Reggie is an 8 year old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. He's a busy boy who lives to work, play and retrieve. If he doesn't get daily mental stimulation, he can be quite the pest, despite being a very well-trained dog. So, recently, when he had to go in for surgery to correct a hernia issue, I was concerned with the 3 week period of time he needed to heal. That meant 3 weeks with no hikes, no walks (even on-leash), no running, no swimming, no playtime and no retrieving. I knew all too well how seriously I needed to take his rest in order to help him heal, however the reality was, after about 48 hours home, Reggie was, once again, ready for rock-n-roll! He had all of his usual vim and vigor and was eager to get back to normal activities.
As we all know, reasoning with dogs is not an option, so thinking a bit outside of the box is called for. Knowing your dog will go a long way towards keeping them sane during periods of inactivity. If your dog is thoughtful and calm as a rule, you can work on tricks and shaping games. See our Trick Tuesday playlist on YouTube for more than 25 full trick tutorials.
Reggie is too busy and active while learning new tricks for this to be beneficial while healing. He is, however, very thoughtful and methodical when we are playing scenting games! I took some fun video of him at home, using his brain and his nose.
Of course, snuggles are always a nice way to pass the time, so don't hesitate to enjoy the quiet time with your furry friend. It'll be much easier to do after some mental stimulation.