A vital means to have a happy and healthy dog is ensuring that they get enough mental stimulation through dog brain exercises. This helps keep the dog engaged, less irritable and cheerful. Below are some ways to keep the dog mentally stimulated:
Play Hide and Go Seek
To play this game, start by asking your dog to sit and stay. As the dog waits, go and hide quietly in places where they cannot see you. Once you’re settled, ask the dog to come find you using the command you use when releasing them from their stay position. Bringing a treat can be a motivation for your dog.
Nose work jobs are some of the favorites for dogs. They are a good way to exercise their sniffing ability. Treasure hunting is an effective way to do this. Use an object that the dog loves. Show it to your dog, ask him to sit and stay while you hide it, and then use a command to make him look for it.
Play the Shell Game
This game involves hiding a treat under three identical containers they making the dog find the treat. Let him watch you place the treat then shuffle the cups around and reward him when he finds it.
Red and Green Lights
This game is for teaching dogs to control their impulses. It helps control excitement during play time. When playing, use the green light for “come” and red light for “stay”.
The Naming Game
Some words are already familiar to the dog. This game involves making the dog understand more words like the names of people or objects.
Picking up Toys
Let the dog learn how to pick up items like their toys or even laundry. It also involves showing him where to keep the items safely in an organized manner. “Get” or “Drop” can be easy names to use in the game.
Teach the Dog New Tricks
When your dog looks restless or irritable, find a new trick to show them. The trick is not in showing them, but letting them decide the best trick, without repetition, in order to get a treat.
Using Toys with Treats
When buying new toys for your dog, make sure it comes with an added treat. This will be a good way for the dog to play with the new toy while looking for the treat.
The Tin Game
The game involves digging out old tins and replacing them with treats. Use toys or balls to cover the holes. Let the dog play while looking for the hidden treats.
Interactive Dog Puzzle Toys
This is one of the best ways to mentally stimulate dogs. It works when you hide treats under puzzles, then let the dog use the nose and paws to find the treats. The interactive nature of the puzzles is essential for mental stimulation.
These games not only aid in mental stimulation, but they also improve the dog’s confidence and reinforce bonding with your dog so go ahead and get your dog on play mode 🙂
If you have a strong breed dog like a pit bull, you might want to check our indestructible toys article.