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There are many ways to mentally stimulate your dog each and every day. We all know that our furbaby’s need physical exercise every day. The term exercise also applies to your furbaby’s brain, sometimes we forget and often neglect the mental stimulation that they require.

You might notice that dog’s who lack mental stimulation often lead to bad behaviours and end up getting into trouble.
Mentally-Stimulate-your-Dog
These bad behaviours can result differently from dog to dog, such as excessive barking, chewing, whining/crying and digging.

Do you have any holes in the backyard or chewed up shoes around the house?

That’s when dogs get bored (lack of mental stimulation) they will find something to amuse themselves often resulting in these bad behaviours.

Just like babies you need to start developing mental stimulation at an early age and continue this throughout their lives.

There are a few ways to get your furbaby mentally stimulated; this doesn’t involve spending lots of dollars on fancy toys or other products, it requires time. Your time to spend with your furbaby.

13 Ways to Mentally Stimulate your Dog

Obedience Training (teach them some new tricks)

When I say obedience training, I don’t mean military style. Just try doing some fun tricks or some simple commands. For example, try teaching them to balance a treat on their nose, or they can learn how to do a hi-five.
I’ve taught Harley to do both, and she’s excellent at it now. 🙂

Rotate your dog’s toys

I’m sure your furbaby has enough toys to last a lifetime. One idea is to bring out a select few and each week or month rotate them around.
Mentally-Stimulate-your-Dog

Play dates with other dogs

Organising playdates with your friends or family dogs can be fun and exciting for them. They will have a great time chasing each other and playing, and you get to sit back and relax and catch up with your friends or family.
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Daily exercise

Physical exercise is a must for your furbaby to live a healthy lifestyle. Just like us humans we to need to incorporate exercise into our daily routine. First thing in the morning, go out and throw the ball around for a little while before breakfast.
Mentally-Stimulate-your-Dog

Interactive toys (toys that make noises)

Interactive toys such as ones that make noises or talks, not just the squeaky ones. Harley has two funny toys that make laughing noises, and she loves it. I think Harley loves these because they are different from the traditional squeaky toys.

Take various walking routes with your furbaby

Dogs will get used to walking the same path every day and will get bored, just like you probably. Try walking a different route every few days to keep it different. Your furbaby will notice the different smells.
Mentally-Stimulate-your-Dog

Work for Treats

If you are planing on giving a tasty treat to your furbaby make them work for it, for example doing a hi-five or any command other than ‘sit’ and do something different every time they get a treat. Keep it interesting.
Mentally-Stimulate-your-Dog

Take your dog when you run errands or pet store

If you don’t have much planned for the day and are just running simple errands, for example, checking the PO box then take your furbaby for a drive, or if you’re going to a car wash. Anything really, just a quick drive will be exciting for them.

I take Harley for a drive when I check the Po box and then occasionally stop off at Petbarn (dogs are allowed inside on a leash) and get a bag of treats or just a simple snoop to see what’s new.
Mentally-Stimulate-your-Dog

Agility training

Agility training is a combination of concentration which is mental stimulation and physical exercise. You can teach your furbaby to run through a course of tunnels, stairs, ramps and jumps. It can be super fun for both of you.

Take your furbaby to a different dog park

Going to the same dog park with the same dogs and same smells can get a little boring. Try mixing it up with a different dog park, and your furbaby can make some new friends.
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Brain training games

Brain training games are different to your usual toys. I’m talking about the brain games that your furbaby has to figure out. For example – They must press a button for the treat to be released.

Also related:Dangers of Not Socialising Your Dog

Take a drive to the beach

Nothing better than the beach. Spoil yourself and your furbaby and head to the beach for the afternoon and have some fun. Just remember to pack your doggy bag.
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Play tug-of-war

There are different views on this, but for me, I feel that playing tug-of-war helps release any aggression or boredness and can be therapeutic for your furbaby.

There you have it, easy and simple ways to mentally stimulate your dog.

Over to you: Did any strike your fancy that you are going to try?

Hugs,

Gina and Harley

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