People with labs and retrievers have it made in the dog exercise department.
There dogs automatically jump in the pool or lake, run back and forth in the yard, or the park, retrieving a tennis ball, a dog toy, a stuffed animal, or anything squeaky.
But beagles and lots of other hounds and working dogs don’t play catch for fun. According to beagles I interviewed for this blog, “if it’s not related to either eating food, or looking for food to eat — I’m not doing it!”
I have found a way to combine FOOD with CATCH to create a game that all beagles, bagels, and basset hounds like to play, and not just hounds, any dog loves this game. In fact, toddlers and small children might play if the treats were wrapped…….. (or that just too insensitive? LOL).
What you need: A big space to run in, and small treats that smell good.
I started with chicken hot dogs, cut into little pieces about 1/2 inch long. Then I switched
to the all-natural chicken sausage, because it smells so strong, you can use smaller pieces. But in a pinch, I have used Italian meatballs cut into quarters, and chicken , or salmon jerky cut into small pieces, or cheese cut into cubes.
To make it smell even stronger, I may heat the pieces up in the microwave for 30 seconds because then I don’t need to call the beagles — the microwave does the calling for me.
Then I take the treats outside in a small plastic bowls, and start throwing. I call the dogs name and throw it as far as I can. And Voila — Catch. They run out, find the treat, gobble up the treat and run back to me as fast as they can to get more. I have played this game with up to four dogs at a time.
New dogs catch on in just a few minutes and they all seem happy to take their turns running for the treats. So on a day when I know it’s going to rain in 30 minutes, and want to squeeze in a extra bit of doggy exercise, this is a real help, it gets the dogs up and moving and it will guarantee a long afternoon nap for your dog — and maybe you, too!