Before buying a dog, most people will tell you that having a pet requires some sacrifices. In a way, dogs are very similar to children. In fact, some people even suggest that you get a dog as you are preparing to enter parenthood. Dogs will teach you on responsibilities. You have to feed them, take them out, play games with them, make sure they are healthy, and genuinely take care of them and provided by Ritely.
The first thing people think of responsibility for their dogs is physical activity. And yes, most dogs require a lot of physical activity. That means constant walking. But dogs also require a lot of mental stimulation. The only way to stimulate their brain is to play brain games with your dog.
There is no other way. Keeping your dog mentally stimulated is just as important as keeping him physically active. Dogs are very intelligent animals, and they need something to challenge their brain. These games not only will they keep your dog mentally stimulated; they will help you kill boredom, and are genuinely easy to learn and fun for all.
Hide and Seek
This is a fun activity you can try while you are on a dog walk. You already know the rules. You’ve probably played this game as a kid. Now it is time to pass it on to your dog. While you are at the park, when your dog is not watching, hide behind a tree, bush, or anything similar. Then, just yell “come boy”, and let your dog use his nose and ears to find you.
Find the treat
Be patient with your dog; do not expect them to look for the treats in the next room from the get go.
Where is the treat?
This is a game very similar to “find the treat”. Basically, you are giving your dog a few options, and you encourage his sniffing ability to find the treat. You can put a treat in both your hands, close your hands, and let your dog find in which hand you are holding a treat. You will notice he will be actively trying to lick your hand with the treat inside.
The cup game
As your dog gets better at sniffing, it is time that you up the challenge. One way to do that is to try the “cup game”. You’ve probably seen this game in movies, or on the street. It is a game played by rough-handed hustlers.
The doggy version requires three old cups. Put them on the floor in front of your dog. Get a smelly treat, and put it under one cup. Your dog has to watch as you move the cups around. Give him the treat if he picks up the right cup.
Unlike previous games, this one requires you purchasing a toy from a pet store. If you are handy with tools, you can try and make some ring stackers on your own. No matter whether you buy or make, you need ring stalkers made out of wood. Your dog will be chewing on them quite a bit.
The goal of this game is to teach your dog eye and paw coordination. The premise of the game is simple: your dog needs to pick up a ring, and then maneuver it onto the top of the stick. At the beginning, progress is when your dog picks up a ring, and moves it closer to the stick. As with other brain games to play with your dog, do not expect success instantly. Teaching your dog anything takes a lot of time, and patience on your side.
As you can see, most of the brain games for dogs include food. To be fair, food and treats is one of the best ways to get a dog’s attention. And treats are the bread and butter in obedience training for dogs. For this game, you can make your own food dispenser, or buy one at the pet store. The most popular food dispenser toy is the Kong Wobbler. Basically, you put food in a food dispensing toy, and your dog has to work to get the food out. The game is mentally stimulating, but also rewarding, as your dog feels he/she works for the food. A DIY version can be made with plastic container, bottle, or PVC. Just search DIY food dispenser toys for dogs.
Pick up toy / Drop toy
This is a very useful game if you want your home to be clean of dog’s toys and clutter. Basically, you are teaching your dog to be responsible and clean for himself. First, you need to start with the “pick up toy” game. The goal is to teach your dog to pick up certain toys. Starts by naming all the toys your dog have, and let your dog hear the name for any particular toy. For example “red ball”, “carrot stick”, and so on. Then, place the toys in front of your dog, and say “red ball”. If your dog picks up the red ball, give him treat. The game requires patience, but it is well worth it. Once your dog masters all the toys and knows to pick them, you can go to the next level, and that is drop toy. Basically, same thing, but the command is drop “said toy” at box. This way, your dog cleans after playing with toys.
Muffin tin game
Great for beginner dogs, as it encourages an instinct they already have. All you need is an old muffin tin. Place smelly treats in few of the holes. The next step is to cover the holes with balls or something else. Once you have that covered, let your dog figure out how to remove balls/toys and get to the treats inside.
Learning new tricks
When you want to mentally stimulate your dog, the best way to do that is by learning new tricks. The basic commands like sit, stay, down, and so on are easy for almost any dog breed. But then you can start going to the next level of challenges, which is roll over, roll around, shake hands, give me five, or anything you like.
The cherry on the top is when you encourage your dog to come up with new tricks. And no, you are not showing him tricks. It is up to him to try and show you something else. Let’s be honest, this game is not for beginners in mentally stimulating games. And not all dogs can master this game.
But for dogs that require a lot of mental stimulation, and are intelligent enough, and do not get bored quickly, this game is the pantheon of dog brain games.
The premise is the following: you give the command “new trick”, and wait for your dog to do something. If he does something he has already done, you do not give trick. Give the command again, and wait for different result. Clicker training helps a lot in this game. And until your dog comes up with a new trick, one that you haven’t seen, or just a new move, there is no treat.