It goes without saying dogs are intelligent creatures. They thrive on mental stimulation. Brain games are important as keeping their brain active is just as important as physical activity. There are numerous ways to provide mental stimulation for your dog that you can both enjoy. Dogs love learning and practicing new tricks, they love to please their owners and love to receive praise and rewards. Depending on the personality of your dog will determine which activity or toy is suitable. Even the laziest dog will respond positively to mental stimulation. Some dogs need more stimulation than others, there are particular breeds that no amount of physical activity will tire them out, so providing mental stimulation can prevent destructive behaviours.
There are a variety of dog toys and puzzles available, ranging from budget to ridiculously expensive. There is also plenty of brain training games that cost nothing if you use a little imagination.
Whether your dog is being house-trained or learning a complex trick they will love the attention. Learning basic skills such as sit, stay or lie down are stimulating to our dogs. Keeping our furbuddies mentally stimulated is an important responsibility as a dog owner. A bored dog can be a depressed dog, a destructive dog, and an unhappy dog. Simple things like daily walks or playing fetch are enough to provide our pooch with love and security. Being outdoors is in itself mentally stimulating for our dogs. All the different scents and noises are beneficial in keeping their brains active. Seeing other dogs, trees, water and people are all factors that can excite and stimulate our dog’s brain. All their senses are active and are therefore providing stimulation. Organizing a doggy play date is another great way to stimulate. Having the opportunity to interact and socialize with other dogs regularly is beneficial to our pooches.
Simple ways to brain train
- Basic obedience training
- Changing walking route
- Teaching new tricks
- Toy treat dispenser
Teaching your dog new tricks regularly is a great way to get their brain active. Dogs respond positively to attention from their owners and enjoy the repetitive activity. They respond to human behaviours and recognize the tone of our voice when giving praise.
DIY dog puzzles
There are many ways we can make our own games for free to stimulate our pups. Simple games like fetch or go find is enough to get that tail wagging with excitement. As dogs have amazing noses and love a good sniff, hiding treats is a free and simple way to get their brains active. A tennis ball with a treat inside is a simple way to entertain. A good DIY game to get their brain busy is putting a couple of treats in a muffin tin then filling the holes with balls. A win-win situation, treats and balls to play with.
Cardboard egg boxes can be great boredom busters, drop a couple of treats in, close it, and let your dog find his own way to get the treats out.
Great for dogs that love to destroy!
Only use cardboard boxes for your dogs safety
Using household items is a great way to entertain without any cost
- A plastic bottle secured inside a sock can provide fun for those dogs that love a bit of noise.
- Treats frozen in ice cubes
- A cereal box taped shut with treats inside
- Hide n seek with favourite toy
Home alone puzzles
There are times our dog is home alone, providing mental stimulation when we are not around can prevent boredom. Ensuring the puzzle is strong enough not to break and cause harm to our pooch is key. Snuffle mats are great to stimulate foraging skills.
These mats are designed to stimulate your dog by using their strongest sense, their nose. Sniffing out a treat is a satisfying activity for your pooch. Some experts pointed out that using a dog snuffle mat for 10 minutes is equivalent to one hour of exercise. Treat dispensing balls and puzzles are also beneficial to our dogs mental and physical well-being. Learning how to retrieve the treats can be an enjoyable and stimulating game. There are many toys available that are advertised as indestructible, always initially supervise play to ensure your dog cannot destruct the toy and cause them harm.
Brain game from afar
Playing games with your dog, whether DIY or shop bought is quality time spent with your dog. A great way to bond and understand their likes and dislikes. Not all dogs like the same activities. Take time to get to know your dog and what their preferred activities are. Dogs love attention and interaction with their owners, without this they may engage in unwanted behaviours. The best way to bond and mentally stimulate your dog is to ensure at least 30 to 60 minutes play every day. Whether it’s a short or long walk or playing his favourite games, any activity that provides interaction will benefit you and your dog.
A happy healthy dog
Fair to say any time spent with your dog will keep him happy and stimulated. Dogs are sociable creatures and benefit from interaction with humans and other dogs. Just as we humans get to understand our dog’s behaviours and preferences they also understand ours. Our dogs can recognize our tone when scolding or giving praise. They know when we are responding positively to them which in turn leads to them responding positively to us. Dogs truly are amazing creatures, with amazing senses and the ability to learn. They are invaluable as service dogs and can be taught to assist the human race in numerous capacities.
Interesting information regarding dogs behaviour.
Hope you enjoyed this article, feel free to share any brain games your furbuddy enjoys.