Home Dogs How to Spend Quality Time With Your Golden Retriever During Covid-19

How to Spend Quality Time With Your Golden Retriever During Covid-19

by victoriavadenking
2 comments 5 mins read

I love staying indoors with Cooper, my 3-year-old golden retriever. Unfortunately, this wasn’t always the case. Before I gave birth, I was in the third trimester with our third child, so I was tired beyond belief. We adopted Cooper a week before I gave birth, and you can imagine I was a little preoccupied with adjusting from a family of four to a family of five.

The point is, I spent very little time with Cooper. Now, that our youngest is almost four months old, I saw how insignificant my effort was; and I realized I was missing out on something important. A bond with Cooper.

Sure, I gave him hugs, kisses, food, and compliments every day, but I hardly ever did anything else. Cooper and I weren’t very close. He didn’t lick my face often; he didn’t give me lots of kisses, and he didn’t want to cuddle with me often. Especially during this lockdown, I wanted these behaviors to change significantly. Now, it’s sometimes hard to stop Cooper from showing affection (I’m not complaining because I totally love it).

To help you create a bond with your dog, a bond that’s as strong as mine and Cooper, I’m going to share with you some tips and important information. I’m going to tell you what sorts of indoor games you should play, why outdoor activities are important as well, and lastly I’m going to share some covid-proof outdoor activities.

Indoor Games for your Golden Retriever

Because you’re spending most of your time indoors, playing indoor games is a great way to strengthen the bond with your furry pal. When you play games with your dog, he sees you as a friend, not someone who just feeds him.

When I started playing games with Cooper, I started receiving a lot more hugs and kisses from him. Some games got me a lot more love than others. Therefore, I’m only going to share the ones that worked the best. Here are the three games that Cooper liked the most.

thanksgiving hide n seek treat toy from barkbox

1. Treat Hunt

The game is quite simple. All you’ve got to do is grab your dog’s favorite treats, hide them in different parts of the house, and tell your furry pal to find them. If your dog hasn’t played Treat Hunt before, don’t worry, it’s quite easy to teach.

To start, choose a trigger word so your dog will know when it’s time to play. I use the words, “go get it” or “where’s the treats?” In the beginning, place the treats in plain sight and say the trigger words. After a few tries, you can start hiding the treats. Cooper’s favorite dog treats right now are Greenies, the monthly treats from Barkbox, and homemade paw-shaped frozen fruit yogurt (recipe coming later).

Your dog will absolutely love this game for two reasons. She gets to sniff (dogs love sniffing) and she gets to eat her favorite treat. One important thing to note is don’t give too many treats, as it can cause stomach ache.

cooper’s favorite toys are actually plush

2. Dropping the Toys

Here is how this game works. Your dog picks up a toy, drops it in a container, and you praise him for it. This game may seem boring to you, but your dog will actually love it. Dogs get stimulated by learning new things and they love it when you rub their chest.

Teaching this game is quite simple. Put a toy in your dog’s mouth and then place the toy’s container below him. Now, tell him to drop the toy (assuming your dog is familiar with the drop command). Repeat this process enough times, and your dog will learn that when he is holding a toy in his mouth, then dropping it means putting the toy in the toy’s container.

3. Kong Classic Dog Toy

Oh boy, does Cooper love a good Kong dog toy. Often when he is playing with it, he will spend at least thirty minutes trying to lick all of the peanut butter from the center. He’s not too crazy about other treats aside from peanut butter, except for Greenies Dental Treats. Keep in mind: not all dogs love this game the same. For instance, my neighbor’s dog never picks it over food. While your dog may not like this toy as much as Cooper, you can rest assured he’ll like it.

Why Are Outdoor Activities Important?

Dogs who go outdoors live a much more happy and healthy life compared to dogs that stay indoors. Here are the three main reasons you should take your Golden Retriever outdoors:

  1. The benefits of outdoor exercise for dogs are much bigger than indoor exercise.
  2. The fresh air provides mental stimulation, and it’s good for your dog’s overall wellbeing.
  3. The variety of smells and aromas provides stimulation, and it’s good for mental health.

Covid-Proof Outdoor Activities for your Dog

I’ve written four outdoor activities that you can do, without having to worry about getting infected. These activities are safe because they don’t require any human contact. To improve your chances even further, you can do these activities when there are fewer people outside. Early morning or late night are usually good options, especially for a happy-go-lucky Golden Retriever.

my golden retriever loves to play outside, particularly in the snow

Go For A Car Ride

This is the safest option on the list. You don’t even have to get near the people, so the chances of getting infected will be relatively low. Another benefit of this option is your Golden Retriever gets a lot of fresh air, much more air than walking. Dogs absolutely love receiving fresh air, and you can tell they do by looking at the huge smile on their face.

Do Sprints

Do you have a sprinting track near you? If so, then take your Golden Retriever out for a sprint. Whenever I take Cooper for sprinting, it’s really hard for me to get him back in the car because he doesn’t want to leave. Admittedly, this is usually a constant reminder that I need to improve my track skills, because Cooper gallops since I cannot keep up with him.

If you don’t currently own a Golden Retriever, do not underestimate their size and energy: they are literally gigantic babies with a ton of energy. Dogs don’t just love sprinting, but it’s actually super beneficial for their health. Fifteen to thirty minutes of sprinting will probably be as beneficial as hours of exercise at home.

Go Hiking

Going to a hiking track is another great option. It’s not as difficult as sprinting, and it provides about the same benefits. The downside of hiking is it’s pretty time-consuming. Your dog will have to do hiking for over an hour to reap the same benefits as 15 minutes of sprinting.

Go Swimming

Swimming is a great outdoor activity for your dog if you live in a warm area. Your dog will get exercise and he or she will absolutely love the touch of water during warm weather. Now that we are back in the northeast, I’ve noticed how much Cooper loves snow and will roll around in it all day long.

Though different than the warm sands of Florida, snow is a great water alternative for those of us in colder climates. You might be wondering, “Is it safe to go swimming during the pandemic?” Personally speaking, I prefer mother nature and stick to streams, lakes, and beaches to avoid being around many people. And off-leash with your dog allows you to practice trust in off-leash walking.

If you found this helpful, make sure to check out Tips for New Golden Retriever Owners and Cooper’s Instagram where I share daily updates and behind the scenes of what it’s like as a first-time fur mom to a Golden Retriever.

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Jasmine Hewitt March 17, 2022 - 10:52 am

these are all things I know my German Shepard would love!

victoriavadenking April 11, 2022 - 12:19 am

Oh yay! I’m glad that I could share.


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victoria vaden

a diaper duties mom blog


victoria vaden king

Victoria Vaden

Original YouTuber when ‘viral’ was just a flu symptom. My English degree qualified me to tell stories (the good kind). So, I'm sharing the not-so-normal reality of motherhood and marriage.

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DYEM is for the not-so-perfect, spit-up-stained, smile-through-anything moms out there looking for sanity. Motherhood is messy and full of mistakes. You'll find plenty of that here.

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