Mental Exercises for Your Dog
We all know how important it is for dogs to get regular physical exercise, but it is also vital that we provide our pets with mental stimulation on a daily basis. Boredom can cause negative behaviours such as depression or destructiveness, so it is important to keep your dog mentally and physically fit. This is especially relevant if your dog is left at home during the day, or if you own a particularly intelligent breed such as a Border Collie or Poodle.
- Hide and Seek. Try hiding a selection of toys and/or treats around the house or garden, and then let your dog free to search. Start simple, and then gradually make hiding places more complicated over time.
- New Tricks. Your dog may have mastered the basics, but that doesn’t mean training has to stop. Training provides a great degree of mental stimulation, and helps with bonding. “Place”, “Speak” and “Quiet” are all useful – you could even try to teach your dog how to collect the daily post or newspaper.
- Consider Classes. Why not enrol in a new class, such as heelwork to music or dog agility? These classes can be great fun for both of you, and will provide you with skill you can take away and develop further at home.
- Try Stimulating Toys. Toys such as the Classic Kong or the Rope Treat Bone Toy offer a challenging and rewarding play time, keeping dogs entertained for hours. Fill with healthy treats and ensure you actively encourage your dog to play.
- Run Errands Together. Take your dog on short errands, such as a run to the post box, going for a drive or visiting a friend. These tasks may seem mundane to us, but they are new, stimulating experiences for your dog, and offer additional socialisation too.