Keeping your dog entertained and mentally stimulated can be a challenge, but it’s just as important to keep your dog mentally busy as it is to keep them physically active.
Our dogs’ lives are enriched by providing them with a purposeful activity, such as a fun brain game. It is a great way to exercise your dogs’ brain while also keeping them out of mischief. In addition, your pup is less likely to exhibit undesirable behaviors like excessive chewing or barking with these activities. The best part is that you don’t need any fancy toys or equipment to get started!
Try out these 4 simple games to keep your dog’s mind active and out of mischief!
The Which Hand Game
This game is an easy way to stimulate your dog’s brain — and the only things you need to get started are some treats and a training leash connected to your dogs’ favorite dog collar to keep them close by while playing!
How to play
- Grab some training treats and have your dog stay in a sit position.
- As you place a treat in one of your hands, allow your dog to watch.
- Ask your pup ‘which hand?’ as you close your hands into a downward-facing fist and extend your hands out to them.
- Praise and reward your pup when they touch or indicate the correct hand.
Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t get it straight away. Treats can excite some dogs so much that they start pawing at both of your hands. As long as you just reward them for touching the correct hand, they’ll begin to understand.
Find The Treats Game
Using a simple game of “find the treats,” your dog’s mind will be challenged while having fun. It is an entertaining game for dogs to play because it lets them use their natural senses of smell and scavenging skills to find treats.
How to play
- Basically, find the treats is what it sounds like. To feed your pup, do not use a bowl but instead place their food over the floor, around the home, or even in the yard. If you’re doing this indoors, you’ll want to use a hard surface that’s easy to clean. Then, as your dog’s nose becomes more adept at finding the food, you can spread it out over a bigger area or an uneven surface, such as grass, to challenge them even further.
Do not expect your canine companion to immediately use their keen sense of smell when playing this game, despite their superior ability to detect scents. Remember to increase the difficulty of where you hide the treats gradually. It will take some time for them to master this new skill but don’t worry they will get the hang of it! As your pup becomes the “Find It Champion,” may we suggest giving them a friendly lawn gnome dog collar, it is sure to boost their popularity amongst the garden creatures! 🙂
The Cup Game
This is the game where a treat is hidden inside one cup and then swapped around. You’ve probably seen it before. This game is an excellent way for your pup to practice their problem-solving abilities.
How to play
- Grab 3 cups (empty plastic yogurt containers work great) and some treats.
- Place a treat in one of the three cups and have your dog watch.
- Shuffle around the cups.
- Let your dog sniff and find the cup with a treat underneath.
- Give them praise and pats when they find it, and repeat!
We highly suggest Sooper Treats, our pups go wild for their Blue Majik blueberry treats! Just remember to break the treats up to extend the play time!
Hide & Seek
Playing hide-and-seek with your dog is both a fun and mentally stimulating activity. You can get the help of a friend or family member to hold onto them with their favorite durable training leash to keep them distracted while you run and hide.
How to play
- Have your dog sit and stay (or enlist help if your dog is peeking).
- Find a hiding spot.
- Call your pup.
- Praise them when they find you!
Hide and seek lets your dog use some of its natural scent tracking abilities in an enjoyable and stimulating way. The best part is seeing their uber-cute and proud faces when they finally track you down!