Battersea Q&A: How do I keep my Terrier entertained?

(Q) How can I make every day a summer sizzler for my high-energy Lakeland X Border Terrier rescue dog Alf, without breaking the bank?

(A) Battersea canine welfare trainer Nathalie Ingham says: Terriers are busy, inquisitive and clever dogs who need a lot of mental stimulation as well as exercise to live happy, fulfilled lives.

The amount of playtime a dog needs varies hugely between individual dogs. Some will play until they are completely exhausted, while others have virtually no interest.

Aside from personality, there are other factors that will affect how keen your dog is to play, including his level of interest in a particular toy, how tired he is, or whether he finds something else in the environment more interesting. Games become a lot less appealing when the world is full of exciting sights and smells.

Dogs don't need expensive toys to keep them happy and mentally active. Take a ball on your walk to the park, and play chase and retrieve, or search. Practise recall, sit, and stay, and how to walk nicely on the lead. In the house, try teaching touch the target and you'll soon have a dog who can shut doors.

Instead of buying new toys, make the ones you already have even more interesting by alternating them in play sessions - you'll make them seem very desirable if they appear on a rota basis instead of being constantly available in the toy box.

Use part of Alf's daily dried food allowance as training rewards, rather than buying expensive treats.

And remember, the best things in your dog's life - your time and love - are still free.

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