Mental stimulating activities are necessary for your dog to keep him engaged in something meaningful to do. Therefore, to entertain your dog, and keep him active mentally, add some brain games in his daily routine. These games alleviate boredom and decrease the development of behavioral issues in dogs, such as chewing and excessive barking. Although many tools are used to control the dog from chewing and barking such as shock collars and anti bark devices, brain training games work great to manage these bad habits.

Below are discussed some brain games that can help you to stimulate your dog’s mental activity.

Some brain training games for dogs

Find treats

‘’Find the treat’’ is an easy to play game and is fun for dogs in which they use their natural sniffing and chewing abilities. It is a simple way to challenge the dog’s mind; dogs use their nose to find the treats.

How to play “Find treats with dogs”

  • Make your dog ‘’sit’’ in the ‘’stay’’ position and then grab some gift.
  • put some treats around the dog on the ground.
  • give your dog a command to find the treats.
  • Appreciate your dog when he starts picking up gifts.
  • It would be good to practice it again and again until your dog understands that what “find a treat!’’ means.
  • Now place the treats further away from the dog and give him the command to find the treat
  • When your dog can easily see these treats, then hide these gifts on more challenging places that are out of sight and then give the command to your dog to find them.
  • A well-trained dog will find the treat even if it is hidden under a rug.

Dogs have a wonderful sense of smell, but it doesn’t mean that they will use it automatically to find the treats, training is required for this purpose. Keep the treats away from the dog gradually to make him more active. It will help him to seek the gift only by detecting the smell instead of sight.

Food dispensing toys

A ‘’food dispensing toy’’ is also one of the commonly used brain-stimulating games for dogs. It is a toy that contains food, and your dog has to work to obtain food. For this game, you fill a toy with a treat and encourage your dog to get that food; it is the best way to keep your pet engaged. Once your dog starts playing with the toy, it will begin to dispense the food around him.

This activity provides your dog a chance to use his natural detecting abilities in a more challenging way. Our dogs have spent much time hunting and finding things in the wild; therefore, they are pretty receptive to the idea of work for their food.

Dog puzzles

Dog puzzles are also useful in keeping your pet engaged and mentally active. A variety of dog puzzles are available in the market, but the common thing in all these puzzels is that your dog has to find out the reward. These games not only provide your dog with food but also help in mental stimulation and to relieve boredom. If you visit any pet supply store, you will find puzzle games of different shapes and sizes. These are enough to keep your dog busy for several minutes.

Hand games

It is one of the easiest ways to stimulate your dog’s brain activity. You have to start this game with some treats.

How to play

  1. Give your dog a command to sit in a ‘’stay’’ position and then grab the treat
  2. Allow your dog to see the gift when you are placing it in one of your hands
  3. close the hand in a downward-facing fist and bend out towards your dog
  4. Ask the dog, ‘’which hand?’’
  5. If your dog finds or touches the right hand, then praise him and reward him with a treat.

Shell games

It is the easiest game that provides your dog with plenty of mental stimulation. It is a game in which a treat is hidden in a cup and then shuffled around; it helps the dogs to work on their problem-solving skills.

How to play

  • Take 3 cups and some treats
  • Allow your dog to watch when you are placing a gift under one of the three cups
  • Shuffle the cups around
  • give your dog a command to find out the cup which has the ‘’treat’’
  • If he touches the right one, then appreciate him and give him a reward.

Hide and seek

Hide and seek is one of the most favorite games of the dogs; it is an enjoyable game to play with your pet. It is a good way to stimulate your dog’s mental activity. if your dog is not good in stay command, then ask a friend for help

How to play

  • Give your dog command to sit in the ‘’stay’’ position
  • Find a place to hide
  • Call the dog to find you
  • If your dog finds you. Praise him and give him a reward

Final verdict

All the games mentioned above are useful to stimulate your dog’s brain. You can choose any of them to keep your dog healthy by all means. Remember, the game that you want for your pet requires practice/ repetition for perfect stimulation of the brain of your pet.

Emma James From

Part time blogger and full time mother