5 ways to keep a spaniel entertained

by Helen Kay // July 1st

5 ways to entertain a Spaniel!

So… Spaniels can be a very active, busy breed and LOVE to use their noses! They are gun dogs and have been bred to retrieve birds and game… They were bred to do a job they come pre-wired with instinctive traits…. Hence why they have a supersonic sense of smell and they like to use it!

So to encourage our Spaniels to do what they do best, to keep them busy and stimulated we have come up with 5 ways to keep your Spaniel entertained! Are you ready?

  1. OK so rather than feeding your Spaniel from a food bowl why not scatter feed on the kitchen floor or better still in the back garden on the grass? Throw handfuls of food out onto the floor and let them go search and hoover up!
  2. Spaniels LOVE to play and retrieve. Why not throw your tennis ball into some long grass and encourage them to use their nose to find it! You can gently take hold of your dogs’ collar, throw the ball into the grass and release your dog with a ‘find it’ cue. Some dogs will initially go off and search visually but they will adapt to scent searching with practise. Remember when your dog finds his ball to explode with praise and delight to keep the game exciting and rewarding!
  3. On a rainy day why not introduce some search games inside? Fill a large cardboard box with shredded paper and drop a variety of tasty treats in the box for your dog to find? Use an egg tray (we get ours from the local greengrocers!) and fill some of the pockets with tasty treats, cover the pockets with tennis balls and release your dog to demolish the tennis ball tower, search and find the treats.
  4. Here goes for the next one….Try holding your dogs’ collar gently at the lounge door and roll your dogs’ favourite toy into the room. You will need a helper so this game can involve the family or a friend! Have someone in the room to hide the ball without your dog seeing… Ready… Steady… GO…. Release your dog with a ‘find it’ cue and let them search to find and locate the ball. When you start doing this make sure the hiding place is very easy for your dog where he can use his sight and scent senses. As your dog gets into the game make the hiding places more difficult with the ball out of sight so your dog has to use his sense of smell more. If your dog finds the hiding place too difficult make the game easier so he has lots of success and give him lots of time to practise and develop his searching skills. Remember lots of praise when your dog finds his ball!!
  5. We LOVE our snuffle mats here at Dog School! They are fabric rag rugs which you can hand make and hide lots of treats in for your dog to find. You can use extra treats or part of your dogs’ meal to encourage them to keep busy and stimulated. Why not make one yourself or ask the kids to make one during the school holidays! Call us if you would like to know how!

All of these exercises are great if you need to stimulate your dog whilst getting the kids ready for school or making an important phone call. The most important thing is to have FUN FUN FUN!!