How To Keep Your Dogs Brain Active
Like humans, dogs get bored, and it is important to exercise your dog’s brain as well as his body.
What Can Happen When A Dog is Bored?
Like children, when a dog’s mind is understimulated they will often get into mischief to make some fun of their own! Therefore, this can lead to all sorts of disruptive and destructive behaviour including barking, chewing, digging and whining.
Importance of Routine
If your dog knows that he is walked first thing in the morning, fed at noon, playtime at five pm and a treat before bed, he will soon begin to relax and nap in between these times.
Dogs are creatures of habit and like to have a daily routine.
Some dogs follow you around the house all day long and its usually because they choose to be close to you, however it can be because they are desperate for interaction.
Heres a few cheap and easy games to play which should help to keep your dogs brain active.
The cup game
You will need at least two, opaque cups, three when the dog is good at this. Line them up on the floor, upside down, and make sure the dog sees you put a treat underneath one of them. Move them around slowly, then get the dog to point out one of the cups by indicating with his nose. If the dog chooses the right one, he gets to enjoy the treat. If not try again!
It’s amazing how quickly the dog will learn to follow the right cup with his eyes and get the treat every time!
Teach your dog to pick up a toy and drop it into a certain spot (a toy box would be good!) First positively encourage your dog to leave a toy on command, then when he has mastered this, treat him when he ‘drops it’ in a designated area. When the dog is perplexed or excited ignore him, when he is focused, encourage and praise him.
Now you can start the Name Game.
From a puppy, give your dog’s toys a simple name like ‘bear’ ‘ball’ or ‘rope’. When he knows the name of his toys you can train him to go to a specified item, pick it up and ‘bring’ to you. When that becomes easy, train the dog to ‘drop it’ into his toy box.
Have a look for dog training classes in your area, as well as great fun your dog will learn obedience and agility. Imagine how proud you would feel with a certificate to say that your dog has completed the course!
When you can’t be there.
Leave a toy filled with healthy treats or stuffed with a tasty snack. Kongs are brilliant for this and they are made for safety and durability. This not only helps with separation anxiety, but will keep your dogs mind active while you are gone, and stop him from eating the sofa!
There are loads of toys available which are specially designed to make a dogs brain work. These are puzzles where the dog has to work out how to release the treat, either by memory, dexterity or problem-solving.
Also, remember that these activities not only stop your dog from getting bored but build up brain power and helps to build a strong bond with his owner.
Just a few of the toys available from Amazon to prevent boredom.
Starmark Bob-a-Lot Interactive Dog Toy
- A fun and interesting way of feeding dogs of all sizes
- Food/treats are inserted at the top and then the bob-a-lot wobbles and bobbles dropping treats as it goes
- Adjustable openings to customise difficulty, providing a good interactive challenge.
Kong Tennis Shoes Giraffe Dog Toy
- Multiple tennis balls for extended playtime
- Unpredictable movement fulfills natural thrashing instincts
- Squeaks for added fun
Kong Classic Dog Toy
- Mentally stimulating toy, offering enrichment by helping satisfy dog’s instinctual needs
- KONG Classic red rubber formula for average chewers
- Unpredictable bounce for games of fetch
- Ideal for stuffing with KONG Easy Treat and KONG Snacks
- Recommended by veterinarians and trainers worldwide