Staying Dry & Sane: How to Keep Your Dog Simulated, Happy & Active this Season | October – November 2010

Keeping Your Dog Busy & Stimulated in the Bad Weather


When the weather gets gross it’s often hard to motivate ourselves – or our dogs! – to go outside and play or expend energy.  When dogs spend more time inside, it’s easy for them to develop “cabin fever”.  There’s no reason to feel guilty, though.  While physical exercise is very important for your dog’s health, mental stimulation is just as important – and is hugely underestimated.  Playing games or using interactive toys that make your dog think will tire them out just as much – if not more – than physical exercise, and is a great way to supplement your walking and fetch time – and keep yourselves dry!

Play the “find it” game.  Use high-valuse treats and hide a small piece under or behind a toy (you’ll need to vary how difficult you make this depending on your dog’s personality, etc.).  Make sure they see you hid it.  As they go for the food, say “find it”.  Click (or say “yes) as they gulp it down.  Continue to do this, slowly increasing the difficulty as they get the hang of it.  Soon, you can start hiding treats around your house and your dog can search them out.  (Pictured are Zuke’s Mini Naturals.  Click here to view catalog.)


Use Busy Buddies to feed your dog their meals.  Put their kibble in a toy – or a few toys – in place of their meals and it’ll take them two to ten times as long to get through their meal because they have to work for it!  If your dog has a hard time when they don’t get fed in a bowl at their normal time, feed them a quarter of their food in their bowl and the rest just as you leave for work in a couple Busy Buddies.  (Pictured is a Kibble Nibble.  Click here to view catalog.)

Leave your dog with a frozen, peanut butter stuffed KONG or a Bully Stick.  If they don’t like peanut butter, use KONG’s Stuff’N to fill the KONG.  If your dog really likes to chew, pick up the KONG when they’re done and/or get a more heavy-duty one like the KONG Extreme. Bully Sticks are also a great, long-lasting alternative to rawhide, adn they break down in your dog’s digestive system much better.  (Pictured is an Original KONG.  Click here to view catalog.)

Behavior issues?  Train your dog this season!  Make her think!  Simply training your dog (especially by using clicker or marker training rather than luring or another method) will make them have to use their brain.  Having trouble with your dog charging the door when the bell rings?  Teach them to go to their mat and stay, instead!  To train your dog to go to their bed, stand a couple feet away from the bed with treats.  If they step on it – even if it’s just two feet at first – click or “yes” and treat them.  You can treat them off the bed so they have to walk off of it to get back on it again, or you can treat on the bed and then release them with an “OK” to start over.  Slowly increase your criteria by requiring that they put more feet on the bed, then you can eventually wait for them to sit or lay down on it, depending on what you want.  Don’t start adding the cue until the behavior is 100% – you don’t want to teach them that “go to your mat” actually means “stand there and stare at me” or “go see what’s happening in the kitchen”, right?

Toys, Treats & Gear, Oh My!

We’re thrilled to announce our new Product Catalog and convenient ordering system!  We’ve carefully compiled a catalog chalk full of the toys, treats and gear we love most, and they’ve all been repeatedly dog-tested and approved.  We’re forever searching for things to make your canine pal happy, healthy and stimulated, and we’ve got a great selection right at your fingertips.

Check out our catalog here. Then, fill out the order form (click here) and we’ll hand-deliver them to you, free of charge!  It’s that easy!

If you have any product or order questions, email us at or give us a call: 360.915.7130.

New Class!  Creating a Focused & Calm Dog in Distracting Situations
We’re really excited about this class.  It’s great for dogs who are over-stimulated, easily distracted and those who are worriers and who get nervous around other dogs and people.  In fact, it’s a great class for most any dog we can think of – unless there’s nothing that distracts them and they’re attached to your hip when you want them to 100% of the time, regardless of location (wouldn’t that be nice?).  Click here to download our Fall and Winter schedule.  Click here to learn more about the class and do download the registration form.