Guest columnist Wendy Nan Rees uses a hide and seek sock to put her own spin on a fun game of fetch with her dogs. Follow her step-by-step instructions and play it with your dog too.
A Hide and Seek Game for You and Fido
When the winter months are upon us, we should take a few minutes out to remember just how long those months can be. During this time of lower activity due to inclement weather, we need to keep our dog's mind and body working together. In this way we can help spare our homes free from a wild day of boredom and disaster from Fido chewing up the couch on a snowy day. In fact, this is good to keep in mind anytime of the year because dogs need exercise year round.
I have learned from my good friend, behaviorist and intuitive dog trainer Kathy Santo, that when you stimulate your dog's mind and body at the same time, you will have a truly happy dog. The problem is that if you take your dog for an hour walk and then put him in the house for the day, he may be physically tired, but he now has mental activity going on in his mind.
The trick is to work both the mental and physical aspects at the same time. In this way, you have given your dog something to think about and a good exercise program. Here is what you want to do on the days you cannot go outside to play and train; this is a game that is a training exercise at the same time.
How to Play Hide and Seek Sock
I like to use an old tube sock and fill it with a treat my dogs personally love. I also like to place a rubber Kong® toy inside my sock, if you have an old rubber Kong toy this will add new life to it, and the game is fun!!
- First, fill your Kong toy with any one of your dog's favorite treats; maybe it is cheese or liver or pieces of cut up hot dog. Once you have filled the Kong, it is time to hide it in the old tube sock.
- To begin, let your dog give the sock a sniff so he catches the scent of the treat inside.
- Next, you want to hide the sock at first in a place that is easy for your dog to find.
- You can almost let your dog see where it is, and then pick a command word. I like to use the word "fetch".
- Keep saying the word until he goes to get the sock and brings it to you.
- You can then take the treat out and give it to him while you are telling him how good he is. You can repeat the entire game until your dog begins to lose interest.
This activity will keep your dog busy both mentally and physically. He will learn a new word and game, and you will have hours of fun interacting with your dog this coming winter.
More Tips from Wendy
- Smelly Jelly Deodorizer
- Teach Your Dog to Fetch
- Scented Rocks Deodorizers