6 Great Ways to Mentally Stimulate Your Dog

Dogs need mental stimulation just as much as humans do. Dogs can become bored very quickly and this often leads to destructive behavior. By stimulating your dog’s senses and mental capacities, you will be giving him the opportunity to learn and experience new things. This is very important for any dog breed and dogs of all ages. Try these Jindo approved activities.

Take daily walks – Walks are good for physical and mental stimulation. The new smells and sights stimulate your dog’s senses and keep them alert. They enjoy discovering new things. Try to take different routes instead of going the same way everyday. This will add some excitement for your dog.

Give him puzzle toys – You can buy puzzle toys online or from your local vet. These toys are designed to challenge your dog. He needs to complete a puzzle or do specific actions to release food or treats. Not all dogs enjoy the same puzzles, so you will need to test it out. These toys will keep your dog busy for a long time and give them the mental stimulation they need.

Visit the dog park – At the dog park, your dog will have the opportunity to meet new human and four-legged friends. Again, the new smells and sights are exciting and will stimulate your dog’s senses and mind. When meeting new dogs, make sure to pay attention to the behavior and make sure that the dogs get along before deciding to take off their leashes or anything like that.

Build an obstacle course – You’ve seen on television how the show dogs jump over things and crawl through things. This is called agility training. Agility training is very good for both physical and mental stimulation. You can build a course with things you have at home and train your dog to walk and run the course. You can have stairs to jump over, boxes to climb through, cones to weave through, etc. It will be fun for both of you.

Take part in recreational events – Things like park runs or hikes can be very good for both of you physically and it will also be good for your dog’s mental stimulation. Meeting new people and other dogs and seeing and smelling all kinds of new things will be great.

Rotate toys – We all get bored with doing the same thing or playing with the same thing everyday. Dogs are the same. They will get bored with the same toys and start looking for other things to do. This is when they start chewing the couch or playing with the toilet paper, etc. Introduce new toys every few weeks or have a box of toys and rotate them every few weeks. Your dog will enjoy a re-introduction to an old toy just as much as a new one.

When taking part in any of these activities, make sure that you put your dog’s safety first. Pay attention to fear-based behavior and don’t force interaction with other dogs or people. Always have water with you and remember to praise your dog for good behavior and when they solve a puzzle.

Feature image by: Chris Waits

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