The mental stimulation of a dog is as important as the physical exercise and many pet owners tend to ignore this fact. You might have noticed that even after a long walk and physical exercising, your dog is still looking for some activity. The reason is that a dog needs mental stimulation along with the physical exercise to stay happy and calm.
Dogs are intelligent animals that need to use their brain. Lack of enough mental stimulation can cause a dog to be frustrated, bored or even destructive sometimes. If you find your dog showing undesirable behaviour such as excessive barking, chewing on different thing, digging holes in the carpets or backyard or chasing the tail, it means that they need your time to do some mental activities with them so that they remain active and healthy and be a total pleasure for you.
Once you start these activities you must be consistent with them and make them essentiality's in your dog’s life. Most of these mental stimulation activities are easy to do for you and are not expensive at all. Here are some interesting and easy to do ideas to get started.
Hide and Seek:
This game must has been a popular fun activity for you as a child and you can enjoy playing it with your dog again as a best ever activity to stimulate his mind. Dogs are the great sniffers, the most powerful sense that they can utilise in any activity is their nose. To play this game you need to tell your dog to stay while you go and hide somewhere and call out his name. You can raise the difficulty level by finding far and difficult places to hide and making your dog efforts to look for you and find you.
The Treasure Hunt
Just like hide and seek game you can make use of the sniff- power of your dog for another fun based mind and stimulating game that is named as treasure hunt. You can collect some of the things which are interesting and attractive for your dog and hide them. You can ask your dog to sniff and find his favourite treasure and bring it to you. This will make his mind active enough to connect the smell with the object and think of the ways to look for them. These treasure objects can be various packs of food items or the favourite toys of your dog. Before playing this game you can first train your dog about the names of the objects so that it may be easy for him to play actively.
You may find a lot of resource on the shape training of dogs. It’s considered as one of the best techniques to make your dog mentally alert and active. The main motive of this activity is to make your dog behave in a specific way, make him think and do problem solving to reach to a conclusion. If you are planning to do this activity you must remember that you are going to train your dog to try new things while thinking of ways how to do so and in controlled manner without any aggression. You can give him any object which is alien to him, such as any large empty box and ask him to explore it.
Know The Name
A fun based interactive activity for your dog’s brain stimulation is to make him know the names of his toys. For this purpose you can start with fewer toys which your dog would like to play with. You can one by one show each toy to your dog and speak out the name, such as the ‘teddy’! After some practice you can start the test activity by calling out the name of the toys like ‘Bring Teddy’ and make him to point it out by touching it. This interesting activity fully involves his brain in memorising the names, colours or sizes of the objects but never miss the reward part applauding him when hi start doing it right!
The Shell Game
You must have played the shell game in childhood where you hide any interesting object under any one of the three or four identical objects and let your game partner to find it by guessing. The same can be easily played with your dog and give him the treat whenever he finds the right object. This will stimulate his mental ability and will cost you almost nothing.