Indoor Activities to Do with Your Giant Schnauzer to Beat the Heat

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Living in beautiful warm climates can be truly amazing for us humans…  However, for our four-legged friends it’s not always as straight forward for them as it is for us.

There are breeds of Dog who have difficulty in regulating their body temperatures, and can easily overheat or be susceptible to heatstroke.  So the challenge for owners is to find not only a way they can keep their Dogs comfortable, but also find a way to beat the Heat when it comes to exercise and stimulation.

So what indoor activities can I do with my Giant Schnauzer to ‘Beat the Heat’?

 We thoroughly enjoy play time with our Dog’s, and when we have puppies it’s like having a licence for fun, fun, fun!  Well, for a little while anyway…

Let’s take a good look.

Snuffle Mats

 Snuffle Mats are a great idea for puppies.  They basically take different key skills of puppyhood if you like, and roll them into one place.  Snuffle Mats:
  • Encourage your Giant Schnauzer puppy to nurture their natural foraging skills
  • Engage your pups sense of smell
  • Can make feeding time less of a messy chore
  • Can be used for adult Dogs too.

I would not leave any Dog unattended with a snuffle mat, always supervise and interact with your Dog, and guide them.  Otherwise, they won’t fully understand, and may simply want to chew, because they don’t know any different…  Whereas if you encourage them to “find” the food, they soon catch on that it’s a cool game full of fun.

As these Snuffle mats are washable, they are not likely to get to a stage where they smell unpleasant.  A huge bonus.  Although food and treats can be used in the mat, I would not use raw Dog food, unless it was freeze dried or something similar to dried liver, (some Dogs are on raw diets) as it just would be untouchable…  and unsanitary and… plain gross.

These Snuffle Mats are great activities to do with your Dog’s to beat the heat.

Kong Extreme

The Kong Extreme is a favorite. This toy comes in 3 different sizes, and the XL is for the bigger breed Dogs that LOVE to chew.  The XL Kong Extreme caters to Dogs from 60-90 lbs, powerful chewers, suitable for Giant Schnauzers.

This Dog Toy can be used indoor or outdoor, and washed, making it a treasured prize. It even bounces!

A prime selling point for me with the Kong Extreme is that when it is fillable with Dog treats, it can be placed in the freezer, making a fantastic cool chewing treat.  Kong even has their own range of treats and fillings to fill the Kong toys with, and you can most certainly use healthy,  homemade recipes as an alternative.    

These Dog toys always occupy our Dogs for a while, and in the hot weather, these make welcome treats for any hot Dog.

Puzzles for Dogs

Yes, you read it correctly… there are puzzles out there for Dogs!

Nina Ottosson – Tornado Treat Puzzle Dog Toy

These puzzles for Dogs are brilliant.  They are a great way to help your Dog keep occupied. 

I wouldn’t suggest leaving your Giant Schnauzer alone with it, however it is an interactive toy, and to start with, it is best to show your Dog how to do it…  they soon pick it up and before you know it, you are amazed at how quickly they are completing the puzzle.

The Dog Tornado exercises your Dogs mind and mentally stimulates them, helping reduce boredom and destructive behavior. The puzzle has several sections on different levels, a bit like drawers/compartments, and in these we put treats or kibble, etc.  The idea is then to close the sections, and turn the parts around.  Your Dog then has to figure out how to get to the treats…

The Tornado is classed as a level 2 game for Dogs that enjoy treat games.  There are many different puzzle games by Nina Ottosson, and they are so much fun!


Hide-n-Seek Nosework

Nosework is one of our all-time favorite activities with our Dog’s.

It is a canine activity that can be done indoor or outdoor.  So, nosework is a great activity to do with your Giant Schnauzer to beat the heat.

Hide-n-Seek Nosework

Nosework is one of our all-time favorite activities with our Dog’s.

It is a canine activity that can be done indoor or outdoor.  So, nosework is a great activity to do with your Giant Schnauzer to beat the heat.

How Can I Do Nosework Indoors?

When we start a Dog doing nosework indoors, we always start using a food reward.

     **A good tip if you are using food for either nosework or obedience training is to use part of your Dog’s daily food allowance.  (If your Dog eats a kibble type food, this is easy to measure out the whole days food, and then take a handful or so out of that total allowance, and use it in the training sessions etc.)  This helps you to regulate how much food your Dog has, and cuts down on the cost of treats too!

A fantastic starting point for nosework, is a basic version, not unlike hide-and-seek.  You can either use cushions, or towels, or something similar. Many folk use different methods, this one I love as a starter point, as it is easy for us and for the Dogs.

  • I start off by having my Dog in a ‘Sit’ position, with the cushion/towel on the floor a couple of feet away from the Dog.
  • Then I take a piece of the food, I let the Dog see it, and sniff at it… Just for a second, then I pull it away from the Dog, and hide it under the cushion/towel.
  • If needs be, I hold onto the Dogs collar, to hold them back, so they don’t just go and jump onto the cushion/towel. When the Dog looks at me, I THEN encourage the Dog to “GO FIND” and I let go of their collar.
  • Usually the first few times, the Dog will be a bit boisterous, but for this activity, being for fun, this is ok. When the Dog has found the food, give him lots of praise, say “good” and give another food treat.

The Dog loves this game and… we do too!  

We normally carry on teaching the Dog in this way, for a few days, until we are sure that the Dog understands exactly what is  happening, and also what “GO FIND” means.  Once we are happy that the Dog understands, we move onto the next stage.

  • We put the cushion/towel in a different area or room,
  • Place the food underneath and do the same again,
  • BUT- the Dog has to stay in one area/room until told to “GO FIND” and now they really have to start using their senses…When they “FIND” the food, again we praise and reward with food again.

It’s about building it up to the next level.  After this, you can start to remove the cushion/towel, and just hide the food…  and start to place it at areas that the Dog can’t reach, but can smell.  When the Dog gets to this stage, and finds the food, he may automatically “sit” when he finds it, this is when you can also start giving extra praise and maybe even introduce a marker word for that.

I’m sure you can see how easy it is to put in place, and it is a great workout for your Dog mentally.  Doing nosework for approximately 20 minutes to half hour can have the same mental workout for your Dog as a 2-hour run.  There are many different versions of nosework games, and each one can lead to another level.  In no time at all, your Giant Schnauzer maybe able to search your whole house for different objects and scents…  It is a great way to keep favorite companion out of the heat, but also keep him from becoming bored or destructive, and all while strengthening the bond you have.

P.s If you have some old flower pots, you can also use those to help with nosework too!

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