15 ways to activate your dog

Nenivraj By Nenivraj, 8th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Dogs

A activated dog is a happy dog. By helping your dog to get an outlet for it's energy you will get a happier and calmer dog that will obey a lot easier. This will of course reflect in you and make your everyday a better day.

Why do dogs need to be activated?

As you might have realized, dogs are animals. They have been around for thousands of years and was once wild animals with needs just like all other creatures on this planet. They needed to hunt food, defend themselves, hide food for bad periods, mate, protect its preserves, hide, track and a lot of other things just to stay alive. This resulted in the dog gaining a lot of natural instincts.

Through breeding we have managed to turn the dogs of today into tame creatures. The dogs have adapted themselves to their new environment where they don't need to do as much as earlier. However, these instincts are rooted deep in their minds and if a dog doesn't get outlet for its energy you will have a harder time controlling these. You should never forget that your dog has been a wild animal.

  • If your dog hides candy and bones it is because he is smart. He follows one of his instincts which is to hide food for bad times. He will return to control his food and perhaps hide it in a different place if he thinks that someone else knows about his hide.

  • If your dog snarls in the middle of the night when he hears a sound he does this because he wants to protect the pack. He calls on your attention while he is making his presence heard.

  • If your dog picks up a trace when your outside he is hunting. He does this to get food to his pack, his instincts tells him to follow the trace.

Even though it might feel good to know that your dog is considering himself as a part of your pack and tries to help the pack, it can be very annoying when to many of these instincts comes out at the same time. By making sure that your dog gets activated you can have him more tired and less interested in following up the instincts.

Below I will present 15 quick and easy ways to activate your dog. I will divide it into three categories, Activating the body, Activating the brain and Activating the nose.

Activating the body

1. Take your dog for a walk
While this is quite time-consuming, it is a must. Your dog needs to walk and there is no way to get around this. Your best friend is most likely your most athletic friend as well with a body made for long walks and a lot of activities. Even though I promised quick ways to activate your dog I must mention the walks.

2, Set up obstacles when playing
When your outside playing with your dog you can set up obstacles. By having it jump over something while playing catch, he will need to use even more of his muscle-capacity.

3. Get weights for your dog
In most pet-stored you can buy a west that you can attach weights to. This will make your dog use more of his capacity when you are out on a walk. If you add 3kg of weight to a dog that weighs 15kg that is an extra 20%. Imagine how much tougher your walk would be carrying a backpack with an extra 20% of your body-weight. If you are 75kg heavy, that would be equivalent to 15kg. However, be careful not to put to much extra weight on your dog, especially if it has a long back.

These wests costs between 20$ and 50$ and are well worth the money.

4. Take your dog for a swim
Swimming is one of the most energy-consuming things you can do. This applies for dogs as well. The first times you take your dog out for a swim it will not take long for it to become tired. So take the dog with you next time you go to a lake.

However, try to be careful as dogs might forget about their limits. If it spots a bird or something out on the lake it might try to catch it. As an insurance you could buy a life jacket for it. These cost around 50$ and are well invested money.

5. Let your dog meet other dogs
This is also important due to the social aspects. Your dog has a social need just like you. If you know someone with a big yard with a fence you have a great opportunity to take your dog with you and let it activate itself. With other dogs around they will be playing for as long as they have any energy left.

Activating the brain

While the dog still has some of its instincts left, some has disappeared. When your dog don't know what to do it will ask for your help. This might be in a few seconds or a few minutes. It is important that you don't do the work for your dog. If it looks clueless you should just give it a hint.

6. Food in a bottle
Simply get a plastic bottle and put some food inside. Let your dog try to figure out how to get it out. Make sure it doesn't start biting the bottle and swallow any plastic. Some dogs will learn really fast, and some will have a really hard time.

7. Food under something
As an example, a saucepan lid. Put a piece of candy under it and let the dog try to move the lid in order to reach the candy. Try to use a metal-lid so it won't break and hurt your dog.

8. Food in a rag
Something that can be really hard. Grab a old t-shirt or piece of cloth. Put candy in the middle and tie a knot. Show it to your dog and it will most likely sense the candy and try to reach it. Once it gets the hang of it you will be impressed of its ability to untie knots.

I would recommend a loose knot in the beginning and then gradually make it harder.

9. Toys
All those puzzles for dogs that looks really silly works great! The cheapest costs around 10$ and will bring a lot of joy into both your and your dogs life.

10. Teach your dog different commands
Such as sit, lay down, snarl, bark, roll over and many, many more. Dogs are clever and learn to associate different events with different rewards. At first you can give your dog a treat and later on affection will be enough. I recommend you to buy a clicker for your dog. Not only will this stimulate the dog, you will also feel that you accomplish stuff and eventually you might be able to impress your friends and family. I will never forget the look on my mother-in-laws face when our cats sat on command.

Activating the nose

As we all know our dogs were gifted with a incredible sense of smell. They have a total of 220 000 000 cells to aid them, while we only have 5 000 000. Thats 44 times more than we have. So let your dog do what it knows best, using his nose to solve different problems.

11. Spread food on the lawn
When you are outside playing with your dog, just grab a handful of food and throw it all over the place. The dog will pick up the smell and find every single bit of it.

12. Prepare by hiding the food
Before you let your dog out, go outside and hide some food. Put it in places where it might be hard to reach. Once it picked up the first piece of it, it will start looking for more.

13. Dig the food down
Did you know that dogs can be trained to find trotyl molecules? They can be used to find mines that has been underground for years. To make it a bit harder for your dog, you can dig down some food. the best would be if you had a sandbox so the dog would not need to destroy your lawn.

14. Tracking
Teach your dog to track. It is to much text for me to write down here. So I am going to provide a link instead. Check this article out for more information. If you still are interested I recommend you to do a search on google for "How to teach a dog to track".

15. Hide its favorite-toys
Everything has its own smell. So does the dogs toys. By hiding them the dog will have something to do before it starts playing with them. Whenever you are about to give the dog a bone or something similar you have the option to hide it as well. Give your dog some challenges in life.

Some final tips

Dogs are cozy pets who add splendor to our lives. They can make every situation in life a bit funnier. They make you feel safe and are there to support you when you are down. To keep your dog under control and make sure it doesn't get restless it is important to give it some tasks. A dog wants to have tasks.

Just keep a few things in mind when activating your dog:

  • Young dogs and puppies don't know their limits. Because of this it is important that you don't activate it to much. A puppy doesn't show it's tired until it is exhausted.
  • Make sure that the different tasks when you train your dogs brain is difficult but not impossible. You want your dog to be challenged, you don't want it to give up.
  • Have patience when training your dog. A dog might seem to learn something in ten minutes and then forget about it. Just repeat the exercise.
  • Don't try to teach your dog commands in long sessions. 10-15 minutes of training is enough at a time. Do some more training later the same day.
  • Don't forget to reward your dog and give it affection

Some inspiration for your training:


Activate Dog, Activate Dogs, Defend The Pack, Dog, Dog Activities, Dogs, Pack, Pack Leader

Meet the author

author avatar Nenivraj
Don't forget to visit my website: Http://www.Nenivraj.com

A impatient but ambitious 21 year old guy. Will be sharing my thoughts on becoming a father, ideas on making money online and promoting yourself. Make sure to visit my fan-page on Facebook:...(more)

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