06 Apr The best ways to entertain your puppy
Puppies, and dogs of all ages for that matter, need daily exercise and mental stimulation to stop them getting bored.
A bored dog will create their own entertainment, which you might not appreciate so much – like chewing things, barking, digging in your garden and more.
Here are our top tips to entertain your new furry family member.
Take them for a walk
It’s obvious, but important – a daily walk where your puppy can explore, play and burn off some energy is one of the best ways to stop them getting bored.
When walking a puppy, there are a few things you need to consider:
- Don’t over exercise them – check with your vet how much exercise they should be getting based on their age and breed and use a PitPat activity monitor to keep track.
- Introduce them to new experiences gradually. This includes other animals, new areas, other people and more.
- Take both a standard-length lead and a training lead so that you can give them some more freedom to run when you are away from roads.
- Choose a collar and/or harness that can be adjusted to fit them as they grow.
- Use positive reinforcement and reward them for good behaviour.
Do some training
Training not only kills the boredom, but it also provides a perfect opportunity for you to bond with your puppy.
Start with the basics – sit, stay, down, come – and progress onto the Instagram-worthy tricks as you both learn together.
Use positive reinforcement and follow it with a play session so they always associate time spent training with fun!
Play is incredibly important for your puppy’s development. Time spent playing helps to refine their motor skills and increase the bond between you and your dog.
Remember that playing with your puppy is a great time to reinforce good play behaviour and discourage bad play behaviour. For example, if your puppy gets over excited during a tug game and bites you, stop the game immediately and wait until they are calm to start again.
Different toys have different uses, so you can use them to bond with your puppy, keep them busy whilst you run errands, or get them running around.
Toys that you and your puppy play with together are perfect for bonding and help refine their motor skills as they learn to catch, dodge and chase. These toys often become your dog’s favourite type and can be used to reward good behaviour rather than treats.
If you need to keep them busy though, there are plenty of toys designed to do just that. The doggy favourites tend to be types of food puzzles, which will keep your puppy interested until they manage to get all the food out.
Finally, chew toys are an essential if you don’t want your puppy to turn to your furniture when they are teething. Choose robust toys with features that clean their teeth whilst they chew.
The key to keeping your puppy interested in their toys is to rotate them – give them access to a few of them at a time and swap them out every now and then.
Follow the tips above and your puppy will never be bored. In fact, we think they’ll be maxing out their playtime! Keep track of their playtime and activity levels as they grow with PitPat.
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