Updated: Sep 12, 2020
Most owners assume their dog having a "job" means they have to compete in agility or have a farm to live on. Those things are awesome jobs for some dogs! But for some, that's just too overwhelming. Neither of these owners are wrong. However, our dogs need a purpose. Something to do other than exist. Here are some ideas for you!
Nosework. If you know me you know I LOVE nosework because you don't need fancy equipment and any dog/owner can do it. Having nosework as a job does not mean you have to ever even compete. You can play these games at home and have just as much fun!
Therapy dog work. Have a balanced dog you'd love to share with others? Learn more about therapy work! Again, you don't need fancy equipment. You can find therapy dogs in settings such as schools, hospitals, care facilities, rehab centers, work places, airports; anywhere humans need comfort! There are some place that require the dog to be certified before visiting (such as hospitals) and some places do not (such as some care facilities). We suggest reading www.petpartners.org for tons of info.
Cleaning up after themselves. Have a dog with tons of toys? Turn it into a training game! With our senior GSP we taught her names for all her toys. She had a milk crate for them all to be in. First step was teaching the names, next step was to put that toy in the basket. Its a great bonding experience and bonus your house stays cleaner!
Trick training. Any silly thing you can think of to teach your dog. Open the cabinet, weave through your legs, jump through a hoop. You name it. Exercises your dog, helps strengthens your bond, and is a great activity for gross weather.
Carry your own stuff. Hike with your dog? Make them pull their weight! Teach them to wear a pack and carry their own treats, water, and towels.
Be creative! Is it fun? Can it be useful? Try it!
For the Dogs,