- Do you need an easy way to keep your dog busy?
- Does your dog need an activity that is both mentally stimulating and fun?
- Try teaching your dog some scent games using basic nose work
- A dog needs to exercise, not only its body but also their mind
Some dog breeds, such as retrievers, herding dogs and sighthounds, have working instincts and love to chase after moving objects. Suppose they don’t get mentally stimulated often. In that case, they can experience withdrawal symptoms, become bored and stressed, and then look to make their entertainment, which could include chewing your furniture and belongings!
Play Doggy Brain Games
As a professional dog walker working with many breeds, I’ve found that Mind Games can fulfil a dog’s working instincts, allows him to refocus, and mentally stimulate him without causing undue stress. These Mind Games can be done indoors and outside and are very easy to play. My dogs love playing with them, and all you need to get started are some favourite toys or treats.
The benefits of nose work for your pet
Your dog will enjoy the fun aspect of scent games and nose work as they use their natural talents. Although a canine’s sense of smell is more than ten thousand times more powerful than a human’s, a dog will still rely on visuals, honing in on its natural talents.
- A fun and entertaining way to occupy your dog
- It offers your dog more mental stimulation
- Extra physical activity
- A chance to bond with your pet
- Will build your dog’s confidence levels
- Dogs thrive when they have a job to do
- Sharpen up your pet’s training
How to play “Find It.”
It’s best first to initiate your dog and show him what to do. Once he has got his toilet routine out of the way and you’re walking along, get them to sit and wait. Set a treat or his favourite toy on the ground a short distance away. Give your dog permission to find the treat. Of course, it was easy this time, as he saw where you placed it—no need to sniff it out.
Use “find it” each time, and your dog will be bound with great enthusiasm to reach his treat. Your dog will soon begin associating the word “find” with this fun and stimulating game. After a few repetitions, and your dog understands how things work, it’s time to make the game more challenging. Hide the treat behind a fencepost or under some leaves. Hide it on top of a boulder, under a bench or above ground level. Go to several different spots and pretend to be placing a treat, but only hide one prize.
Remember to keep your dog in sight at all times and only allow him to be off the leash if you are in a location where this is safe and is allowed. Some dog breeds, such as German Shepherds and Border Collies, are so tuned in to learning and so intelligent that they will have no problem picking up the rules of the game in no time. If your dog takes a bit longer, don’t worry, he’s still intelligent. It just means he needs more encouragement and time to master the method.
Benefits of regular play
Playing the Find it game can help in various situations. A quick game can help timid or nervous dogs relax when in an unfamiliar situation or meeting new people, maybe at the Vet’s surgery. It’s also an ideal diversion to calm your dog when he has excess energy to channel while providing important stimulation for your pet’s brain and nose power skills. With many endless combinations, your pet will be relaxed and happy.
Owners who regularly play games with their pets develop better communication, respect and understanding with their dogs. Brain games can help senior dogs to stay active and alert and are a brilliant way to challenge a pup’s developing brain. Keeping your dog mentally stimulated is just as important as walking and giving him daily exercise.
Enrichment doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated, so let your imagination run wild. Enjoy!
- How to Entertain our dog whilst in self-isolation
- Ditch the bowl
Make mealtimes s fun by ditching the bowl and scattering the food or playing find it.
- The Muffin Tin Game
This is a great game of hiding and seeks and is ideal for scent hounds that like to sniff. Easy to set up with some basic equipment. No Special Skills are required.
- Dog Toys from Socks
Some fun and challenging games that are easy to make out of old socks
- Rotating Bottles
This game is based on three bottles with dog treats in them, and the dog has to work out how to spin the bottle at the right speed.
- Quick and Easy Games
A collection of some quick and easy games using everyday articles
- Ideas to mentally entertain your dog
- How to entertain and exercise an elderly dog
Disclaimer: Always supervise your pet when letting dogs play with homemade or commercial toys. Immediately take the toy away if they start to chew/swallow any piece,s or break apart. Finchley dog walker is not responsible for any harm that may come to your dog.