It’s been a long winter, and it doesn’t show signs of stopping anytime soon. This is the time of the year when everyone starts to feel a bit stir crazy. Especially our pets!
Your Labradoodle needs physical and mental stimulation, regardless of the weather. But it’s not easy when you’re trapped indoors. Here are five boredom busters to help you keep your sanity for the rest of the winter season.
Rotate dog toys every week.
Dogs can get bored with the same toys week after week, even if they have plenty to choose from. But that doesn’t mean that you have to buy new toys every week. Choose 5-10 different toys and put the rest away. After a week, pick up those toys and offer new ones. Your Labradoodles will be much more interested in toys they haven’t played with for a while. It’s almost like they’re brand new! This is a great way entertain your Labradoodle and to get more mileage from existing dog toys.
Try food-dispensing dog toys
Every Labradoodle loves to eat! Food-dispensing toys are essential winter boredom busters. You can find a variety of food-dispensing toys online or at your local pet store. Kongs can be stuffed with dog treats or peanut butter. You can even freeze them to provide an extra challenge. Buster Cubes can be filled with treats or kibble. Your Labradoodle has to learn to push the cube around to get the food. There are many options, so try a few to find out what your dog enjoys.
Play indoor games
Hide and seek is a great way to exercise your Labradoodle’s mind and body. Plus you can use it to practice recall skills. The entire family can get involved in the game. To begin, each participant should stock up on tasty treats. You can take turns hiding throughout the house and calling your dog. When your dog finds you, provide a generous reward. To keep the game going, call out “all done!” This will cue the next family member to call your dog.
Another fun one is the muffin tin game. You can see it in action in this video. You’ll need a muffin tin, tennis balls, and some tasty treats. Smelly treats are best, especially when your Labradoodle is first learning. To play the game, put a treat in each muffin hole and place a tennis ball on top. Your dog will have to figure out how to dislodge the tennis ball to get the treat. Food-motivated dogs love this game.
Teach your Labradoodle new tricks
Training stimulates your dog’s mind and alleviates boredom. Labradoodles love to learn new tricks. You can start my making a list of the tricks you want to work on. Pick one and start moving down the list. Training sessions should be short, positive, and fun. All it takes is two or three 15-minutes training sessions per day. You’ll be amazed by the amount of mental energy your Labradoodle can burn in a short period.
Take your Labradoodle to doggie daycare
Many Labradoodles enjoy going to doggie daycare. It allows you to leave your dog in a safe place that provides lots of attention and playtime. Plus your Labradoodle will have the opportunity to socialize with other dogs. You can take your Labradoodle to doggie daycare as often as you want, but a couple times per week generally provides enough exercise and mental stimulation.
We hope these ideas will help your Labradoodles have a fun, boredom-free winter!