1. Puzzle & Interactive Dog Toys
There are so many interactive dog toys available – there are toys to chase, toys to chew and puzzles to figure out. As golden retriever likes to chase you can make your own chase toy by attaching a toy to the end of a rope and tying it onto a stick you can wave around for your dog to chase. If you’re going to make a chase toy try using a bungee as the rope so it’ll be easier on your dog’s neck when they do catch it. You can also make your own puzzle toy with a muffin tin, some tennis balls and a few treats.
2. Stairway dash
If you have a stairway, make it a game to run up it and burn some serious energy. To get the most exercise from this game with the least risk to your dog’s joints, start at the bottom of the stairs. Put your retriever in a sit-stay and throw the toy up to the top landing. Make it more exciting by keeping your dog in a stay while creating a buildup, such as saying “Reeady…. ready….. GO!” and let your dog dash up the stairs as fast as he can to retrieve the toy. Let your dog come back down the stairs at his own pace, encouraging a slower return since it’s the downhill climb that risks injury. After 10 or so repetitions of this, golden retriever will be totally tuckered out.
3. Agility Training
Golden retrievers tend to enjoy doing dog agility training and are a good way to keep your pooch occupied in every way possible, both their body and mind. And the best part is this can be done in your backyard. Set up items like tables and hula hoops and get your retriever to go around, under, or over them. You can even work on balancing on top of smaller items. It helps you to build a bond with your golden as you work together towards a common goal.
4. Using Treadmill
Even if you have a small house, you aren’t limited to walking or jogging your golden outside. Many dogs can be trained to get comfortable on a treadmill.
Start off by simply having them in the same room as the machine while it is on so they can get used to the sounds and sights. You can then turn off the treadmill, get them to stand on it, and give them a treat. After they seem comfortable, turn it on at a very low speed and encourage them to stay on with treats. If they have problems getting used to it, try standing in the front of the treadmill and giving them the occasional treat for motivation. Remember to always supervise your dog when they are on a treadmill and never tie them to it.
5. Hiding Treats
All dogs love treats and you can take advantage of this to give your golden retriever some exercise. Take some of their favorite treats and hide them around your home in various places. Consider putting them underneath rugs, behind chairs, under tables, or behind doors. Your dog is likely to get exhausted looking for the treats and get a great workout in the process. Just remember to restrict yourself to a reasonable number of treats. Giving them too many can make them sick or defeat the point of exercising by leading to weight gain.
6. Under, over and through
Training your dog to perform new tricks like high-fives or lying down is great mental exercise. However, training them to do tricks that require physical skill exercises both mind and body, making teaching certain tricks perfect for pooping out the pooch when inside on a rainy day. One of the things you can do with your dog to get started is training him to go under, over and through objects. Set up an item like a kitchen chair, a step stool, or some other sturdy object on legs. Next, teach your dog how to crawl under the object and stay there, crawl all the way through the object, walk around the object, and how to jump over it entirely.
7. The Three Cup Game
Another great nose work starter game. Get out 3 cups and line them up in a row in front of your dog. To start put a treat under one of the cups while your dog is watching, give him the OK to show you which one is the right cup. When he chooses correctly praise him & let him have the treat. Once your dog seems to get the hang of it you can make it more challenging by mixing the cups around after you place the treat.