If it seems like your dog just keeps getting lazier by the day and has no motivation for exercise, now may be a good time to intervene. Keeping your dog healthy by providing them with plenty of playtime is important, especially as they get older. Whether you want your puppy to become more socially active, playful, or more willing to exercise, consider these tips for motivating a lazy dog to play and reenergize them to do their favorite things.
Exercise Alongside Your Dog
Your dog may not want to exercise or run around the yard on their own, but they’ll exercise if you do it, too. Sometimes, the best way to motivate your dog to play is to motivate yourself to be active as well. Start a routine of taking your dog on a jog or run and make the workout longer each time. Just like humans, dogs can get out of shape, so taking it easy on them at first will make sure they don’t overdo it and hurt themselves.
Take Your Pup To See Other Dogs
Socializing your dog will help them learn how to behave, especially if they didn’t grow up around other dogs. This also means that they can learn how to have fun with friends. Letting them loose in an enclosed dog park can help your dog build friendships and experience enriching playtime that you can’t provide them at home.
Bring out some toys to help your dog learn how to play with them—fly a disc across the park, let dogs tug on a rope, and play fetch.
Try Boarding or Leaving Your Dog at Daycare
If you have trouble finding other dogs in your area, you can also give your dog a vacation at a local dog boarder that specializes in socialization and playtime. Don’t choose a dog boarding service that keeps them cooped up in rooms or cages all day. Pick one that is transparent and tells you everything you need to know about boarding there, including how much playtime they’ll get with other dogs and dog handlers.
Motivate Them With Treats and Puzzles
Your lax dog may love treats but doesn’t put in any work for them. It may be tempting to give your puppy treats whenever they want one, but if they need to work on becoming more playful, you can use their adoration of treats to your advantage.
As a final tip for motivating a lazy dog to play, try using puzzle toys to automatically reward them when they play. You can do this while you’re at home or away from home—either way, the food-motivated canine will appreciate the treat and you can appreciate the work they put in to get it.