I'm always working on keeping things interesting with Renji. We have no yard but we do have access to dog parks for fetch and running and training when they are empty. We do go to obedience and agility classes and will also be starting rally classes. I can honestly say that training classes wipes my dog out more than lure coursing and hard running, even if he doesn't run around much at class. So that's a BIGGIE. Involve a dog with classes and you'll have one happy dog (and it's fun for people, too).
At home, we work on fronts and finishes, directional commands, targeting, names of toys, getting used to handling and exams and handling his paws, heeling on both sides, and focus. I'll do long sits and downs with him as well and I'm working on teaching a "stand" command. We also started to play training games where I do absolutely nothing but reinforce desired behaviors- his job is to just "behave" while I look for pieces of the puzzle that I want to reward and we build from there. It teaches him how to think and learn and it's really fun.
I'd like to do more tracking work with him and start working on rally things. We're working on improving his paper-fetching ability and also delivering things to be thrown to hand. While we play fetch, he has to out the ball on MY command or else he has to go back and grab it. I just recently started to work with him on tossing out two balls, having him fetch one, then sending him back out for the other. That makes him think. I'd like to work on directed retrieves as well. I also saw those neat toys in the Whole Dog Journal that the dog has to manipulate in certain ways to get the food out- they're made of wood but they seem very cool!
When we're out in the park, typically before we play fetch, I work with targets and teach him to laterally move away from me and to move away from me forwards and backwards. I'm teaching him a command to look and focus ahead. We work on our crosses and I work on my timing. After fetch, I'll walk around the park and he'll follow, but if he gets too far away I'll zip around in the opposite direction. I find he's paying more attention to me and not getting as far away from me as usual, now that he knows that if I'm out of his sight for too long, I might vanish!
Basically, the name of the game is to TRAIN. We are working on competing but we may never even get a CGC. But boy will he know a lot of stuff.
I need to make a list of the things he's catching on to and what he already knows. Oh, yesterday he started to learn how to sit "pretty" (sit up in a beg position). It's cute! There really doesn't need to be a purposeful goal, just teach SOMETHING. They really do appreciate a little schoolwork.
And yes, it doesn't take long. Yesterday's session was a bit over a half hour and it was really mixed up and he was an angel the rest of the night. The night before, he was a nightmare. And he didn't have a walk (they don't do anything for him except fire him up). Tonight though, I plan a bike ride which does have some mental stimulation as well since he is learning left from right from straight.