Your doggie is bored of just the walks and throw ball games – she needs more to keep her mind alert! These little friends of ours require intellectual stimulation just nearly as much as we humans do. Mental exercise is a way to keep her healthy and confident, and when you can convert it into a fun bonding session through these four amazing games, there is hardly anything that would hold you back from giving it a few hours every week.
1) Hide and Seek
A classic game that we all have enjoyed as children; when you turn it into a doggie-treat, it becomes a joyful pastime for both you and your sweetie. You can use either a food treat or a coveted toy to tempt him to use his energies in finding the hidden object. Allow your pooch to smell the object and then hide it. This way, he’ll utilize his strongest sense organ as well as his mind to get to his goal.
2) The Number Magic
Teach your friend some elementary mathematics through this fun game. This is how it goes: begin with training her to distinguish a small bundle from a large one. For instance, keep a bundle of eight bones in one bowl and a pair of bones in the other. Call the eight-bone bowl “big” and the other one “small”. Ask your doggie to choose on command, and if she chooses right, reward her with her juicy bone treat. You can increase the complexity gradually by reducing the difference in numbers between the two sets.
3) Doggie Toys for Some Everyday Mental Activity
Invest in some intelligently designed toys that hide food in them in a way that your pooch has to work his brains out to get to the treats. Kong toys and Buster cubes are some good ones. Begin with simple levels for your pup and go higher in complexity as she grows older.
4) DIY Puzzles You Can Make at Home
The essence of almost all doggie puzzles is that of a treasure hunt. You hide a bait in a labyrinth of obstacles, and prompt her to go find it herself. You can create such puzzles on your own. For example, a) take a plastic bottle and make small holes in it and fill it with small dry food items; watch as he turns, twists and rolls the bottle to get her goodies out! b) Fill a carton with tattered newspaper, and hide within the layers a piece of her favorite snack.
You can create many similar games to play with your dog – it will stimulate your creative corner to build games, and his mental faculties to participate in them; and not to forget the joyous bonding time it will offer to you both!