Tips for Solving Common Dog Obedience Issues or Bored Dog
Dogs, especially younger dogs, need something to do. If you don’t provide it, they’ll find it. Chewing shoes and digging in the garbage are fun when there’s nothing else to do.
Everyone knows that!
Often, taking your dog outside for a run or a rousing game of frisbee will burn up that excess energy and solve your dog obedience issues, but what if you can’t get outside?
What if it’s too darn cold and icy out there?
You don’t need to break a leg!
For simple and enjoyable exercise inside the house, teach your dog to jump! I have a set of standards made from PVC pipe that can be taken apart for storage. But you don’t even need that.
Ways To Exercise Your Dog Indoors
All you really need is a couple of chairs and a broom.
Start with some healthy treats, broken into very small pieces. You want to keep your dog’s attention, and treats do it every time.
Dog obedience trainers recommend using something different from his usual treats any time you’re working on training. When we went to dog obedience class we used hot dogs, cut into small pieces and cooked down in the microwave – mostly so they weren’t so slimy in my pocket!
When my dog saw those treats come out, she knew it was time to go to “work.”
Put a leash on your dog the first few times, so you can direct him where you want him to go. He should catch on quickly and you can remove the leash.
Put your broom across the lowest rungs of the chair and encourage your dog to go over. If the broom is too low, he may just step across, so you’ll have to raise it. You can go with him, hopping across yourself (and getting some good winter exercise at the same time) or you can toss the treat across and tell him to go get it. Be sure to point both your face and your arm in the direction you want him to go… dogs understand body language as much as they do words. And they pay attention to where your nose points!
I like to withhold the treat until the jump is complete, because sometimes my dogs get lazy and run around the outside.
No treat for that one!
Be sure that along with the treat, you heap on lavish praise, and use the word that goes with the activity. Restrain yourself from saying “Good dog” when he jumps. Instead say “Good jump“, so that he associates the word with what he did right. Use this same tactic if you’re teaching any command, like sit or stay or come.
After your dog has learned to go over the jump for a treat each time, start instructing him to go back and forth a few times before you give a treat.
As he becomes better and better at jumping, raise the bar.
But look out!
Dogs are tricky and sometimes when the bar is high, they run under it! I hang a towel or a blanket over the bar to remove the temptation.
After a good workout, let your dog rest with some calmer exercises… such as “roll over,” “crawl” or “dead dog.” My dog has gotten really good at crawling all the way across the living room, but “dead dog” seems impossible for her. No matter how intent she is on laying very still, her tail wags!
Playing with your dog in the house will not only help burn off the energy that causes behavior problems, it will go a long way toward helping you bond with your dog. The dog will love the one on one attention and the praise you give each time he gets it right.