Photo by marieke koenders on Unsplash

Has your dog ever walked up to you while you’re busy and dropped their toy at their feet? This is a good indication that they are bored an want to play with you. When this happens, it might be better to choose other activities than just throwing the ball for them or playing tug-o-war. Choosing activities that can really stimulate your dog’s mind can not only tire them out physically and mentally but also keep them busy when you’re too busy to play with them. In this blog, we will discuss a couple of different ways to stimulate your dogs minds.

Dog Stimulation Techniques:

  • Give them their food in different ways:
    • Instead of just putting their food down on the floor and letting them eat it right away, there are toys that come in shapes that make it so the toy rolls around. These toys have holes in them so when your dog tries to push it around, they have to get the food to come out of the hole and that it how they would receive their food. This makes food time a more fun and mental activity
  • Sniffing on walks
    • As humans, we are always on the go so it is normal for us to try to hurry our dogs along and stop them from stopping to sniff around when we take them on walks. However, when a dog is sniffing around while on a walk, they are getting mental exercise and it has the same effects as any other physical exercise that they do. Next time, you take your dog on a walk, let them sniff around wherever and however long they want and you’ll see how tired they get afterwards.
  • Puzzle Toys
    • Puzzle toys are a great way to stimulate your dog’s mind. A lot of puzzle toys require that you put a piece of food in the puzzle and they have to try to figure out how to get the treat out. These toys may be something like a Kong toy filled with peanut butter or a snuffle mat where your dog has to sniff through pieces of fabric to find the treat. This focuses your dog on one activity for a long time and mental exhausts them as well.
  • Tricks
    • Teaching your dog new tricks is a great way to keep your dog stimulated. Not only does this stimulate your dogs but it can also boost their confidence as well. In addition to these things, it also benefits you as your dog might begin to listen better or gain skills that enhance good behaviors all around.
  • Obstacle courses
    • A lot of dogs enjoy agility and obstacle courses. Obstacle courses require your dog to think about their next move and how to get around, up, or over an obstacle so there is a lot of brain work going into it. The obstacle course could be as simple as teaching your dog to jump over a broom or walk through a hoop.

Overall, there are a lot of different activities you can do with your dog to stimulate their minds. There are also many benefits from engaging in these activities with your dogs too. Next time your dog looks bored or has been laying around doing nothing for a long time, get creative and try out any of these techniques to really get them thinking.