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Bed Rest Games

There are many reasons why a dog would be confined to a crate or on restricted exercise.

Here are some games that you can play with your dog that require very little movement on the part of the dog, but burn energy, teach something useful and challenge your dog mentally.

Most of these games also teach your dog necessary behaviors that are handy for a dog to comfortably live in our contrived world. Going to the groomer or the vet, being alone and not trying to destroy the house, leaving your dinner alone, leaving roadkill alone on a walk, knowing how to deal with a leash and the different sensations and pressures, etc.

Environmental Awareness Games

Husbandry Games

Self-Control and Impulse Control Games


Focus and Engagement

Handling the Body

Exercising The Nose


You can now purchase reward-based toys such as the Kong or other puzzle games, to stimulate your dog’s mind. Your dog can smell the treat or the food inside the toy and will work in relative peace to extract the goodies. You can use reward-based toys to give your dog their treats and part of their food. However, you do not want to rely on the toy to feed your dog.

There are also many ways to create enrichment toys that stimulate choice, persistence, resilience, creativity and problem solving. Even he most intelligent of dogs who can quickly unlock their food treats will tire of the same old game after a while. You want to give your dog plenty of options when they are on crate rest. 


Many of us struggle to make sense of the world. I don't just mean in regards to the life of our dogs, but our lives in totality: problems in ourselves; our work; our family life; making sense of issues that we see around us. We wonder about how to be happy, how to put things right, how to make others happy. How to be. Many of us are so used to just pushing through the activity of daily living that we have lost the ability to truly feel. We might be so cut off from our own feelings that don't even realize that we are not feeling.


We learn as children to control our emotions. We might learn to do this effectively. We might also learn ways that aren't always helpful, like ignoring our feelings. I believe we learn to suppress feelings because at some level the feelings made us feel uncomfortable and we don't like to feel uncomfortable! I have a friend who was even punished for having any emotions at all and later diagnosed with bipolar disease (I wonder how that happened). 

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