Chuck it, or repetitive, high arousal fetch, can be problematic for dogs’ mental and physical health. Here are three alternatives to help meet their needs!
A great way to let dogs run hard, get their cardio in and stretch their legs is recall games. With the added bonus of strengthening the recall cue, these games are easy and just take two (or more) people and an off leash space.
Recall the dogs between each person, reinforcing with a single treat or a scatter each time. Vary the distance and difficulty of the terrain to provide new challenges!
Instead of traditional fetch, retriever games are a fun version of traditional bird dog work. By asking the dogs questions before and after each run, and building in problem solving and sniffing, we avoid a lot of the pitfalls of fetch while still playing a fun game. The combination of intense physical exercise and problem solving makes it very efficient at satisfying our dogs’ exercise needs.
You can find the full Retriever Games webinar here!
Interactive Toy Play
Games of tug, wrestling, flirt pole and more can give your dog an outlet for their physical exercise needs, build your connection, and be a valuable reinforcer for behaviours we want to see more of. You can use these games to teach your dog how to modulate their excitement levels, how to offer behaviour before chasing something and how to engage with you around distractions, all while exercising them. And above all else, playing with your dog should be fun!
If you want to learn more about exercising your dog, check out our Understanding Exercise webinar!