Physical stimulation and mental stimulation is very important for a dog. Physical stimulation means just providing with their physical needs and to keep them fit and fine. Now the question is what is mental stimulation? Dogs are very intelligent species and need also to be mentally developed and exercised. Mentally Stimulate your dog helps them develop their senses and make them calmer for the future. It is important that your dog is mentally stimulated as it calms them and they will show expected good behavior.
The following things can help you to manually stimulate your intelligent Fur-Ball.
- Let them work for their food: Don’t make it too easy for them to get their food, don’t just put the food in a bowl in front of them and have them. Make the food interesting and let them do something to get it. Make it kind of a puzzle and let them solve it rather than you helping them out. This would help them to stimulate their scavenging cravings and will also mentally stimulate your dog. You can also change the feeding routine of your dog to mentally stimulate them.
- Provide them with puzzle toys: Get them a puzzle toy and let them work on it. A puzzle could be anything like a sniff toy, licky mat, or anything which keeps them busy and helps them to work on their senses. Puzzle toys don’t only mentally stimulate them but also can work on their behavior problems. It also stimulates the natural ‘solving thing’ ability of your dog.
- Teach them new stuff: From this I mean that train them, teach them tricks, house-train them, or any kind of training. Mainly as per me you should consider tricks in this like stay, lay down, backstall, shake hand, play dead, etc. Teaching your dog different tricks boosts their confidence and also makes your bond stronger. While training with you they start to realize that you are the leader of the pack and they tend to obey you more often.
- Let them sniff around while on a walk: You want that your fur-ball should just walk straight with you, right? But it is pretty fair if you let them explore the world they are living in. Sometimes when you are on a different route for a walk you should just let them sniff around to get the different scents and smells of the world around them. You would be like how would this help my dog. But, yes, in reality, the more the dog explores the world the more their brain develops and they also then tend to behave properly.
- Play with them in a more interactive way: Dogs are the animals who love to be surrounded by humans. They just love the human-dog community and also like to play with us. Recent studies have shown that playing with your dog can reduce their behavioral problems. You should always try to play with your dog in an interactive way. Now what is playing in an interactive way? A fetch and a tug are interactive games to play with your fur-ball. An interactive way of playing is any play in which you are also active with them. These types of games help stimulate the brain of your dog really easily and also keep you fit. Tug and Fetch are one of the best interactive games because they involve physical exercise, they are fun, and also helps in impulse controlling.
These were just some ways to keep your dog mentally stimulated but you can make your own ways (but make sure they are safe). At the end I just wanted to say that mental stimulation is one of the parts of dog training that many dog owners don’t look at but it should be taken seriously as it could develop behavior problems in your four-legged best friend….
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The Whoof Whoof Team