This is a link to a wonderful resource for everyone who owns a dog, and is certainly pertinent to our Gordon Setter. Veterinary behavior expert, Dr. Karen Overall, introduces her discussion on the importance of exercising a dog’s brain and the effects it has on physical and mental health.
If you’re looking for an exercise buddy a Gordon Setter just might be for you. As a sporting breed our guys need plenty of time to exercise and play. As a matter of course, Gordon Setters, especially in their younger years, will run circles around you most of the time, they’re like the Eveready Bunny, they just keep on going.
As Gordon Setter owners we all understand their need for fun, plenty of play time and room to move around, but do we also understand that stimulating their mind, giving them puzzles to work out, giving them a job to do, those are the things that can and will make living with your high energy dog easier? Sometimes our Gordon Setter continues running and jumping till we’re exhausted by their behavior, and they’re doing this at times because they’ve nothing else to do and they’re simply bored. Give that same dog a game to play, a puzzle to solve on a regular basis day after day, and he’ll start to settle in becoming more manageable, especially if you’ve added a dose of basic obedience training.
Offering up some expert advice on how to stimulate our dog’s mind is Guest Blogger – Jennifer Skiba She comes here often to share her expertise with us and we really appreciate that!
Mental Enrichment Food Toys
by Jennifer Skiba
One of the most important things I wish owners did for their dogs is to use mental enrichment food toys.
You are going to feed your dog every day of their life. That is a simple fact. And many people just throw food in a bowl and go about their day.
But, there is a better way!
If you teach your dog to play with their food from a variety of food toys every day you get more bang for your buck.
What’s in it for you?
A tired dog!
Your dog is less likely to have destructive behaviors due to boredom
You don’t have to walk them for hours or throw the ball for hours to burn off energy – they are doing it themselves when they eat by using their minds more.
For dogs that eat quickly they slow down which is better for digestion.
It’s fun for kids in the family to watch the dog figure it out
What’s in it for your dog?
Your dog engages in a mentally fatiguing exercise every day (a tired dog is a good dog).
Your dog learns to entertain themselves.
Your dog gains confidence.
Your dog has fun!
Here is a list of my favorite toys.
Uses either hard or soft foods:
Tux (treats not a full meal)
Forage feeders (slo bowls)
Uses hard foods or treats:
If you’re new to food toys and need some guidance on how to take full advantage of them click here to link to a video that will demonstrate exactly how to stuff a number of various toys to get the most out of them for your dog.
Variety is the spice of life! If they only have one toy they can figure it out pretty quickly so start getting your dog as many different toys as you can. That way you can rotate them and they don’t get bored. You will be so happy you did!
We are dedicated to building a knowledge base and a sharing site for those who are involved in all of the various aspects of competition with Gordon Setters, competitions that showcase the Gordon Setter’s Beauty, Brains and Bird-Sense.