Meet Teresa Hanula and the epic Leonard Lee. Leonard is an extremely talented dog whose tricks include handstands, driving in his own Jeep (for real), dog parkour and painting. Leonard Lee is even famous in England; two of his paintings have been featured in a gallery in London. The way they put it: "Do what you love and love what you do."
Teresa has been training dogs since 2000 and her dog students have been featured on Letterman, the Daily Show and CBS' Greatest American Dog to mention a few. For more info on them check out A Dog's World (the pet care and training company she owns) at www.onedogatatime.com and make sure to give 'em a follow @liveloveleonardlee.
Some recommendations on staying active from our friends Teresa Hanula and Leonard Lee include exercise, trick and scent training along with some hard core parkour (the activity of running through areas in a town, using skillful movements to jump over walls and other obstacles).
See below for a set of activities that you can add to your daily routine to change some things up.
Fetch is always a fun game, especially if you have a nice backyard or even a long hallway! You can also incorporate some training into the play session before each throw. Ask your dog to take it, leave it, then tug, and then the reward is a great sprint down the hall or yard! You will start seeing your dog become more attentive, and you can use play as a reward to shape any behavior. My own dog is personally very toy motivated, so 90% of what he has learned was taught using this method.
Trick Training 🐾
It can be quite challenging to exercise a high energy dog in a busy workday, but our best shot is through mental stimulation. Any commands that you teach your dog will help him become a better student for all future commands. But, if you're picking and choosing what to teach, tricks are our favorite and always a crowd pleaser! Then you can show off all these fun behaviors on social media and truly wow your friends.
Some great tricks to start with are spin, crawl, and weaving through your legs, just to name a few. Watch your dog light up with excitement as they learn! It's a great way to bond and your dog will be eager for more!
YES...there is such a thing as hardcore Barkcore (Parkour for dogs)! You can start with simple behaviors around the house; for example, place two paws on an object. Then work up to having them gather all four paws on an item. Try these two behaviors on different surfaces. Can they do it on wood, plastic, or rubber surfaces?
This will help them to generalize the behavior. Start slowly and reward generously for any attempts at the desired behavior. You can teach them to go over things, under things, and through or between things!
Scent Training 🐾
On many occasions, we are directing our pups on what to do. We make many of their choices for them, but a great way to give them some freedom with a fun and appropriate dog activity is scent work! There are loads of doggie games and puzzles which can provide great mental stimulation for your dog. A quick and easy game is the traditional "shell game".
Take three cups and flip them upside down. Hide a treat under one of them, and then get your pet involved. Encourage them to sniff and explore! If they begin to scratch, paw or nose at the cup with the treat, lift the cup and voila...reward!
You can also make food trails for your dog to hunt down all around the house. The better your dog becomes at this game, the further apart the treats go! It can be such fun to watch them take off in pursuit of their meals which you so kindly purchased for them!