Like humans, dogs get bored doing the same things day in and day out. Mentally challenging your pup can help them stay out of trouble and help keep their mind in tip-top shape. Mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise! Here are six tips to help challenge your dog’s mind.
Add some new toys to their collection
Would you like playing with the same toy every single day? No, right? Then don’t make your pup play with the same toy over and over again! Get your pup a new toy to play with when they appear to be bored with their old ones. You can take the old toys away for added stimulation.
Take your pup to meet some new humans or dogs
When your dog meets a new person or another dog, they are introduced to new sights. They are also introduced to new sounds and scents. Dog parks are a great place for pups to make new friends. Or, try taking your dog to a new walking trail or a new dog-friendly restaurant.
Get those errands out of the way with your dog by your side
Wouldn’t running errands with your dog make them so much easier? Introducing your dog to a new place will help keep their brain stimulated. Even if it’s just a short stop at a friend’s house, a trip to the post office, or even pit stop at a car wash – it will help your dog experience new things.
Teach them a new trick
When you’re teaching your dog something new, you’re giving them a mental challenge. There’s always a new trick to learn! If your dog already has the basics down, look for more challenging ones. Or, try getting into agility training, search and rescue, or therapy dog training.
Provide them with interactive toys or games
Believe it or not, there are dog board games and puzzles that can help keep your pup’s mind sharp. Play a game of Dog Dominos or Dog Memory. Toys like the Kong ball or other toys that allow you to hide treats in them will help keep your dog occupied and their mind’s challenged.
Give your pup a job
Dogs love to have a job to do. They were born to herd and hunt. Playing games like fetch or Frisbee will help keep them engaged. Sports like Fly ball or agility are also great for challenging your dog’s mind. Going for long hikes or swims are great mind-enhancers for them as well.
Next time you think your dog looks bored, try using some of these tips to break them out of their rut. After all, a tired, mentally-challenged dog is a happy, non-destructive dog!