Keeping your dog mentally stimulated is an important way of burning off excess energy. Under stimulated dogs can exhibit unwanted behaviours so it's important to incorporate mental stimulation into everyday life. Along with our expert behaviourist, Nick Jones, we've prepared a few tips to keeping your dog engaged and stimulated within the home.
With more people working from home currently due to coronavirus, make the most of your more flexible home working arrangements by teaching your pet new tricks in the garden or safely indoors to use up some energy. Keeping pets healthy and mentally stimulated ahead of crucial work hours will help to reduce the risk of being interrupted at the wrong moment.
Mental Stimulation Games & Puzzles
There are many toys on the market that challenge your dog to find hidden treats. This is a great way to encourage your dog to use their senses to hunt out the prize. This works equally well with a favourite toy or ball if your dog isn't overly food motivated. Try hiding a favourite toy in the house and encourage your dog to "Find it". You might be amazed just how much energy gets burned off in the process!
Mental Stimulation Tricks
Teaching your dog new tricks is another great technique for mental stimulation. One popular trick is teaching your dog to shake a paw. Introduce the trick by simply taking the paw, say “Paw” and immediately offer a treat. Repeat this several times and be patient, this will take a few sessions before your dog starts to recognise the command.
Incorporating daily mental stimulation on top of physical exercise is an important part of raising a happy, well-adjusted dog. Playing games and teaching new commands is not only a great way to challenge your dog's mental capabilities but also a great opportunity for bonding.
Food Motivated Games
As most dogs are food motivated, try playing around with their food by hiding treats around the house, or tucking them inside suitable toys. The more creative the means, the better and longer the distraction if you are at home and on that important work or video call.
Last Updated: 17/04/2020