12 brilliant play ideas for you, for your dog, for great teams!
In 2016, Good Dog Practice is featuring a dog-friendly activity once a month, by courtesy of guest author, Monika Stanzig (IDBTS, certified by Sheila Harper). 
These are not meant as tasks or training ideas.  Rather, they are a way of sharing relaxed, quality time together. Your dog can gain confidence by doing problem-solving activities as independently as possible, while enjoying your support and attention. Just for fun!
Consistent with the values of Good Dog Practice, we feel that our dogs are not obliged to be interested, nor should they be pressured to complete a task. If they prefer to do something else or just rest, that’s just fine! Maybe another time! 🙂 A tip: many dogs take a pause from a problem-solving challenge and come back to it later. If the dog looks for your support, you can of course assist him or her. 
(These activities are chosen with care, but come without guarantee for correctness or completeness. They are meant as quality-time activities.  Please be present with your dog while he is doing them, also for safety reasons. Please note, we take no legal responsibility for any mishaps, damage or injury. All rights to text and photographs reserved.)

You will need:
– newspaper or packing paper
– a few dog treats

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Tear a page out of an old newspaper. If you don’t have a newspaper, use some other non-toxic paper such as packing paper, as we did in the picture below. If you use tiny treats which don’t smell too strongly, you can really hide quite a few.
    I start by hiding the treat.

    I start by hiding the treat.

  2. Crumple the paper into a little ball. The tighter you press it together, the more challenging for your dog. If this is the first time your dog tackles a problem-solving activity, it is better to make it relatively easy for him.
    Then I crunch the paper up.

    Then I crunch the paper up.

  3. Put the paper ball on the floor and let your dog discover it. Enjoy!
    Speedy’s enjoying his surprise discovery.

    Speedy’s enjoying his surprise discovery.

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