Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rainy days

Elka doesn't really like the rain.

Thunderstorms don't bother her in the slightest; she would in fact love to be outside to watch them.  But Elka does not like sky-water falling upon her, which can make things like potty breaks and exercising difficult on a rainy day, besides the fact that the back yard gets rather muddy.

So, what is there to do on a rainy day?

Well, for starters, if you're into open-ended clicker games, or just want to screw around with new behaviors you might want to develop, there's 101 Things to do with a (Bucket)

Elka has also gotten over her suspicion of boxes, it would seem.  Or at least her suspicion of soda boxes. So she has a favorite thing to do with those: tear them apart!  She pulls pieces off of the cardboard, and drops them off the floor.   She shakes the big bits around, and brings them to me to be thrown.  It's just some good, clean, fun!
Of course, recreational chewing has always been a big part of Elka's life, and can take up a lot of her day.  I read somewhere that a dog has a "chew fix" something like a person who's smoked has a "nicotine fix", and watching the look in Elka's eyes as she works on something between her molars, I can believe it.

I mentioned the laser pointer previously this week, and that's a very good energy blaster.  Elka will chase that laser as hard as she can for a good twenty minutes, and then sack out for the next few hours.
Another game that's good an active, but also engages Elka mentally, is "Find Gumby".  I have her Down, and then Stay in the kitchen (sometimes using Wait; as I've mentioned, she's inclined to maintain her position better if I use Wait), and then I go our of her sight into the living room and place Gumby somewhere.  I return to the kitchen doorway and say "Okay, find Gumby!"  Elka bounds off into the next room, and looks all over the place for Gumby.  Sometimes he's on a chair or couch, sometimes he's standing on the floor next to the stairs.  Occasionally, on the third or fourth go when she's really into it, I'll try to get Elka to engage her nose and put Gumby under her bed.
And last but not leash, a rainy day is a good day to use a puzzle toy to feed your dog, rather than just filling her bowl!  I've mentioned our success with the Monster Mouth, and we also have a couple of extra large Kongs.  Peanut butter helps keep the kibble in longer, so it doesn't just spill out across the floor the second Elka nudges the toy, and I try to get peanut butter that doesn't have too much sugar in it.   Sugaring up my Doberman is not my idea of a fun time, though I'm also not entirely willing to pay five or more dollars a jar for no-sugar-added peanut butter, so it's a two edged sword.

So with all of this, I hopefully meet Elka's physical exercise requirements, and also exercise her mentally so that she doesn't go stir crazy (and by that token, drive me crazy) when we're in the house on a rainy day.

No comments:

Post a Comment