Activities For Focused Dogs

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Introduction

When it comes to personalities, dogs are all different. There are dogs who are energetic while some are lazy. Some dogs are really affectionate while others aren’t. There are also dogs who are dozy while some are attentive. If you have a dog who’s focused and alert, you are in luck. There are many benefits to owning a focused dog. Firstly, a dog that is attentive is more trainable. This is because they know how to listen and are intent in learning. Another advantage of having a focused dog is that they are more aware of you. This means they can read your body language and sense your emotions. In this sense, they are more connected to you. Finally, focused dogs are more open to try new activities; their curiosity and willingness to learn will get them to follow orders in no time. With that said, here are some activities that you can try on your pooch. 

Trick Training

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Any Day
Free
Normal
10 - 30 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description
If you have a dog with laser-like focus, take advantage of this by training your dog to do new tricks. What constitutes a “trick”? It could include anything from basic commands such as “sit” and “stay” to something more complex like getting your dog to roll over. You may even take things up a notch by teaching your dog how to clean up toys, go through obstacle courses and other fun and challenging tricks. Trick training has several benefits. For one, it is a great exercise for your dog, not only for the body but also for the brain. Trick training keeps your dog physically and mentally stimulated. Another benefit is that it builds your dog’s confidence and self-awareness. Lastly, trick training can serve as a good bonding time between you and your pooch.
Step
1
Choose a trick to teach
When it comes to teaching tricks, there are a number of options. Ideally, you would want to start with something simple and easy to learn. This includes basic commands such as “come”, “stay”, or “sit”. Focus on one command at a time to avoid confusion on your dog’s part and try to keep your sessions short, preferably only about 10 minutes per session.
Step
2
Give a reward
Once your dog masters a trick, give a reward for a job well done. This could come in the form of belly rubs, kisses or doggy treats. Let your dog know that they are doing a good job and that you appreciate the focus. Take short rests before moving on to a new trick. One or two tricks per day is good enough. This activity requires a lot of patience and understanding.
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Shell Game

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Any Day
Free
Normal
15 - 30 min
Items needed
Cups
Treats
Activity description

The shell game is a simple and interesting game that will surely put your dog’s focus to the test. This game is a sleight of hand and involves hiding an item under inverted cups and moving the cups about to confuse the player. While the game is quite simple and straightforward, it becomes challenging since the player is a dog. Instead of hiding an item, use a dog treat to give your dog more of an incentive to play. This game is a perfect test of focus and alertness. It is also a good game that will keep your dog’s brain stimulated. 

Step
1
Start the game
To proceed with the game, start with two cups. With your dog watching, turn the cups over and hide a treat under one of the cups. Then, give your dog the green light to turn the cup over in order to retrieve the treat. Do this about 7 to 10 times, using the same cup the entire time, to let your dog get a good understanding of how the game works.
Step
2
Switch things up
Once your dog gets the hang of it, repeat the first step using the other cup. If your dog chooses the right cup, give the treat. Otherwise, show where you put the treat but do not give the treat. Instead, put the cup back in place and have your dog guess again. This is when your dog’s brain starts working to figure out what you want to happen.
Step
3
Make the game more challenging
When your dog masters this, you can now test your dog’s focus by adding more challenge to the game. Place the treat under any cup and slowly switch the cup’s place. Get your dog to guess the correct cup. If your dog guesses right, let them have the treat. If not, lift the correct cup and let your dog see where it is. Keep on playing and switching the cups (slowly at first) until your dog gets it right. Focused dogs will get the game in no time. When the game becomes too easy for your dog, you can make some variations such as switching the cup’s places more than once or by adding in a third cup.
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Flirt Pole

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Any Day
Free
Easy
10 - 30 min
Items needed
Pole
String
Toy
Treats
Activity description

Dogs love to play with objects that are new to their eyes. They also love to chase things or other animals around. If your dog is focused, then playing with a flirt pole can help rouse their attention. A flirt pole is practically like a fishing rod, but for dogs. It refers to any pole or stick and a string with an object attached to it, usually a toy of some sort. You then use the flirt pole to entice your dog. This activity is similar to lure coursing, sans the machinery used in the sport. Again, this activity is an excellent form of physical and mental exercise for your dog. All that running around can also serve as a workout for you. 

Step
1
Create a flirt pole
Creating a flirt pole is very simple and straightforward. First, find a lightweight toy to attach to your pole. This will serve as your “bait” for your dog. It has to be light so that it won’t come off at any given time during the game. When you find a toy, tie a string around it. Then attach the stringed toy onto a stick or a pole. Make sure that all the items are secured and in place.
Step
2
Find a spot to play in
The good thing about playing with flirt poles is that they can be used anywhere, whether indoors or outside. If you do not want to go out, especially if it is rainy or cold, then you may settle for your living room. Just make sure to have enough space to move around and that there are no hazardous objects lying around. But if the weather is good or you want a change of scenery, go out to your backyard or other open areas such as a quiet dog park. The advantage of choosing such places is that they offer more room for playing.
Step
3
Start the chase
When your flirt pole is all done and good to go and you’ve settled on a place to play, get your dog’s attention by waving the toy. Once you have piqued your dog’s interest, wait for your dog to move towards you. When your dog is close, start to move away and go on full sprint mode with the flirt pole behind you and get your dog to chase you. When your dog has caught the toy, give a treat as a prize.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hide and Seek

This classic game is made more fun when you are playing with your furry friend. You can play this with just your dog or with another person. First, command your dog to stay at a spot (or have the second person hold your dog) while you go and hide. When you’re settled in your hiding place, call your dog’s attention (or have the other person release your dog) and let your dog find you. When your dog locates you, give a treat and start all over again. This activity works well in both an indoor and outdoor setting.

Treasure Hunt

This game is simple and is best played during your routine dog walk. All you need for this activity is a bag of treats. While taking your dog out on a walk, toss some treats around your area when your dog isn’t looking. Then, command your dog to find the treat. This activity is not only rewarding for your dog, it also hones their focus and searching skills. 

Conclusion

Apart from the usual physical activity, dogs who are focused and attentive will also need constant mental stimulation. Having a dog with immense focus is a good thing; your dog pays more attention to you and is more receptive to your commands. Try any of these activities for focused dogs in order to inspire and fuel your pup’s active mind.