Mind Games for Dogs
There is a huge variety of mind games for dogs. In this article, we will focus on the simplest games that are easy to organize at home.
By the way :Here is Some statistics: 15 minutes of mental activity is equivalent to 1.5 hours of active walking.
Is there a need for Mental games for dogs?
Every dog needs both physical and mental loads. If we talk about physical activity, then the dog, regardless of its size, needs at least 2 hours of walking a day.
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the Yorkshire Terrier or the Irish Wolfhound, the phlegmatic Chow Chow, Choleric Terrier, or the sweet Toy Poodle. If there is an opportunity to walk even more – wonderful!
But unfortunately, you will not be full with physical activity only.
Mind games for dogs – The Research
Let’s draw a parallel with people: if we run around playing football or go to the gym – it’s great, we have fun, we produce endorphins, we get tired, but this is not enough.
If we go to the gym every day, most likely, we will still get bored, want to read a book, go to a museum or chat with interesting people, and at least play Sudoku.
A dog, like a man, needs a mental load.
This does not mean that we can work out with the dog for 15 minutes and then walk for only half an hour.
The dog still needs to run and carry out species-typical behavior: sniff, communicate with fellow tribesmen (unless, of course, your pet is trying to eat them).
But if he tries to eat other dogs, I, as a specialist, believe that it is more honest in relation to him to correct this behavior.
Dog can play with his fellow tribesmen, but at least in order to minimize the constant stress in which both of you are, while walking, looking for enemies.
Unfortunately, our life is such that we often work 8 – 12 hours a day, therefore, we are absent from home up to 14 hours.
A difficult daily challenge for our pet: after all, the bladder fills in 5 hours, and feces accumulate in 8 hours.
Dogs older than 12 months (later in infantile breeds) can tolerate up to 12 hours. I will not dwell on those who walk their dog only once a day, and the dog tolerates and does not go to the toilet at home.
I believe that such cases should be equated with cruelty to an animal. Now I have stopped only on the physiological aspect. However, prolonged loneliness also affects the psychological state of our pet.
Studies show that dogs with normal nervous systems can tolerate loneliness for up to 6 hours.
Left without company for more than 6 hours, the dog begins to experience discomfort. By the way, in the Scandinavian countries there is a law: if your dog stays alone at home for more than 6 hours, you must hire a dog sitter, or a dog nanny.
3 Main Mental Games for Dogs
With our workload, we can not always give the dog the opportunity to get a sufficient amount of experience, but there are ways available to everyone that you can easily and cheerfully occupy the dog at home.
Stunt training. First, it’s fun and can be fun for both the owner and the dog. Secondly, the more the dog can do, the better.
After all, it’s cute when a dog collects pyramids or hugs a stuffed bunny. In addition, we can always boast of the dog’s skills in front of guests or, as a last resort, in our unstable economic situation, to watch a show on the square and collect supplies for a rainy day.
Shaping – when a dog is playing a guessing game. It’s fun and doesn’t require any proactive actions on the part of the owner.
Interactive games are all sorts of combinations of mazes and boxes that the dog must learn to open in order to earn a treat.
The market now offers a large number of production interactive games. The most famous companies that produce such games:
Trixie, Karlie, Nina Ottosson, Kong – Our Top mind games for dogs Pick
Mental Games for Dogs at Home
The simplest educational search games at home:
Take a piece of treat, pinch it in a fist so that there is a small hole, and show the dog two fists.
She must scent determine in which of the fists the delicacy is located. In the future, sniffing the cams can be “put” on the command “Seek” or “Sniff”.
When the dog has learned to choose the right fist, we complicate its task: we take disposable plastic cups (not transparent), make a small hole in the bottom and play with thimbles.
We put a treat under one of the cups, and let the dog determine which of the cups it is hidden under. We gradually increase the number of cups (starting with two).
Or you can take also an empty shoebox, fill it halfway with crumpled paper (ideally, take toilet paper, and the cheapest one without flavorings) and throw the food in the same place – let the dog get it out.
In the future, you can complicate the task: cover the box with a lid or make a lattice of fabric ribbons in the upper part so that the dog has to stick his face in there and fight against obstacles
Mental Games when fighting against obstacles
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Game “Sweets”. We take squares of paper (you can use toilet paper again) and twist them in a stern or several feeds. And we scatter these “sweets” around the room (you can put everything in a box, but be prepared for the fact that the paper will still be scattered around the room).
I would advise using dry food, not natural products – “natural” gives juice that soaks the paper, a greedy dog can swallow the “candy” along with the wrapper.
On the other hand, even if the dog eats some cellulose, it is not a big deal. It is interesting that in this game the dogs are divided into 2 categories: some unfold each “candy” with the help of their paws and teeth, while others take the candy in their mouths, bite out a piece with a skillful movement and spit a piece of paper.
Give your dog a good mental load. The dog will eat 30 pieces of food – and would be already tired.
Mind games for dogs Final Thought
You can take a cardboard container from under the eggs, put a treat in each recess, and on top – a tennis ball or just paper crumpled into a ball.
This is the simplest game for very timid dogs. In fact, all that is required of them is to shove the ball with their noses, and the reward is received. Then you can close the container and have the dog chew on it.
You can use small plastic bottles, for example, 0.33 liters. Put the feed into the bottle, leaving the lid open. While the dog is shaking the bottle, the feeds get enough sleep from time to time.
Another option for playing with a bottle: cut a hole in the lateral plane of the bottle, with a diameter slightly larger than the diameter of the feed.
We put food in the bottle, screw the lid on, give it to the dog. While she rolls the bottle, the food spills out.
Mind games for dogs Warning
Please remember that you must be extremely careful when using toys whose parts could be harmful to your pet if swallowed, such as plastic bottles, tennis balls, or cloth toys!
Before leaving your dog alone with such toys, make sure that the dog will not try to swallow a piece of such a toy.