A life hack is a simple trick that can make things easier or better. I am sure we all have a few we love to use. But did you know that dogs can have life hacks too? Here are a few things you can do to make your dog’s life a little better, and perhaps yours too.
Have an extra leash you aren’t using? Loop the handles together and make a hands-free leash that is also a little longer. This will give your dog room for some extra sniffs. (Please be careful if your dog likes to lunge at things in the environment).
Use an empty cardboard egg carton as a food puzzle toy. If it gets torn up, you were going to throw it away anyway.
Drill several 1/2” holes into a used plastic container. Put some string through it and turn it into a fun food puzzle toy. Remember to supervise your dog to make sure this is safe!
If your dog is a fast eater, place some tennis balls in his bowl to slow him down.
If your dog is a puller, when he pulls, ask for a sit instead of pulling back. He will learn to sit as soon as he feels a tight leash.
For the chronic thief who likes to be chased, select a specific object, like a tennis ball, and chase your dog every time she has the ball. Your dog will learn that stealing the tennis ball is what starts the chase game and not grabbing your dirty socks!
Every time you feed your dog, ask for a simple behavior you are working on strengthening, such as a sit or down. You have two guaranteed opportunities daily to boost your training.
Speaking of boosting training, keep a stash of extra special treats for any new or difficult behaviors you want to be established. This will make the training go faster and easier.
If you give your dog food puzzle toys, like a Kong, (see below) with a smear of peanut butter in it, freeze it for an extra-long lasting yummy food puzzle toy.
When you have an empty tube of toothpaste, cut off the closure seam at the end. Thoroughly wash it of all traces of toothpaste. Then, fill the tube with a pate’ style canned dog food and clip the end with a bag clip or binder clip. If you don’t want to use a toothpaste tube, you can buy a Coghlans squeeze tube at just about any camping supply store. Now you have an easy tool for dispensing yummy treats to your dog without the fuss of fumbling for treats with your gloves on.