Equal parts brain and muscle, dogs are intelligent animals so it makes sense that a bored dog can become restless, vocal, and destructive. Social distancing and isolation at home can also be very confusing for dogs. More than ever, they rely on you as pack leader to keep their days interesting, active, mind stimulating and engaging. Being able to tap into your dog’s senses can mentally and physically challenge them. Ask yourself these questions:
How many words/commands are dogs capable of learning?
An average dog can learn up to 165 words and commands, while smarter breeds can learn up to 250. You should take the time to teach your dog the names of all of their toys; not just “Ball,” “Frisbee,”, ”Treat” and “Food.”
Why is my dog’s nose wet when it is following a particular scent?
Your dog’s nose secretes a special mucus that helps absorb scent molecules. When they lick their noses to sample those scents, they can better understand what the smell is.
Compared to humans, dogs assign 40% more brain power to analyzing smells. Although it is difficult to find stimulating challenges during this distancing and self-isolating time, we can all keep our dogs mentally engaged and exercised.
New Meal-Time Exercises
When it comes to feeding our dogs, it often becomes a very routine and robotic process. Make one of your dog’s food servings a fun, interactive experience. Stimulate your dog’s brain. Teach and improve on important commands such as “Stay,” but be sure to practise these commands without treats as well. Also, use mealtime as an opportunity to teach your dog new tricks like “crawl”, “speak” and “spin.” Learning new tricks not only makes your dog smarter but it helps build upon the everlasting bond you share.
Shaping your dog’s brain
Your dog needs you to take the time out of your day to get creative. They love working for you while stimulating their heightened senses. Your dog loves being challenged while attempting and learning from new experiences. Here are some in-home brain games and activities you can play with your dog.
- Find an old towel and play a game of Tug-of-War. Be sure to let your dog win to keep them interested.
- Purchase or create your own puzzle games.
- Play nose working games like Treasure Hunt, Hide N’ Seek, and 3 Cups and a Treat. (Hide a treat under 1 of 3 cups and see how long it takes them to find it).
- Playful wrestling with your dog exerts lots of energy while giving you the chance to practice commands like “Stop” and “No” when you think the wrestling is going too far.
Man’s Best Friends
We all hold a special place in our hearts for our dogs. Why not take advantage of this time and work on their brains? Break their day up by taking them with you on short errands like walking to the mailbox.
Dogs not only need food, water, shelter, physical exercises and love, but they also rely on you to stimulate them. Don’t let age stop you from training your dogs’ brain. Have fun with your best friends and show them the love they deserve by giving them your time. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to be a part of our growing pack and keep your ears alert for DOGORA’s fun, interactive dog brain games and work sheets.