Physical exercise is vital for dogs, but few people focus on mental training which is equally important. Here are four ways to challenge your dog’s mind.
There is nothing that makes a dog happier than food and playing. Mixing the two can increase your dog’s brain activity, and we advise it seeing it’s a great way to work on your companion’s attention. Use puzzle toys to get them invested mentally and if you can get your hands on one of those toys that dispense milk or a bone after your pet completes a challenge, the better.
However, don’t make it too easy as you might risk overfeeding your pet.
We strongly advise you to take your pet to the park every once in a while or at least on a trip so they can meet new people. Dogs especially need this trick as it helps them become better listeners while reducing their anxiety levels. The more people they sniff at and get pats from, the more your pets will relax and learn to engage their sense.
Meeting fellow dogs involves new sights and sounds, which are a guaranteed way of challenging your canine’s mind.
Most dogs are hell-bent on finishing tasks. It’s like their DNA is hardwired to ensure that every task entrusted to them by you or any that they put their mind to, is the only purpose they were placed on this planet. As such, instead of throwing a frisbee or tennis ball and watching your dog pant and run back and forth, how about you become the treasure for your pet and let them find you?
Hide and seek is a great mental challenge for your dog but the game requires two people; one to distract the dog while you hide. Still, it’s a great way to engage your dog’s senses.
Behavioral training is more than teaching your dog some tricks such as sitting and rolling over or fetching. It also involves a lot of brain activity considering your dog is expected to study a new environment and internalize the tricks being taught. Your dog will be using its brain the whole time trying to think or get an idea of what is required of them.
Become creative in your training too and immerse yourself in the learning process to make it fun for both you and your dog. In case you’re past the usual tricks and exercise, we recommend using a clicker to introduce your pet to the next level of mental challenges. Ensure that your canine gets rewards after completing tasks to make the game interesting.