You go for long walks, you play fetch but your dog is still full of energy. You have tried many things but nothing seems to work. Your dog has started chewing and destroying things he shouldn’t and the frustration doesn’t seem to end? You have tried expensive trainers and sourced the internet looking for advice. The answer to it is simpler than you think: Mental Stimulation.
Physical exercise is great and necessary for your dog but it’s only one side of the coin. My own dog, Silk, will be more tired after 15 minutes of scent games rather than a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood. Don’t believe me? Try out these 6 ways to mentally stimulate your dog today:
- Go outside with your dog
- Instead of a hurried walk around the neighborhood just for your dog to do her business try setting some extra time aside for your doggy walks. Let her smell the bush, watch the birds and walk slowly around with you. You can also try changing your regular route for a fun experience. If you are worried about street dogs, just carry some Parle G biscuits with you and crush and throw some when dogs bark at you. After a few times, they will stop barking at you, even without the treats, but do give it to them once in a while.
- Do a training session with your dog
- You do not need to teach your dog some difficult trick and tiring trick to stimulate him. Basic commands such as “Sit”, “Stand”, “Stay”, “Lie down” work just fine. Do a full Sit-Lie-Stand with your dog and reward her everytime she completes the full segment. Try dropping the bowl today and feed your dog all of his food with this game!
- Play Detective Dog
- Put your dog in another room and hide a few treats which have a strong scent. Or if your dog is a foodie like mine, literally anything will do! After hiding the treats, release your pup and watch her work her senses and find those treats. Start easy at first and nearer to the closed room and slowly increase the difficulty level.
- Hide and Seek
- Challenge your dog with a game of hide and seek today. You may need a human friend to help you out. Ask your friend to make your pup sit in one room while you go hide somewhere. Choose some place easy at first- behind the couch/furniture, etc. Then call your pup to you. You can both enjoy the moment of surprise and your pup finds you!
- Interactive toys
- Interactive toys are a great way to keep your pup engaged. A kong filled with treats works best. But if your pup is anything like mine, they must have already mastered the easiest way to get out the treat. If this is the case, you need to get on to making some toys for your pup. Its easy stuff to do. You can look at knotting an old pair of jeans(don’t forget to remove the buttons and the zip) and give it to your dog. View us on our instagram handle for more of this.
- Rawhide treats
- You might have heard a lot of bad things about rawhide bones and chews. But don’t pay heed to it. Rawhide treats are one of the best ways to mentally stimulate your dog. It helps them satisfy their urge to chew and cleans their teeth at the same time. The correct way to use a rawhide treat is to supervise your dog while she is chewing it and then discarding the treat when it becomes small enough to swallow.