How to Keep Your Puppy Entertained
So you’ve welcomed a new puppy into the family. Firstly, congratulations! Secondly, we’ve got a dedicated Puppy Guide you might find helpful. Thirdly, are you ready for all the havoc they’re going to cause?
Just like little kids, puppies need constant attention and entertainment, and don’t take boredom well. Luckily for you, we’ve got you sorted. Here are our official top tips on how to keep your puppy entertained.
How to know if your puppy is bored
Do you like being bored? Staring into space? No one talking to you? Well, neither does your puppy, so it’s important to keep the little fella nice and stimulated.
For first time dog owners, you may not even realise if your puppy is feeling this way; dogs obviously can’t tell you how they’re feeling out loud, and although understanding your pet’s feelings becomes second nature after a while, there’s no shame in taking a while to grasp the ins and outs of your pet’s personal language.
We’ve got your back though. Here are some signs to look out for to deduce puppy boredom:
- They won’t stop digging (RIP to your lawn)
- They’re following you everywhere
- Barking or whining
- They’re chasing their tail incessantly (though this can be pretty funny to watch!)
- Over-grooming themselves, licking or chewing everything
If you spot any of these, it’s a surefire sign that your pup needs some attention. Which brings us to our next segment.
Training your puppy is a fantastic idea. Not only is it an essential part of their growth and development (trust us, your pooch won’t be very popular if they grow into a massive Great Dane and they’re still jumping up at every guest in your house) but it’s also a way to socialise with your puppy.
Not only will teaching them the basics of manners, safety and potty training make your life a thousand times easier, but it’ll be an entertaining process for your puppy where they can receive loads of lovely attention. Plus, you can always tempt them with treats to reinforce the good behaviour.
Tricks are another fun way to bond with your puppy. Learning something new is always a brilliant mental stimulation, and a lot of praise and affection for completing a trick will never go amiss.
There are loads that you can find, with varying levels of difficulty. You can work on simple tricks like ‘paw’, ‘play dead’ or ‘roll over’, or there are slightly more complex movements that you can pull out to impress at parties. Who knows, you may have a career as a dog whisperer lying in your future.
The third of the big puppy T’s - toys. Toys are a great way to keep your puppy occupied and having fun, as well as providing an opportunity to play when you might not be around.
You don’t have to have hundreds and hundreds, just ensure that you have a few quality ones for your dog to select. Remember, your puppy will get bored of these eventually, so it’s a good idea to hide some away and present them on a rotational basis. That way, you can reintroduce them time and time again while your pup gets to enjoy them as if they were new each time.
That said, once your toys do get a bit tatty and old, treat your pup to some new ones.
Hide and Seek
Dogs absolutely love this game, and humans can have a fun time playing too. You can either use toys and treats for this by hiding them around the house and seeing how many your puppy can find, rewarding the good behaviour, or you can take it a step further by getting involved in the game yourself.
This can be a bit complex, and your pup will need to get the hang of it, especially if they’re the one seeking you out. Once they’ve figured out the game though, it makes for hours of entertainment.
Hide and seek isn’t the only game you two can play together though; there are all sorts. There are the classics, like tug of war, chase or fetch, which dogs all over the universe are well renowned for loving.
Alternatively, why not make up your own puppy games? Bend the rules, try something new and get creative. This will keep your pooch stimulated, excited and allow you both to spend some quality time together.
Plus, games are a great way to burn off energy. Puppies have a seemingly endless supply, so doing something to tire them out is a great way to make your own life easier later.
On the same subject, walkies are integral for young puppies. Not only is it important to burn off all of that energy so that your puppy retains a healthy weight, but it’s a vital opportunity to introduce them to the outside world.
Physically and mentally stimulating as your pup explores new environments and surroundings, your dog will encounter other humans and puppies along the way. This is a good opportunity to reinforce that training we talked about earlier, ensuring that your puppy is polite and respectful of others that they comes across.
Once your puppy gets a little bit older, it may be an idea to introduce them to other dogs that you know - as long as you trust them. You don’t want to put your puppy off bigger dogs or make them afraid in the future, so do make sure they’re friendly.
If there is a dog like this in your life, your puppy will have a great time playing with them, particularly as older dogs are often so patient with younger pups. It’s a great opportunity for them both to socialise and learn.
Socialisation is not as important as your own bond with your puppy though. Whatever else happens, your puppy is going to need a lot of love, affection and attention, so it’s important that you give plenty. Dedicate time to playing together and generally enjoying each other’s company, and your currently tiny puppy is sure to grow up into the most dedicated canine companion you could ask for.
Got any of your own tips for entertaining a puppy? What was your own four-legged friend like when they were a baby? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, and make sure to attach a picture of your own pup enjoying their delicious Puppy Days - just like Orla!