Make a date to explore the world! Plan a mini adventure where you let your pup take the lead and sniff her own path! Choose different locations, such as city, country, shopping areas, parks (no dog parks), or nature areas. The walks do not have to be long in distance. Sniffing is a great way to wear out your puppy. Be sure to offer water during or after your walk - your pup will work up a thirst! Be aware of what your pup is sniffing, so she doesn't try to eat something she shouldn't.
"PUPPY CROSS FIT"
Puppies experience a variety of environments and substrates depending on where they live. City dogs learn to navigate the concrete trails, sounds of traffic, and hustle and bustle of city life, whereas country dogs may be used to more natural surfaces and more space. Even puppies in different neighborhoods learn different ways to get around in the world.
In Puppy Cross Fit, you incorporate the environment into your walks and use it for physical exercise. Create mini adventures for your puppy that not only expose her to a variety of different surfaces, but also challenges them to go on, around, under, and through natural environmental obstacles. This can help them develop strength, coordination, and confidence.
- River front: walk around trees, sand, rocks, explore down trees, the water's edge...
- Neighborhood walk: bricks, grassy inclines, weave between bike racks, stones, steps...
- At home: steps, bowls to walk around, cardboard boxes to walk through, pool noodles to walk over, put pool noodles between chairs to walk under or if low enough to jump over, blanket over chairs or boxes to make blanket forts.
- Trails: rocks (not too big), roots, stumps, inclines on the grass or dirt, steps on trails, under low hanging branches (nothing they can get stuck in)
IMPORTANT: Supervise your puppy at all times when they are exploring your mini adventure course. They should not be climbing on anything taller than them and jumping off. Obstacles should be proportional to the size of the puppy. A small breed should not be jumping off the couch. Puppies are still growing and learning coordination so caution should be taken when exploring so they do not slip and fall or get caught up.
Kibble Scramble it playing the game "find it" in the grass using kibble. Start in your backyard and offer a piece of kibble to get the dog's attention. The second piece you will drop by the puppy's feet and say "find it", you can help by pointing out the kibble. Then move up to 2 pieces. You will be able to move up to a handful of kibble. The puppy will sniff out the kibble. This is a great way to distract a puppy in walks. Many dogs will seek out and find only the "kibble" once they have learned the game.
++ Know your puppy: If they tend to eat everything off the ground, you may not want to teach this game.