Keeping your puppy entertained is the best way to keep from having your home destroyed by a bored little creature. There are so many different ways to play and exercise with your puppy. Puppies are capable of digging holes (everywhere), chewing socks (or anything else) into pieces, and even chewing on furniture.
In some cases, you might end up with a puppy that likes to hoard items. Ever notice items missing from your home, like shoes? Better follow your puppy, you might find all of your goodies in a hidden pile somewhere. Here are some steps for entertaining an energetic puppy:
Training. Play is also a great time to get your puppy leash trained as well. Be sure to find a collar that fits your puppy well. You should be able to stick a finger between the neck of your puppy and the collar. You don’t want it too big just in case your puppy gets scared and starts to tug-they’ll slip right out!
Treats. Start with a pocket full of tiny treats. Note: don’t feed your puppy too many treats or you will end up with a sick puppy. You can offset the amount of food they would normally get with their healthy treats, acting as a mini-meal replacement. Get your puppy familiar with walking along side you with tasty treats as rewards. Before you know it, your puppy will get very excited when you pick up the leash!
Exercise with Food. Daily exercise, both physical and mental, is crucial for a young puppy’s development. Play with your dog by hiding little bits of dog food in toys, such as a Kong. This is great for puppies that love to use their noses. It teaches puppies to be patient and use their senses.
“It teaches puppies to be patient and use their senses.”
Exercise with Play. A good ol’ fashioned ball is another great way to have fun with your puppy, especially the food motivated kind. You can toss tennis balls or if you have a smaller breed dog, there are smaller custom designed balls available at many different pet stores. Or a big pile of sand…or leaves…or dirt! This can be a messy, but very fun, way for your puppy to dig and hide items. Dog runs, after the puppy is fully vaccinated, is a great way to get them physical exercise (and socialization). There are puppy meet-ups that help pair small dogs together. Hide and seek is also a very fun game for puppies. A great way to start this game is by hiding their favorite toy, then guiding your puppy in the general area where the toy is located. You can even hide too – when your puppy finds the toy (or you) – reward time! As the puppy ages, exercise for your puppy also means exercise for you, which can be a win-win – think running, Frisbee, etc.
Puppies require lots of commitment and care. Keeping your puppy properly entertained with activities and exercise is going to help your puppy grow into a happy and healthy adult dog.
If you enjoyed this post, you should read “4 tips for leash training stubborn dogs”
Do you have some puppy entertainment tips of your own? Comment below!