Mental stimulation is necessary for your dog. In this article, I will tell you about ten ways to mentally stimulate your puppy. With regular exercise, some brain games can help you to do it. Here are the ways-
1. Work For Food
Scavenging is a natural way of eating for dogs. You can just put the bowl and make it easier for the dog to eat. But, playing a game of eating with the dog can give it mental stimulation. You can make a change in your feeding routine. And you also make the dog work for getting the meal.
There are toys available in the market. You just put the food in the machine and it rolls around and comes out of it. It noisy but very much satisfying for the dog.
2. Explore During Walk
There is no doubt that walking is good exercise. It keeps you and your dog healthy. Sniffing around can give the dog mental stimulation. So, you can stop and let the dog sniff.
Another thing you can do, let the dog lead you. After practicing these you will find out the dog is tired mentally boosted. So, explore and enjoy.
3. Buy A Puzzle Toy
A puzzle toy is a great option to enjoy. It will keep the dog stimulated mentally. So, they can help treat bad dog behavior. It boosts up natural problem-solving skills.
Maybe the dog doesn’t like all kinds of puzzle toys. The toys also act as a confidence booster.
4. Teach New Tricks
There is no end of tricks. You can teach your dog new tricks at any time. New tricks are a great way of mental stimulation. It will not only boost confidence but also build the relationship between owner and puppy.
New tricks can help fearful or, shy dogs. Learning new commands or, anything new can increase impulse control.
5. Nose Work Games
The nose work game is a natural game for dogs. They can find out anything using their nose. Hide something in any part of the house and let your dog find it out. You can play this game as a daily routine.
You can give a reward for playing the game. Hide some toys or, foods and play the ‘go find it’ game with the dog. Play with fun and gradually make it harder.
6. Teach Names Of The Toy
Don’t use the food as a reward always. You should use toys instead. Teach the names of the toy to the dog and play the “go find it” game with it. The first step is to teach the name properly.
When the dog finds out the toy, you have to praise the dog. Make sure the name is known to the dog. It is a great means to mentally stimulate your puppy.
7. Free Shaping Games
The free shaping game is a great game for the dog. It increases mental strength. It can be a box game. The principle of the game is to allow the dog to try something new. It can create anything by itself.
The opportunity to take own decision strengthens one’s mental stability and analytical ability. You can play the shaping with anything, not the box only.
8. Obstacle Course
The obstacle course is a great way to stimulate mentally. You can make your own agility jumps or, poles. The tools around you can be used- blanket, toys, hazard cones, etc.
Command the dog to pass the obstacle. The course will help the dog in two ways- strengthen the owner-puppy relationship and teach new tricks with fun.
9. Engaged In Interactive Play
You can keep the dog engaged in many types of interactive plays and works. A study shows that it helps to reduce bad behavior. It actually helps you to treat the aggressiveness of the dog. Of course, it is a great mental stimulation.
The interactive play and fun game help to increase the bonding as well. It acts as a physical exercise and mental stimulator.
10. Play Shell Game
The shell game is a great game to enjoy. I enjoy the game as a dog owner. It is something like a ‘hide and seek’ game. The rule is- you have to hide a treat for the dog in an identical container. The dog will find out which container contains the treat for her.
Let the dog watch that you are placing a gift for the dog inside a container. Now shuffle the identical container. Finding such a gift will mentally stimulate your puppy.