Mental stimulation is one of the best things that you can do for your dog. I’m sure a lot of you have noticed that regardless of how many times you throw the ball for your dog, how ever long of a hike you go on, how ever far you run… your pup just seems to have more energy to spare! That’s because these activities are primarily physical stimulation for your dog.
Think back to when you were a kid. When you spent a long time in class taking a few tests back to back on a Friday, you were pretty exhausted by the end of class, right? Another example is how you can be tired after spending several hours driving in the car. We weren’t moving very much at all in either of these scenarios, yet we were still feeling tired by the end of it. This is because when animals spend an extended period of time using their brain in a capacity that is greater than what is normally used to function, we become mentally tired. This applies to your dog as well!
Below we’re going to answer the five main questions when it comes to something like this: Who, What, Why, When, and Where?
Who should do this & who benefits?
I think the fact that the blog is posted on a dog training website, pretty clearly says “Your dog will benefit from this!”. The important thing to note in this section though, is that anyone can, and should, work on this with their dog. There are tons of benefits for your dog and for the relationship between you and your dog! Some activities that we’ll talk about in this article take only a few minutes and I’m sure that even the busiest of workers can make the time to do a few of these with their dog.
Why should I do this with my dog?
Like I mentioned above, these sorts of activities will very quickly grow the bond between you and your dog. Most dogs find these sorts of games engaging and fun. That’s what’s important to note, our goal with these is to continue our dogs development, while making sure that they’re having fun.
What should I do with my dog?
The great news is, these activities are fairly easy to do with our dogs! We work on mentally engaging our dogs, in a healthy, way to make them use their brains. This is typically done through learning games or “brain games”. Below are a few easy activities to get this started:
- Hide and Seek
- Learn a new trick
- Give your dog a job
- Change out some of their toys
- Run through your tricks quickly and in different orders
- Guess which hand?
- Chewing games (on the right things of course)
These are just a few of the things that you can do with your dog to get their brains working as well as their bodies. There should be a noticable difference in your dogs’ behavior at the end of one of these sessions.
When & where can you make it happen?
The best part of all of this, is that most of these games are easily done at home in just a few minutes. Even the busiest of people should be able to pretty easily make room for one or two of these games in their weekly schedule; after all, our dogs deserve the time and effort! All of this being said, it is still important to give your dog a healthy amount of physical activity. Let’s just remember when we’ve had a hard or long day, that there are things you can do quickly, and conveniently, to help work with your dog!