As with any creature with a brain, that brain has to be challenged to be able to stay sharp. Every dog, no matter how old, will benefit from brain games. It will help to stimulate them mentally, as well as help them socialize and grow up to be happy and healthy dogs. Luckily, it’s simple to do; all you have to do is continue to play games. Who doesn’t love to play games with their dog, whether it’s a puppy, a teenager, or a senior?
Hide and seek
Brain games aren’t just good for the brain; it’s a great way to bond with your dog, keep them from getting bored, and provide much-needed exercise.
Dogs are brilliant; there’s no limit to what they can do, so it’s up to you to keep challenging them with fun games like hide and seek. Find their favorite toy and hide it, then see if they can find it. It’s that simple! Start off slow and give them a lot of positive feedback – even if they just walk in the direction of the toy but don’t find it, they should get praised. Eventually, you can be more tricky with your hiding spots. Dogs love to be challenged!
Teach your dog new words
Dogs understand more than your tone of voice. If you have toys of different colors, you can challenge them to find the “red toy” or the “blue toy.” As long as you’re patient, and only give positive reinforcement, they’ll soon begin to understand the difference between you asking for the blue or the red toy. If they get it wrong, just take the toy from them and continue to give them the same direction. They may need a little help in the beginning, but pretty soon, they’ll start to understand what you are saying and will have no problem fetching the right color toy.
Find the treat
There are also toys that allow you to hide a treat inside, and it’s up to the dog to figure out how to retrieve that treat from the toy. Anything you can do to continue to stimulate and challenge the mind of your dog will help them develop into healthy, happy, well-adjusted pets.
Positive reinforcement only
If your dog doesn’t understand what you’re asking, be patient. Don’t scold them for not getting it right; just help them in the right direction, and when they finally find the toy you are asking for, then you need to give them praise and treats – not too many, but just a little to let them know that they are doing something right.
Toys and treats for dogs
At the Hound, we have a large selection of fun and colorful toys that you can use to play all sorts of brain games with your dog, and plenty of natural treats for when your dog learns a new trick. Stop by and pick up some new toys and let the games begin.
“Holistic Hound is a natural pet store located in Berkeley, California. Our mission is to help improve the health, wellness, and longevity of dogs and cats.”