It’s probably pretty easy to assume that all dogs need is a little physical exercise and active stimulation once in a while. However, our beloved pooches need much more than the odd walk or fussing from day to day! As you likely already know, dogs are extremely perceptive and actually have the ability to learn very quickly. Did you know that some dogs can actually learn numbers, as well as words? It really is fascinating that we can train dogs at all, if you think about it!
Therefore, we need to be thinking about how we can stimulate our canines’ grey matter every so often. But how can brain training help our dogs? How can we feasibly get started?
Dogs Love Mental Stimulation
The fact of the matter is, brain training is great for dogs as it can be a lot of fun for them! Dogs love variety as much as they rely on routine. Therefore, as well as walking them regularly, you should be providing them with new stimulus and concepts to help inspire them. Walking alone, in fact, can help to stimulate their mental capacities. As Oscar & Hooch states, dogs love to be able to solve problems – they’re extremely curious creatures!
Brain Training Ideas
Dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds can get into brain training. What’s more, this doesn’t have to be anything intensive! We’re not asking you to get your pup to do long division or calculus any time soon!
There are some great games you can play with your dog to stimulate their brain. Simple command training such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘trust’ can be turned into a game. You can reward them with treats, or with a toy to play with. Providing there is an incentive to take part, your dog will love this kind of stimulation.
You could also encourage them to play hide and seek with you! Hiding from your pet and encouraging them to find you will not only give them physical exercise, but will also help them to exercise their curiosity. You can also buy puzzle balls and complex toys which will keep many dogs happy for hours at a time. However, don’t rely on toys and games completely – as they will still need plenty of human interaction, too!
Other Benefits to Brain Training
Brain training your dog may also help them to get more confident in their everyday life. Training your dog will help them to connect with you in a closer way, which may help to reduce anxiety.
Brain training also helps to reduce boredom. To a dog, training doesn’t ever feel like a lesson! It’s just a different kind of play. They’ll get treated when they do well, and that obviously has a positive impact on their mood.
Boredom is something which can affect many dogs. Bored dogs will find themselves developing anxiety, and may even get destructive. They may even start to show other signs of disruptive behaviour, such as repetitive barking or becoming withdrawn.
Brain training may sound daunting, however, it’s simply a case of engaging with your pet in a way that’s exciting and riveting for them. Training a dog’s mental muscles means that they will learn to connect with you easier, and they will have less opportunities to get bored. Keeping your dog happy means more than just popping them on a lead a few times a day.
If you’re concerned about which direction to go in when it comes to your dog and brain training, always consult your vet for advice – as they will be able to help recommend training programs and ideas best suited to your perfect pooch!