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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for dog enrichment ideas. Whether it's toys, training, routine changes. After work I'm not up for anything labor intensive, but something that my dog, or the both of us, could do for some mental stimulation. I worry that she gets bored. At the same time, she's not the brightest dog. She's smart, sure, but she can't even figure out the tug-a-jug. She has a treat dispensing ball that she loves. I put her kibble in there at least a few times a week and she really enjoys working for it.

Any ideas?
 

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Hi and Welcome to the forum! Sounds like she is very food oriented! I have a couple if ideas. Are you up to a little walk around your house? Or if walking is too much, how about taking some of her kibble and hiding then in easy to find places? Like behind table leg, under a chair cushion, places like that. You could even assist her search and chomp mission. You also could get a couple of different types of treat toys to change it up for her, or change the treat types. Kibble one day, peanut butter another, rice cakes another day. When you add food treats, just remember that you may need to cut back on her food if she starts to get pudgy.;)
I have an Aussie that is not the brighest bulb in the lamb either! He just wants to be loved up! So, I make sure I give him Mommy-Saxie bonding time. Other than that and his walks he's a complete slug! You've made me think and given me some ideas! Thanks!:D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the ideas. She does go for plenty of walks. Typically we're out for at least 15 minutes 3 times daily, but with the freezing weather sometimes they are cut a little short, and on the flip side in nice weather we may go for 3 half hour walks a day.

I'll have to try hiding treats around. I've thought about it but haven't done it with her. We just don't have too many hiding places. We're in a small apartment and we've sort of "pet proofed" the place for our rabbits and other little trouble makers... so there's not a whole lot of furniture or places to hide things. I'll have to improvise.

That seems out of the ordinary that you got a not so bright, lazy Aussie! (Shepherd or cattle dog? I love both breeds...) Aren't they considered "velcro dogs" though? At least he got the cuddling part right!
 

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LOL!!! Velco does not even begin to cover it!!! I truely think they invented it! The best comment I got from another Aussie (Shepherd) owner was a question: "Is your whiney and klingie too?"
I have two Aussie sheps and a corgi queensland mix. Ely is smart as whip, but Sax, the lights just flicker. *sigh* I think he is smarter then he lets on because he has moment of brillance. He is just very laid back. Both are velco dogs.
Fred is the Corgi/queenie mix-smart smart smart he gets things in a snap but he is kinda odd. He was a rescue that rescued himself. He jumped in my truck.
Anyway, please let us know how the enrichment excercises go!
 

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Any kind of trick training can be lots of fun for both of you as well as mentally stimulating. I highly recommend clicker training with free shaping for tricks. There is tons of info online to get you started. Once the dogs catch on to the way the game works they want you to train them at every possible opportunity! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OtterTrail,
Do you have any good links for clicker and/or trick training. My dog knows down, sit, roll over, paw, other paw, wave, speak, whisper. I've been trying to teach her to hold items in her mouth, hoping I could go further with that, teaching her to carry or retrieve items, ect, but I haven't been having success. She's also a very anxious dog and even when I'm reinforcing her she occasionally gets nervous and doesn't understand what I'm asking her, so she'll just roll over or walk away. I reward her and I keep it very positive and playful, but still she occasionally seems to just get weirded out because she doesn't understand what I'm doing. I've been thinking about trying a clicker to see if that helps at all.... but I guess I also need methods for training. I thought I could teach her some great tricks since I taught my fox terrier so many so quickly.. but Mimi doesn't pick up on things that easily.
 

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I tried teaching my dog to roll over, but she freaks when I try to show her how. I think I'm doing it wrong. o_O
 

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I tried teaching my dog to roll over, but she freaks when I try to show her how. I think I'm doing it wrong. o_O
My first dog, fox terrier, would naturally start doing things when you held a treat. I tried for years to teach her to roll over and she didn't get it. Eventually one day I was playing with her, had a treat in hand and she did it. I rewarded her and said the command and she picked it up so easily.

My other dog, Mimi, who gets really nervous about EVERYTHING is so submissive that she'll roll over when you lean over her or if she gets scared. I taught her roll over in part to make her more comfortable... to make it into a game and give her a reward, hopefully to make her less nervous, and also because she did it so often it was simple to put a command to it. I know I haven't just reinforced a nervous behavior, because she'll go through all her tricks and roll over at the end, sticks her front paws up in the air to let you know she's done and jumps back up again, ready for her treat.
 
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