding some dog safe herbs in places your dog can reach to sniff.
- Scent Work - these games are great for dogs who were bread from their heightened sense of smell
- Select a dog safe essential oil like birch, anise, clove, and or cypress.
- To introduce your dog to the new scent, take whatever oil you choose, put 1 drop of it onto a cotton swab and put it into a glass jar.
- Have the jar in one hand and treats in the other. When your dog sniffs/noses at the jar with the scent, praise and bring your treat over next to the jar and treat. In this way, you are helping to make the connection for your dog that you are rewarding at the source of the scent. Now, you can introduce a verbal cue like “search" or "Sniff"
- When your dog is consistently alerting to the jar of scent, you can begin to create simple hides in boxes like the above box game.
- Once your dog is consistently nose-bumping the jar of scent in your hand, you can move the jar to the floor. Ask your dog to “search,” and when they bump the jar with their nose, praise and reward with treats next to the jar. This helps reinforce the reward being connected to the scent.
- You can even go as far as buying some animal scents and using them for these games too. I've not been brave enough to try this yet, but will let you know when I do!
Taste - there are so many dogs safe foods that we can share with our dogs in small amounts to see what they like and expose them to new flavours and textures.
- Select 6 or 12 foods and chop them into tiny pieces, (the amount you use should be small because they are getting 6 or 12 to explore!)
- Pop the pieces into the muffin tin and let your dog chose which one they want to have 1st, and watch as they sniff and taste new flavours.
Touch - Some dogs love snuggling in a soft blanket, some enjoy a gentle massage in the evening, and my little Daisy loves getting her paws rubbed before she goes to bed.
Our dogs are different, and while some want as much physical contact they can get, for others just sitting next to you is enough.
Tellington TTouch can help dogs relax, reduces muscle tension and can help lower stress levels in dogs. Check out our Tellington TTouch guide