Whether your dog is an Einstein pup or a little on the lazier side, there are ways to keep your dog busy and learning at the same time. Dogs were bred for many different things, some for hunting or searching or even herding. Nowadays the most mental stimulation our animals get is on their walks or hikes. Dogs enjoy being entertained and challenged; it gives them a purpose and builds confidence. Try some of these brain games with your pup to help them learn and stay busy!
1. New Tricks– Pretty simple concept: teach your dog a new command. Even if you believe your dog is perfectly trained and doesn’t need to know anything else, there is always something new to learn. It’s impossible for your dog to know too many tricks! If they just know the basics now is a great time to step it up to roll-over or shake. When your dog completes new tasks and gets rewarded they are growing and gaining confidence! You can train your dog yourself with the help of YouTube or take them to a professional trainer.
2. Treat Puzzles– There are hundreds of different treat puzzles out there for your dog, some are even breed specific! Puzzles can keep your dog busy for hours and entertained dogs are happy dogs. Some people feel bad making their dog work hard for a treat or food; DON’T! Most dogs crave having a task to complete. If you find your pup being destructive inside give them a puzzle to occupy their attention. Instead of tossing your dog a treat every now and then, put them in a treat puzzle like an IQ Treat Ball or Tug-A-Jug.
3. Games– Playing games with your dog can not only boost their self-esteem and give you and your pet bonding time. A treasure hunt around the house gives your pet a chance to use their senses to find some treats or even yourself! Start slow by letting them watch you place a treat nearby and letting them find it, then slowly move further and further away. Another game to play is red light green light. You dog should know the sit and stay command and the here command for this game to work. You can tempt your pup with treats or toys and let them slowly get closer and closer to the prize; only if they follow all the commands.
It’s important to give your dog the chance to expand their minds and bodies. Making your dog work for things will make them happier and more confident pups! How do you keep your dog engaged and active??