Unlocking your dog’s full potential goes beyond the typical playtime routine. If you’re looking to elevate your furry friend’s cognitive abilities and keep their brains engaged, then you’re in for a treat! In this guide, we’ll explore three amazing brain toys designed to stimulate your dog’s intellect, providing both mental exercise and endless entertainment. Say goodbye to boredom, and say hello to a more vibrant, stimulated canine companion!
Some people see dog toys being linked to ‘Brain Training’ to promote and sell dog toys. However, a fundamental part of dog training is keeping your dog’s brain stimulated and active. Behaviourists and vets worldwide suggest that time spent with your dog playing games and stimulating their brains will help your dog improve mentally. To help reduce boredom in your dog and support brain stimulation, we have put together this article to introduce some of the simple ways you can support your dog. We also want to share with your some of the amazing dog games.
How Do I Know My Dog Is Not Mentally Stimulated?
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Dogs will display all sorts of weird and wonderful behaviours that will start when your dog is bored. Generally, your dog might
- Dig in the garden excessively
- Tends not to leave your side throughout the day
- Constant barking whilst you’re not at home
- Rummaging through the rubbish and bins
- Weight increasing excessively
- Chewing everything in the house
The above behaviours are general traits that your dog will have when bored. Giving them more space is not always the right action as they will want some activity and playtime. All animals require mental stimulation every day. Ralph gets a lot of activity time with us having two kids. They love playing fetch and ball and have not started hiding treats for him to find, which is great for his senses/awareness.
Let’s take a look at some of the brain testing toys available for your dog…
Amazing Brain Toys for Dogs
Here are a few of our favourite toys that Ralph loves;
Foobler is a great treat-dispensing toy that will test your dogs’ patience and reward accordingly. Your dog needs to push the ball around to release any treats from the relevant hole.
Ralph pushes his Foobler toy around for long periods or until he knows his treats have run out.
This puzzle is a fun toy that is unique and challenges your dog. Hiding your treats under the compartments, then challenging your dog to find out how to open them. Challenges your dog’s brain and helps reduce destructive behaviour in dogs.
A great toy designed to relinquish any boredom in your dog and complete exercise your dogs’ brain. Hide some small treats in the toy and release your doggie. They will instantly love the challenge this presents.
What Is Dog Enrichment?
Anything you do in life that adds value can be classed as enrichment. This can be a significant change in scenery or an increase in mental stimulation for your dog. New Toys or social events for you and your dog can also be seen as enrichment. Dog trainers have been identified using the same training techniques as zoo animals. They have quickly identified common traits in training dogs. One of which is the mental stimulation required to keep dogs/animals entertained. Understanding more about the consequences of having a bored animal will help you understand how you can provide true, positive enrichment.
What Can Mental Stimulation Do to My Dog?
When your dog becomes bored, it can quickly become depressing. They will then find ways to entertain themselves to get attention. Like children, they will become naughty and start barking, licking, chewing or even wetting in the house.
Although these behaviours can quickly fade, getting them back out of the habit is difficult. Start training and any mental stimulation from a young age. This will help you establish a great relationship with your dog behaviorally and physically. Treat dispensing toys is an excellent way of recognising your dogs’ positive behaviours and stimulating the brain.
Stressful situations can also be adapted too quickly and easily. Dog aggression is a form of anxiety and boredom. Tapping into your dogs’ mental state and ensuring they are enriched will help them quickly adapt to stressful situations.
Alternative Solutions to Stimulating Your Dogs Brain
Training your dog at home can be simple with some general household items. Stimulating your dog’s brain without any additional costs is simple. Here we will show you exactly what you can do to have fun with your dog and kids when at home or out and about.
Dogs tend to love showing their strength with a simple game of tug o’ war or searching for treats in a hiding game. These are great for brain stimulation, but exercise is also essential. Fetch or Hide and Seek are great outdoor games that can keep your dog entertained for hours.
Let’s look at some simple but very effective games you can play at home. These are games we play with Ralph.
Hide and Seek
We get one or both of the kids to hide with a treat. Once they are hidden, we get them to shout out Ralphs’s name (well, just Isaac as Elliot cannot speak yet). Once they shout, watch as Ralph hunts them down and barks when he has found them. Then they give him the treat to reward him. This is simple to do inside or outside, as long as when you or your child shouts, your dog can still hear you.
We generally use Cheese for this game. Ralph loves ham and cheese and will not stop until he has found it. Most dogs rely on their noses, which is a great way of testing their senses. You can also try filling their favourite toy, a kong is generally the most common, and then show them and hide it. Once hidden, tell them to find it and bring it back to you. SIMPLE!
This is a common game amongst street hustlers when you hide something under a cup and once the cups have been moved around you, guess what is under it.
The dog version of this game is just the same. Three cups, one treat, hide the treat under 1 cup, mix them up, and then wait for your dog to find it. We also do it with our hands by hiding the treat behind our back, switching hands and then showing Ralph our closed hands. He will then bark at us to find his treat and is rewarded if he gets it right.
Unleash the Genius Within: A Tail-Wagging Finale:
Amazon is full of amazing brain toys. These can quickly test your dog to try and get the hidden treats. They are designed solely to stimulate your dog’s brain. Hope you liked this article to be informative.