Mental stimulation is one of the most important aspects of residential dog training, but it often gets overlooked. If you find your dog is still overstimulated and excited after a walk or a game of fetch, consider adding some brain games into the mix. Instead of giving your dog every meal in a food bowl, use feeding time as an opportunity for training and interaction.
Training and Games
Spending a few minutes every day to train your dog will help you strengthen your bond. Whether you are teaching a new trick or working on basic behaviours, make sure to keep the training sessions short and positive. You can also parcel out a portion of your dog’s meal to take on walks for additional training opportunities.
If your dog bores of repetitive training, try out some exciting games that are fun for your dog and also reinforce good behaviour. Games with plenty of movement, reward, and subtle change are often enjoyable for dogs. These games are helpful in improving engagement and have the benefit of tiring your dog out.
Fun with Puzzle Toys
There are a variety of puzzle toys out there you can try with your dog. The idea here is to hide the food in the toy and the dog has to figure out how to solve the puzzle to get the reward. If your dog has never played with a puzzle toy before, look for an easier one to start with to maintain interest. Simple puzzle toys are also better options for dogs that are not very food motivated. If your dog is intelligent or highly motivated, try out a complex puzzle for a more entertaining challenge.
Food dispensing toys generally have an opening that allows kibble to fall through. The dog first has to determine the quickest way to knock all the food out. This is a great way to exercise your dog on a rainy day because they will be running around the house with the toy. This is also the perfect option to entertain and stimulate your dog when you are busy with something else.