Dogs have always been man’s best friend, and while our life alongside them is filled with bliss, they don’t always make things easy for us!
As pup owners know all too well, dogs can be pretty active or excitable at the best of times and anxious and distressed at the worst of times.
A lot of dogs are bundles of energy, bouncing off the wall and off us! And while their exuberant nature is very loveable, sometimes, we all just need a few moments of calm.
That’s why our Small Business Spotlight has chosen to shine down on Calm Dog Games; a wonderfully unique enrichment game company that aims to reinforce behaviours of calmness, confidence and responsiveness in dogs – all through play.
Through their innovative activity card decks, they’re inspiring owners to form a closer bond with their pooch, teaching short and simple activities that challenge a dog’s cognitive abilities, giving them a more engaging and fulfilling life.
As a result – they’ll be rewarded with the love and affection they deserve, and you, in turn, will reap the benefits of a calm, confident canine! So let’s get down to how it all works…
Calm Dog Games: Enrichment Games For You And Your Dog’s Wellbeing
There’s no denying that dogs love their owners and want to please them, but sometimes they can get pretty stubborn. This is why teaching basic tricks like ‘sit’ and ‘lie down’ are not always going to be successful, as some dogs seem to follow their own path regardless!
Calm Dog Games recognise that dogs are individuals in their own right and so simply seek to teach them better decision-making skills through a fun, positive experience that will make them more likely to take the learning on board!
Instead of commanding your pup to follow orders, these games instead encourage dogs to follow natural instincts, allowing them to chew, shake, sniff, explore and more.
Calm Dog Games: What They Offer
Calm Dog Games’ product comes in the form of a 52 card deck, with each card featuring a different brain game, enrichment activity or training exercise to play with your pup.
Each one takes just a few minutes to play, and the idea is that you can pick a card or two at random every day to ensure your pooch always gets a small but stimulating activity to enjoy with you, no matter how busy you are.
Enrichment games like these are rewarding and tiring for dogs, engaging their minds in the same way we humans might do a crossword or sudoku.
Each game will help stretch and focus the mind of your precious pooch, helping them overtime to make intelligent connections and challenging them to make good decisions in varying scenarios by rewarding them with positive reinforcement.
It’ll also tire them out, meaning you’ll have a more satisfied, sleepy pup on your hands, with their need for attention all but satiated.
What’s fantastic about Calm Dog Games is that the varying 52 games always keep things fresh, meaning you are never at pains to constantly brainstorm new activities and that your pooch is always being tested and stimulated in a way that won’t become stale.
Within these 52 cards, there are also five categories – Calm, Focus, Play, Puzzle & Bond – meaning you can target any specific behaviour you like, all of them helping to create a stronger connection with you and your pup while reinforcing those calm and confident behaviours.
To better understand what the games entail, here’s a rough guide to their themes and benefits:
- Enrichment activities – includes easy DIY puzzle feeding activities & provides an appropriate outlet for expressing natural & stress-relieving behaviours.
- Scent games – become part of your dog’s #1 activity!
- Brain games – boosts your dog’s confidence and motivation levels.
- Bonding exercises – strengthens your relationship through working together.
- Stealth training – reinforces positive behaviours such as toy sharing, recall, proximity and responsiveness while your dog just thinks you’re the most fun person ever.
To ensure the path to a calm and confident canine is always a simple one, each enrichment pack also comes with an additional guidance booklet, including information on how to further progress your dog’s new activities.
The People Behind Calm Dog Games
Company founder Chloe Hodder originally started creating enrichment games purely for the benefit of her own dog Cam, a springer spaniel with boundless energy and an endlessly affectionate way.
While these traits are usually all part of Cam’s irresistible charm, he would sometimes become a hindrance for Chloe when working from home, his need for attention preventing anything from getting done!
In response, Chloe started keeping Cam entertained with short bursts of highly-engaging activities throughout the day, noticing very quickly the incredible changes it had on his behaviour.
Not only were they making his day to day life more interesting and exciting, but he’d also begun sleeping more soundly, being more responsive and having a naturally calmer disposition, allowing Chloe to get on with her working day without distraction.
Amazingly, these behavioural changes stemmed from activities that lasted no longer than 5 minutes, and Chloe realised that all dog owners could be reaping the rewards of these simple activities.
It wasn’t long before her success with Cam inspired Chloe to start up Calm Dog Games, offering owners the chance to see the same results in their own pups without coming up with any of the activities themselves!
RSPCA Approved – Calm Dog Games’ Evolution
As well as featuring fun games and enrichment activities, Calm Dog Games’ first-ever deck also featured training exercises designed to help with issues such as loose leash walking, impulse control and focus.
This quickly caught the RSPCA’s attention, who are now official stockists of Calm Dog Games and advocates for its benefits in helping rescue dogs adjust to new homes.
“The RSPCA wanted something that would be suitable for new owners who hadn’t done any training with dogs before and for rescue dogs who, for example, may not have the confidence for eye or body contact.” – Chloe.
Inspired by the RSPCA’s aim to help re-homers, Chloe decided to make amendments to her original deck, splitting them into two factions, so she could provide greater focus in developing games for both calm and responsive behaviours.
As a result, Calm Dog Games now offer a Volume 1 Enrichment Deck focused solely on providing fun and engaging mental stimulation games for pups. This deck is designed to help avoid problem behaviours in dogs that arise from boredom, increase bonding time and help create a great relationship with your pup.
This makes it an ideal deck for re-homers of rescue dogs, as it allows you to develop a connection with a canine who may be suffering from a lack of confidence.
“I wanted to be an RSPCA Inspector when I was younger, so I’m thrilled to help re-homers build confidence within their new rescue dog and work towards creating more awareness around the importance of mental stimulation and enrichment.” – Chloe.
The Volume 2 Enrichment Deck will instead delve more into developing behaviours of responsiveness in your dog, expanding on from the loose leash and impulse control activities included in the original deck. It will feature exercises such as recall, manners, cue responses and more, helping your dog make better decisions based on your actions.
The Volume 1 Enrichment Deck is currently available to purchase from the Calm Dog Games online shop, while Volume 2 is due to be released soon!
An Eco-Friendly Company
As well as being a great believer in a dog’s mental wellbeing, Calm Dog Games are also big advocates for a greener, more sustainable planet, with Chloe going to great lengths to ensure the company has a plastic-free footprint.
“We all make an impact on the planet; it’s impossible not to, though I’m always looking for ways to tread a little lighter where possible. I’ve never shipped out in plastic packaging, and you don’t need to; there are so many green packaging options available.”
Calm Dog’s Packaging is made from bags repurposed from recycled cards, paper tape, and cardboard boxes, while the enrichment packs themselves are packaged without plastic wrap.
Meaning these enrichment games are as good for your environmental-footprint as they are for the brain! So check out this wonderful company for yourself and watch the rewards pile up with your pooch.