Have you been coming home to find the pillows ripped apart? The furniture chewed on? Have you been walking into the bathroom to feel an awful smell that’ll be hard to clean? What on earth happened to your lovingly sweet home?
A bored dog it happened! Dogs get bored when they’re not given things to do throughout the day. Excessive chewing, barking, digging, and getting into the trash are all signs of behavioral issues due to boredom. They need constant physical and mental stimulation to stay busy and alert. Adding a few dog stimulation games to your pet’s daily routine, it’ll give them something meaningful to do. And another benefit? No more behavioral issues so you’ll start coming home to see your house as you left it: charming and cozy.
If you’re looking to stimulate your dog’s brain, here are 5 fun dog brain games you can try with your four-legged friend:
1. Mental stimulation with puppy puzzle games
We people have always had a thing for puzzles. From jigsaws to Rubik’s cubes, they seem to be taking up a lot of our free time. We’re not the only ones intrigued by them: dogs also enjoy a good puzzle!
Dog behaviorists recommend a daily dose of a puppy puzzle game to challenge them mentally. These puppy puzzles can also provide enough stimulation to keep your friend occupied and busy when it’s home alone for many hours.
There are many puzzles to choose from on the market, all of them providing exciting mental stimulation for your pet. Dogs have to turn knobs, open drawers, flip lids, and lift bones to free their treats. This will stimulate your pup’s intellect and add problem-solving to their daily routine.
The greatest benefit from these dog mental stimulation toys is their ability to successfully cure boredom. Moreover, they’re a great way to interact with your dog and build a stronger relationship with him.
2. Mental stimulation with hide-and-seek
If there are days when the weather is terrible outside and you’re stuck in your home with your adorable companion, why not try a game of hide-and-seek?
This can be a great source of mental stimulation for your dog and it’ll engage both his body and mind. Your pup will get enough exercise and will have to incorporate his problem-solving skills to find you. What’s more, your dog will use his nose to find you which can be quite stimulating and fun for him.
You can even train your dog how to play hide and seek by giving him a reward, either a food treat or a toy, every time he finds you. It’s a wonderful way to build a strong bond between you and your dog through play. Let the games begin!
3. Mental Stimulation with a puppy obstacle course
If you wish to provide your four-legged companion with more physical and mental stimulation, obstacle courses are a great way to do so. They can build trust with your dog, provide exercise, and prevent boredom.
You can incorporate anything from your house in this game, from blankets and pillows to chairs and boards. Don’t worry if you have no experience training or your dog has no practice. There are a few easy tricks for you to teach on your own and you and your dog will become professionals in no time.
You can make your own puppy obstacle course from stuff in your house. You can teach your dog how to go to its blanket, jump over the pillow or weave through orange cones. Try incorporating different activities over time as your dog becomes accustomed to the game.
4. Mental Stimulation with Treasure Hunt
Instead of taking your dog for a usual morning stroll, why not play a treasure hunt that will keep him mentally stimulated?
The treasure hunt is an incredibly interesting and rewarding game that will energize your pet. By adding a new game into their routine, you’ll expose their brains to new stimuli and prompt them to think in new ways.
You can easily train your dog to play the treasure hunt game by placing a reward in the clear scent of your dog, across the room. Then try placing the reward in the same room, but under or behind some obstacle. Once your dog understands the concept, hide the treat in a different room and let him go look for it. Get creative over time and start hiding your treats in more difficult places. You might even play this game outside but remember to keep a close eye on your pup as it may wander away.
5. Mental stimulation with new tricks
Who says tricks can’t be stimulating? Apart from the usual commands, try teaching your dog a few new ones that are more mentally stimulating. Remember, every time you teach him a new trick, you’re invigorating his mental abilities.
Teaching a new trick is extremely helpful with shy or fearful dogs. The training will boost their confidence and it’ll strengthen the bond between you two. With the right techniques and a proper amount of practice, your dog can learn just about any trick or command.
And once in a blue moon, instead of you teaching your dog, why not let him teach you something? Let him teach you about living each day with unrestrained cheerfulness and excitement, about appreciating the simple things like a walk in the park, a fresh snowfall, and a nap on the sandy beach.