Everyone loves a good game of fetch with their dog. While exercise helps release pent up energy, dogs get bored with the same old routine. Bored dogs tend to develop destructive behaviors. Because of that, it is important to find new ways to challenge, not only their bodies, but their minds as well.
Mental exercises will not only make your dog smart, they also keep them from getting bored and destructive. Here are 4 exercises that can help keep your dog’s mind active.
Hide and seek
Hide and seek will not only challenge your dog’s mind, it also enhances their senses. Make your dog work for his or her dinner by hiding a treat ball or a kong and letting your dog find it.
Stuff food or high quality treats inside the toy. Put your dog in a sit-stay position and then hide the toy. At first, we suggest that you hide it in easy to find places. Later on, try hiding in it hard to find places. This type of game will test your dog’s sense of smell. Plus, it will encourage your dog’s problem solving ability.
Give your dog a job to do
Because most homeowners work, our dogs end up being home alone majority of the time. If you get home and find that one of your favorite shoes is damaged, it may be due to boredom. Give your dog a job to keep him busy while you’re gone.
Energetic dogs such as golden retrievers need a constructive way to use their energy. Letting them run in an obstacle course is a great way to release pent up energy and provide mental stimulation as well. You can build your own obstacle course at home out of PVC pipes.
Work on a new trick
Teaching your dog a new trick is a great way to keep him mentally stimulated. Teach your dog to sit, stand, crawl, spin, stay and so on. Try to keep training short, preferably about 10 – 15 minutes a day to prevent your dog from getting bored.