Stash: Owners - Tom and Diane Pirc, Wisconsin, USA
PON Cabin Fever during winter months ?
Try these indoor activities to avoid cabin fever !
Locate your PON's favorite toy
Choose your PON's favorite toy, then send your PON out of the room so you can hide it. Remove other toys from the area, and hide the chosen toy in plain sight. Next, bring your PON back into the room, and tell him to "Find your (name of toy)!"
Give toys individual names. As he gets better at finding his toys, place them in more remote locations. Rotate several toys over a few weeks, calling each by name.
Locate the toy - more ideas:
The next level is to hide several toys, and ask him to find only the one you name. If you repeat "Find the sheep!" and he comes back with a tennis ball, do not reward him. Take it away, and redirect him toward the sheep's hidden location. After he finds the correct toy, offer lots of praise and a treat.
Make it easier by using toys that you can fill with food. For example, a beehive-shaped Kong; you can insert peanut butter, pieces of cheese or another treat he can smell to make finding by scent a lot easier.
Another variation is to place a pile of toys in plain view. Each toy should have it's own name, and all toys must have been used previously. Named toys go into this pile when you are sure your PON recognizes it by name. Send him to the pile with "Where is ----!"
If he comes back from the pile with the wrong toy, say "uh oh" in a neutral tone. Keep repeating the "Where is ----!" and send him back to the pile. When he brings the right one, reward with praise and petting.
* Find Family members:
Each family member goes into a separate room of the house, with treats in hand. Slowly, each family member calls the PON by name with repeated, enthusiastic "Come!" commands. When the PON approaches the correct person, he is rewarded with treats and praise. When the family member with the PON gives a "finish" signal, the next family member begins calling. Have fun with these games.