Attention all dog lovers and inquisitive pups: it's time to put your thinking caps on and embark on a week of brain-boosting fun! We've handpicked "5 Brain Games To Play With Your Dog This Week" that are sure to keep those tails wagging and those adorable noses working overtime.
As devoted pet parents, we know that our canine companions are so much more than just lovable fluffballs. They possess remarkable intelligence and thrive when presented with mental challenges. So, why not treat your furry friend to a series of stimulating activities that will not only entertain but also strengthen the bond between the two of you?
Whether you have a smarty-pants Poodle, a curious Labrador, or a quick-witted Terrier, these brain games cater to all breeds, ages, and personalities. From interactive puzzles to tantalizing treat hunts, each game has been carefully crafted to provide entertainment and enrichment for your four-legged Einstein.
Remember that a tired dog is usually a happy dog!
This one is simple, but if done the right way, will keep your pup entertained for a while! Plan ahead and grab all of your dogs favorite things - pumpkin, peanut butter, apple, dog treats, coconut oil, carrots - the possibilities are endless!
The goal is to create various layers for your dog to work through:
- You'll first want to plug the hole at the bottom of the kong using coconut oil or peanut butter.
- Cut up some fruit, veggies, or dog treats and stuff as much as you can in the kong. Once filled, we suggest taking bone broth (or even water if you don't have bone broth on hand) and filling the empty spaces with the broth.
- Seal the top of the kong with peanut butter, plain greek yogurt, or pumpkin. To make it even more exciting for your pup, you can stick a bully stick in the top!
- Take your filled Kong and let it sit in the freezer overnight - frozen ingredients make it last longer and give your dog an extra challenge as they try to work their way to the good stuff.
It's as straight forward as it sounds - give your cardboard boxes a second life by letting your dog destroy it! (Supervised, of course)
With the holidays coming up, it's likely you'll have new boxes at your front door everyday. Utilize the different box sizes by placing smaller boxes inside of larger ones and scattering treats or toys throughout. Just make sure to remove all tape, plastic, and shipping labels before giving it to your dog.
Some people have even found success by using a whole head of cabbage and letting their dogs rip.
WARNING: Prepare for some cleaning after.
Snuffle mats are scent puzzles for your dog and can either be purchased online or made at home using just a few materials. You can find a tutorial to make your own snuffle mat here.
Once you have your snuffle mat, hide treats throughout it - the more hidden to find, the better! Your dog will have to use their brain and their nose to find each treat so it's safe to say this will tire them right out!
Muffin Tin Puzzle:
This game requires your dog to figure out where the treats are hiding in the muffin tin! All you have to do is:
- Grab a muffin tin and scatter high value treats throughout it - you can choose to place treats in all of the muffin cups, or just select ones.
- Cover every muffin cup with a tennis ball. For smaller breeds, this game can be done on smaller scale using a mini cupcake tin and mini tennis balls.
- Place the tin in front of your dog and let them find the treats!
Name That Toy:
- A collection of your dog's favorite toys
- Gather a handful of your dog's toys and place them in a visible spot on the floor.
- Choose one toy and show it to your dog while saying its name. For example, "This is Mr. Squeaky."
- Give your dog some time to sniff and inspect the toy. You can even play with the toy together for a moment to reinforce its name.
- Once your dog seems to have made the association, hide the toy behind your back or under a towel.
- Now, call out the toy's name, "Find Mr. Squeaky!"
- Watch as your dog searches for the specific toy you named. When they find it, reward them with praise and a treat or playtime with the toy.
Continue this game with different toys, gradually introducing more names as your dog becomes familiar with the concept. Over time, your pup will amaze you with their ability to recognize and retrieve toys based on their names.
"Name That Toy" is an enjoyable and mentally stimulating game that taps into your dog's ability to understand language and reinforces their bond with you. Plus, it's a fantastic way to keep your dog entertained and mentally sharp during indoor play sessions. Remember, patience and positive reinforcement are key to success in training games like this. So, have fun and watch your pup's vocabulary grow!