Games For Older Dogs

– Lately, we’ve been doing
a lot of stuff with puppies. And we actually have 6 other dogs, including a couple of seniors. So today, through the magic of editing, we have been teleported to the sheep farm where Mac, our 9-year-old
Border Collie, and I are going to herd some sheep and then after, we’ll
talk a little bit about some activities that you can
do with your senior dogs. (Dog barking) (Dramatic music) Go for a swim. Go for a swim, bud. – Oh, man. Gotta take care of the old guy. Good boy, bud. I have to say that one of the coolest things
about coming to watch herding is that I get to be a spectator
for a significant other, because most of the time, whenever I do anything to do with dogs, I’m always the one who’s
like out there doing it. So it’s fun to like, learn about something that I don’t know really anything about and to be able to sit and relax and enjoy, enjoy the
experience through a different, you know, through a
different side of things. And I have a really soft
spot for Border Collies, and to be able to watch
them in their own craft and to learn about this whole
other side of dog sports is, it’s pretty cool. I just love coming. – So another really
simple, low-impact activity you can do with your senior dog is play a game, something
like hide and seek. Now, I mean here’s Grand Slam. He is certainly not an older dog. But I’m going to give a
toy that he really loves, and I’m going to hide it
somewhere in our living room, make it a little bit
more messy than it is. But I’m going to hide it
somewhere in our living room, then I’m going to ask him to go find it. We’ll see what- how long
it takes Slam to do it. But the really great part here is that I’m going to be with him, I’m going to be encouraging
him along the entire way. And then once he finds it, he gets the reward of having the bone as well as a little bit
of engagement with me while I play with him. Now the key here is the first time that I take
Slam out to go find his toy, I’ve got to make it really easy to find. And I’ve gotta make it very obvious what we’re trying to find here. So, first thing’s first. I’m going to take this ball and put it in between these two dog beds. I mean it’s really obvious where it is. Slam even saw me put it in there. But I’m not really concerned about that. What I really want to do
is show him the process, teach him that when we go looking around and I ask you to “find your bone” once you found it, I’m going
to make a big deal about it. And this is what we’re looking for. So let’s give that a
try the very first time. We’re going to just walk in the room. I’ll ask Slam to find his bone, and when he does, we’re going to make a big deal of it. Okay, so we’re going to
make this fun for Slam, but we’re going to make it really simple. So he saw me even put
the bone under there. The bone is very obviously sticking out from underneath the bed. And I’m just going to convince him. We’re going to walk toward it and ask him to find his bone. And when he does, I’m going to make a big deal. Okay, buddy. Ready? Okay, find your bone. Find your bone. Where is your bone? Good boy! Good job! Way to find your bone! Good! (laughing) He obviously loves this. Good boy, way to find your bone. And he figured that out pretty quickly. Now, we did make it really easy. But we’re going to make it a
little bit harder this time, but we’re going to have the same party once he finds his bone. Now many of you may be thinking, “What if my dog doesn’t love toys?” or what if your dog isn’t
as excited about toys as they are of food? Now remember, this isn’t about the article
that they’re finding. Or- this is all about the process. So, for you guys that
have dogs that love food and not really big fans of toys, you can do the exact same
thing with a piece of food. Now, I’ve got a really stinky liver treat. And I’m going to use this liver treat, and I’m going to put it inside of our little doggy toy basket, and I’m going to get Slam- we’re going to walk Slam out of the room. I’m just going to plunk this basket down, and then we’re going to
search for the liver treat, and I’ll show you that it’s
exactly the same process as it would be for a toy. Find your treat. Where is it? Where’s your treat? Where’s your treat? Oh, yaaay! (Hands clapping) Good boy! Alright. Here’s your treat. And he got it! So that was- that was a little bit
easier than finding a toy. You can see uh- we used
a really stinky treat which makes it a little
bit easier for Slam because he can use his
nose to search around and find that treat. But you know, this game is
just as much fun for the dog whether it’s a toy or a treat. And some dogs maybe treats more than toys. But it’s lots of fun. – So another fun game that we
like to play is hide and seek. So we hide on the dogs and then call them, and then they have to
try and figure us- uh- figure out where we are. So I found a pretty good hiding spot. We have this cute little
nook in our kitchen where we put a dog but if the dogs can hang
out while we’re in here. Ken has Slam somewhere else in the house, so I’m gonna go in here
and see what happens. We’ll see if I can fit. Slammy … Slammy (shrieking and laughing) You came here the first time. You can smell me (laughing). – Brain games are always
something that you can do with any age of a dog. But it’s especially
helpful when you can do it with something like a brain
game with your senior dog, because it’s low-impact, you know, you can really moderate
the amount of activity that you’re doing. And I mean, just nearly every
dog will work for some food. So, I’m going to show you we’re not just talking
about store-bought ones. Although I do like this kong wobbler. Now, the nice part about this is that you can put the treats inside
the bottom of this kong. And it’s through the- there’s a weighted bottom on it, and you can screw the top back
all the way to the bottom. And then give it to your dog
and allow him to figure out, Okay, okay- figure out how to
get those treats out of there. But these sorts of
activities are so helpful for problem solving. It really requires focus from your dog. But the store-bought brain
games aren’t the only option. We’ve actually got a couple
of suggestions for things that you can do with your dog that doesn’t require you to
have any sort of extra toys, just the things that you
already use with your dog. Certainly one of the go-to exercises or activities you can
do with your senior dogs is something like taking them for a walk. Like a dog of any age can go for a walk. But you need to sort of keep
in mind one consideration, and that’s the level of activity
or the amount of walking. For example, we just
had Mack at herding for- I mean he was herding sheep
for almost an hour today. – A lot. – Yeah, it was a lot. So we didn’t bring him on the walk today. And I know he’s 9-years old,
but we just don’t want to you know, run him into
the ground so to speak. We know being a little bit older, that we need to moderate his activity, and we thought that maybe just having the younger
dogs out on the walk today would be enough for Mack. – And I think it depends
on the dog as well. Mack’s the kind of dog
that will continue to run and run and run
and won’t pace himself. So if you have a dog like that, it’s important that you
take that responsibility. Some dogs might not exude as much energy or be as prone to be running. – Yeah. – But it’s something that you need to be responsible for, yourself because a lot of dogs
won’t do it themselves. – And you’ll see, Kale will
actually reward the dogs. Even though they are older dogs, you should take some opportunity to train through some of this. While we’re out, yeah, we’ve got some- she’s got some kibble.
– It’s not very exciting. I just brought kibble, but- – Yeah, but it works. And
it’s a great opportunity to just work through some of the training. There’s no distractions. The dogs are out having lots of fun. But Kale’s rehearsing,
the dog’s coming in, and they’re being rewarded
for something like a response to names. So, it just sort of
reinforces the idea that the dogs come in when
they hear their name. – One of the things that’s
good about having multiple dogs is teaching them to have
enjoy doing recalls. So if you don’t want the whole pack, you can just have one. So, we use our dog’s name for that manner. So if you call their name,
usually the other ones know we don’t need them, we just need them. Need the one, I mean to say. Hip! Good girl. Yee hee hee hee! Good girl, shaking bacon. Yes, good girl. Yes, good girl. And it really is nice
when they know to come the first time you call them. I don’t have to yell and shout. You can just call them and they run over. Which is why it’s always a good idea to continue randomly reinforcing them. I don’t bring food every single time. A lot of my dogs enjoy
to play tug as well. So sometimes, we’ll bring a toy. But sometimes, you just
call them over and pet them and give them some affection or some love. So you know, always
training, making it fun. (Fun music) – And last but certainly
not least is trick training. So you can do trick training
with any age of dog, any level of motivation. It’s all about finding that
really exciting, valuable uh- treat for- to reward them and just shape whatever the behavior is. So, we have a long list
of videos that we publish on trick training and all. I’ll post a link to a playlist
in the description below, give you some ideas,
give you some suggestions as to things you might want
to train with your dog. You can see Slam is
really enjoying his time. – He’s still so happy that he found me. – Yeah, he was pretty excited about that. But on that note, I
wanted to wish you guys happy training from Ken and Kale. Don’t forget to do something
awesome with your dog today. (upbeat music)