We’re on the final lap for the YuMOVE Wagletics campaign and we’re aiming for a podium finish. This week, the amazing Lauren Steadman is leading the charge. Lauren should have been competing at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, but instead she has swapped potential gold medals for wagging tails and is showing us some of her favourite hide & seek exercises.
#YuMOVEWagletics promotes doggy health and exercise, with all of the films that we will be sharing with you designed by Laura Muir, who is a fully qualified vet away from the athletics track.
Exercise 4: Hide & Seek
These exercises get your dog to use its brain, nose and encourages better hand to eye coordination.
Watch as Paralympian and Rio 2016 silver medallist Lauren Steadman demonstrates Magic Cups and Hide & Seek alongside her German Shepherd Meric Belle.
Give it a try: Magic Cups
To attempt Magic Cups at home you will need a few props. Lauren is using plastic cones but tupperware boxes or plastic bowls work just as well. Follow the below steps when attempting Magic Cups.
- Firstly, find a nice open space to play the game in. Outside in the garden is perfect for this one.
- Instruct your dog to sit or lie down - be firm and have some treats ready to reward their obedience
- Make sure your dog has your full attention, take your three objects and place a treat or ball under one of them.
- Then tell your dog to find the treat. You may have to help your dog a little, but they soon get the hang of it.
- Always remember to give praise and encouragement
Give it a try: Hide & Seek
This is a fun game that can be played inside the house or out in the garden. You may need an assistant for this game unless your dog has mastered the “stay” command.
Leave your dog staying or with a friend and run and hide. After a few moments, shout out your dog's name and see if they can come and find you.
Encourage your dog with treats and toys upon completion of the task and remember to do this in a safe environment if you’re not using a lead. Crowded spaces with other dogs could lead your pet to become distracted, so quieter places are better for this game so your dog focusses on you.
Show us what you can do
Join in and attempt to complete these exercises while also sharing your own tips and tricks when it comes to keeping dogs active. Simply upload your attempt at the doggy exercises to social media using #YuMOVEWagletics for a chance to win amazing prizes, including one-on-one coaching sessions from our athletes, product bundles and doggy toys.
Top tips when doing these activities
- Always keep hydrated – when exercising, it's important to ensure that your dog has access to plenty of water, if you're out and about with your dog, ensure you always have a bottle of water or a bowl for them.
- Always keep cool - on hot days, exercise your dog during the cooler parts of the day, in the early morning and late evening. Watch out for signs that your dog is overheating, including heavy panting and loss of energy. If you recognise these signs when exercising, stop, find a shady spot, and give your dog water.
- Always warm-up – for safety, these exercises are best completed after warming up. Taking your dog for a 15+ minute walk immediately before agility, with the opportunity to run free or play with a retrieve toy or tuggy can help to reduce any risk of injury. It is preferable for the dog to be able to gallop and stretch all their muscles prior to commencing agility work.
- Consider when you exercise - For safety, we advise never to exercise your dog on a full stomach.
- If you have any concerns always speak to your vet - If your dog has any pre-existing health conditions or underlying injuries, always seek veterinary advice before completing any exercise with your dog.
The Wagletics campaign will run across our Facebook and Instagram channels from 7th - 28th August. Lauren Steadman (@laurensteadmann), Laura Muir (@lmuiruns) and Jemma Rekkie (@jemmareekie) will also be posting content to their own Instagram channels. Each week, the nation will have the opportunity to learn a new exercise for their dogs and will be shown how to master it by our GB heroes.