Providing Mental Stimulation

Dogs need to use their brains. They love to investigate, solve puzzles and learn how to do new things just as much as we do. Mentally stimulating activities:

  • Will make your dog as tired as outdoor exercise if you pick the right ones for your dog
  • Are great in inclement weather to help keep your dog from driving you nuts
  • Give dogs with physical limitations a way to spend their time and energy
  • Help you bond (if the activity is one you do with the dog – some are for the dogs only)

Zoos now regularly provide animals with challenging and novel activities and call it “environmental enrichment.” Enrichment activities fall into several categories:

  • Puzzles
  • Interactive toys
  • Things they can safely play with and tear apart
  • Things that make them use their noses
  • Novel treats

Below are some videos that show a few great ways to bring some more mental stimulation/enrichment into your dog’s life. To find even more, search key words like "enrichment" "dog tricks" "mind games for dogs" "bored dogs" and "mental stimulation for dogs."

Of course, use your sensibility about what your dog will like, what he needs to be supervised with and what he will swallow or otherwise misuse from way intended.

Enjoy and be creative!

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