Once our dog masters the commands “sit”, “down” and “paw”, we sometimes run out of ideas. This period of social distancing requested by our government provides a great opportunity to not only spend time with your dog, but also to entertain him by teaching new commands. These learnings will help to provide him with better moral support, to deepen your relationship and to exhaust him mentally so that you can subsequently go about your business freely.

The following activity ideas obviously include their share of treats . To avoid stuffing your dog, use his kibble and reduce its portion at the next meal. Alternatively, you can also cut the same treat into several smaller treats. Your dog will see nothing but fire!

Teaching a new command

Among our favorite unusual tricks, we particularly like the command requiring our dog to place itself between our legs. Simply repeat the word associated with the action with a hand sign. In our case, we used the word “middle” since it was not similar to other words already mastered. This trick can be very useful when you want to dress your dog before going out. Additionally, this trick is the starting point for several other more complex tricks, such as asking your dog to move between your legs while you walk.

To successfully instill the “middle” command, we suggest:

  1. First lure your dog with a treat by making him smell it
  2. Walk him around your leg, making him sniff the treat in your hand
  3. Congratulate every small victory
  4. Introduce the word “middle” when your dog makes a perfect circle around your leg
  5. Reward your dog verbally and with a treat

Teaching your dog a new command during quarantine – Chien Mondain

The further you progress in your attempts, the less you will need to bend over to complete a full turn of your leg. You will only be able to place a treat between your legs and say the command “middle”. Don't forget to reward your dog verbally as well, with a word associated with success: good dog, " good boy" , " good girl" , bravo, etc.

After a certain point, your dog may no longer want to cooperate. Stimulating a dog mentally exhausts him very quickly. The important thing is to end all your learning sessions in a positive way. You may need to repeat the exercise in several short sessions before mastering a new trick. Be patient and forgiving!

We also like the “ high five ”, “jump”, “butt in the air” and “dance” commands.

Teaching your dog a new command during quarantine – Chien Mondain

Increase your concentration

Although it is not a trick, this little trick will help you teach your dog tricks. Often used by dog ​​behaviorists, this protocol contains instructions for teaching your dog to be calm, to question himself, to question the people he lives with, and to get direction on what he is supposed to do.

The purpose of the protocol is multiple. Among other things, it teaches your dog to look to you for information about his own behavior. Your dog will also learn to anticipate what is expected of him.

The first step is to sit your dog down and make sure he is calm. He will have to look at you and wait for the information you are going to give him. This step can be applied in several situations: before eating, receiving a treat, attaching your leash or being dressed, for example.

To succeed in increasing your dog's concentration, you must then:

  1. Take treats in your hand and hide them behind your back
  2. Say your dog's name followed by the command "sit"
  3. Wait until your dog looks you in the eye
  4. Reward your dog verbally and with a treat when your eyes meet

As soon as your dog looks into your eyes, give him a treat. To increase the level of difficulty, repeat step 2 several times and increase the time between when your dog looks you in the eye and when you reward him. Ideally, we want to achieve a delay of 10 seconds between step 3 and step 4. By practicing this exercise every day, it is possible to hold your dog's gaze for around twenty seconds. This training is particularly useful for having your dog's attention at times when he feels less comfortable in the company of other humans or other dogs.

Play hide and seek with your treats

Are your kids and your dog running around the house? Take the opportunity to organize a game of hide and seek with treats and toys. Get the whole family involved and hide treats and toys in each room of your home. Obviously, your dog must remain seated and wait while you finish placing them everywhere. You can also hide your children or yourself and ask your dog to find you. Lots of laughs guaranteed!

Try to remember where you hid all the treats in case your dog was unable to find everything. You will be able to increase the difficulty level of the locations where the treats are hidden as you continue your activities.

Does your dog have interactive toys and is a master at solving them? Is he bored with the same puzzles? Take a shower towel and place treats in different places inside it before folding it. Repeat these steps two or three times. To increase the level of difficulty, you can tie the towel with one or two hair elastics. No need to put lots of treats in the towel. Only having a few hidden will stimulate your dog.

Play hide and seek with your dog’s treats – Chien Mondain

You can also use empty toilet paper rolls. Place several rolls of cardboard in a bowl. Place the rolls vertically and hide treats or your dog's kibble inside. Get your children involved by decorating the rolls. This will potentially be the least expensive and most effective way to slow your dog's pace.

Give bones or chewing sticks

This activity is very simple. It consists of practicing your dog's concentration by asking him to sit while you place a bone or a stick in his bed (or any place where he can chew freely). Once you get a look from him, let him chew on the dropped object. Chewing, although natural for a dog, requires considerable effort from the dog and is an excellent activity to tire it out.

Play outside

Spring is among us. The days are starting to get warmer and it's less interesting to spend a whole day indoors, especially for our four-legged friends. Despite the quarantine, don't forget that it is possible and important for a dog to get some fresh air as long as we take precautions not to come across other individuals too closely. Therefore, avoid public places like dog parks and main streets. For country people, this is easy. For city dwellers, try to find a trail or streets with little traffic. You always have the option of changing sidewalks when you pass another individual, which will allow you to keep your distance.

For those with a large yard, take advantage of this time outside to practice the new commands you recently taught your dog. External stimuli and multiple smells will increase the level of difficulty. You will appreciate the film even more when you return from a nice walk.

Just enjoy everything. This is a perfect opportunity to take a break from the daily hustle and bustle and spend time with the whole family. Above all, don't lose hope. Every effort invested now will allow us to enjoy the beautiful summer days with our doggies. And perhaps we will come away from this situation with a stronger relationship with our best canine friend, who is certainly delighted that we have nothing but time to devote to him.

Share with us what you're doing with your dogs during your social distancing period on our Facebook and Instagram pages. We love meeting you (virtually for now). Don’t hesitate to share this blog article with all your friends who also have furry friends at home.

The social team 🐩 🐾

Thanks to our precious photographer Jessica Giguère and her charming Odyle for the photographs.