The most common problem dog owners have isn’t biting, barking, or other negative behaviors. The real problem is that the owners really don’t keep their pets challenged physically and mentally. Whenever your pooch gets bored, they maybe become destructive. And when your dog gets destructive, you’re more likely to get mad.
Luckily, more often than not, this cycle is preventable if you simply take some time to exercise your dog’s body and mind. Listed below are several suggestions which can help you keep your pet active as well as happy, (while hopefully stop your dog from chewing on your shoes and everything else in sight).
Problem Solving Skills – Present your pet with a couple of little challenges to solve each day. You can put peanut butter inside a Kong toy, bury bones in your yard, or even put treats into stuffed animals specially designed for dogs. It doesn’t have to be anything super hard. Small puzzles are entertaining for your pet and good for their brain stimulation as well.
Test Their IQ – You will find a variety of different Dog IQ tests online. They are basically a series of tests which can help you understand how smart your dog is (or how smart they are not). Honestly, the specific IQ result isn’t as important as the actual testing process. The test is full of great exercises for your brain. The tests additionally give you a great way to establish yourself as the alpha dog. They are also a wonderful way to bond with your pooch. The majority of dogs will perform well on these tests, but even for those pets who don’t, it’s still a great workout for their brains.
Dog Obedience Training – Simple obedience training is very stimulating and very successful in working your pet’s problem solving skills. It will require plenty of intellectual power to recognize and follow along with your instructions, as well as to do tricks.
Exercise and Agility Training - Basic exercise is great for the physical fitness of your pet but it is not always effective at working your four-legged friend’s brain. As pet owners, it’s our job to continuously challenge our dogs by giving them interesting tasks to do. Agility training is great for this (for certain breeds).
Work for it – Dogs should not be given anything for free. As animals, dogs enjoy working for specific things like food and attention. So the next time you feed your pet, provide them with water, or even just sit and pet them, first make them sit down, stay, lie down, shake or accomplish other tasks or tricks.
Doing their job – Just about every dog breed has been selectively bred throughout the years to accomplish a specific task. They enjoy being challenged to do that task and they enjoy thinking. To truly work your pet’s brain, put their selective breeding to the test. Have a hunting hound track, have a herding dog herd, have a guard dog guard, etc. This can satisfy their deep down need to work and it’s also a great way to work their brains.
Teach them new Tricks – Once your pet learns the basic commands such as “sit” and “stay,” they are no longer very mentally stimulating for your pooch. Teaching them advanced tricks however, is highly engaging. If your pet is especially intelligent, challenge them with new tricks regularly.
Your dog’s brain will begin to decline if it is not properly challenged and worked. A dog which is not properly challenged both physically and mentally may become bored, restless and destructive. The above methods for stimulating your pooch’s mental capacities will also entertain your pet and keep them happy and engaged. A happy, engaged dog will also keep you and your family happy.
And once your dog is in the practice of learning new things, you may even be able to teach them awesome tricks like climbing a ladder or fetching a newspaper.
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