Entertaining Your Greyhound During Lockdown
Nov 19, 2020
The recent COVID restrictions here in South Australia have found us all confined to our homes, including our greyhounds who may still be looking for their daily walks!
Although they are missing out on their favourite time of day, the lockdown presents us with a great opportunity to offer our greyhounds other forms of enrichment in their days. You can give them new entertaining ways to receive their food, play some new games or why not try some training sessions which will not only help tire them out and give them some mental stimulation but will also create an even stronger bond between you and your hound! For other ways to entertain your greyhounds and to help them adjust to all of the recent changes, please see ‘Adjusting back to office life’ and ‘Separation anxiety while working from home’.
There are many different types of enrichment toys available – kongs, snuffle mats, lick mats, food puzzles just to name a few! Food enrichment toys are a great way to keep your greyhounds brain active and help to tire them out so that they can nap for the rest of the day. Dogs also love to work for the food they get as they see the food as a reward which always makes it taste better! If you do not already own a food dispensing toy, try creating your own following the ‘DIY Environment Enrichment Toy’ blog. You can substitute the toilet roll tube for other objects from around the house, including egg cartons, bottles, or even a cardboard box. Remember to adjust the quantity of your greyhounds normal feed if you are using food enrichment or they are intaking extra food as less exercise will quickly lead to your greyhound having a cuddly COVID body!
Scatter feeding is another great way to get your greyhounds brain working as well as them utilizing their all too often forgotten sense of smell. Scattering their breakfast or dinner kibble in the back yard will keep them busy without requiring any equipment. You can also make a game out of this by hiding treats across the yard for your greyhound to sniff out and find!
Rotate their toys
If your hound is toy motivated, rotating their toys daily will help keep your greyhound engaged in this form of play as each day they will feel as though they are given something new.
You can also utilize the space you have in your yard to exercise your greyhound. Playing games like fetch or tug of war or even running around the yard with them will give your greyhound some physical exercise to stretch their legs and puff them out. Make sure to always give them plenty of mentally simulating exercise as well as the physical!
Another fantastic way to enrich your greyhound’s day is to train them in different ways. Training your greyhound to ‘Touch’, ‘Leave it’, ‘Drop, or even ‘Sit’, can be a great way to keep your greyhound entertained while also improving the bond and trust you both share. Start off with something which is easier for your greyhound to grasp the concept of, such as ‘Touch’ and work your way through different training exercises until you can master exercises like ‘Sit’ or ‘Watch Me’ For more on training your greyhound keep an eye out for our next blog, which will be out in the coming days.
The whole idea of enrichment is to introduce new and interesting things to stimulate the mind and senses of your greyhound. Food is always a favorite, however there are many other options. Try introducing new smells or scents. Most of the dried herbs in your pantry are safe for dogs so try stuffing a mixture into an old sock or stocking and putting it on your dogs bed or giving them a safe dig pit for them to investigate. Allow your greyhound into areas where they are not usually allowed to go when you are at work, and allow them to investigate. Rearrange your yard so that things are in a different location or try making some at home agility equipment using a garden cane and a couple of small upturned plant pots to create a little ‘jump’. The options are endless – be creative!
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