Did you know that the brain is the largest muscle in the body and requires as much exercise as the other muscles?A brain without stimulation can cause a decrease in energy and motivation and lead to gloom. You can relate, right?
But did you know, this theory applies to dogs as well? Being cooped up inside the house for long periods can cause them to become lazy and sluggish and for you to become worried.
However, there is a pretty simple solution to getting your dog energized and back out there. All you need to do is incorporate these interesting brain games for dogs into their daily routine and sit back to watch the magic happen.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into the fun!
THE CUP GAME
You are probably already familiar with the premise of this game. It involves the concealment of an item under a cup or glass, which your dog has to find from an assortment of glasses.
For this game, you need 3 cups or glasses (nothing transparent, though) and your dog’s favorite treat.
Allow your dog to place the treat under one of the cups and proceed to hide it. Then shuffle that cup with the others and ask your dog to pick which cup they believe the treat is under. Keep practicing to familiarize your dog with the game.
GUESS THE HAND GAME
This game is a slight variation of the cup game and involves hands instead of cups.
Sit in front of your dog and place a treat or a small toy in one of your hands. Make sure the dog sees you place it in your hand. Then close your fist and bring both your hands behind your back, pretending to shuffle it.
After a few seconds, place both the hands facing downward in front of your dog. Encourage your dog to guess which hand the treat is in. Once they pick the right hand, offer them the treat, and don’t forget to acknowledge their work.
These brain games for dogs are also a great way to teach them patience and self-restraint.
SNIFF IT OUT
It is common knowledge that dogs have a great sense of smell and can be trained to find things by sniffing them. Your dog also has this superpower but not enough opportunity to practice it out, and this is where the game comes in.
All you need to do is hide your dog’s favorite items, whose scent they are familiar with. Then, start by placing them at a distance from your dog and ask them to bring the items back to you when found.
Once they get used to the idea, you may step up the game. Hide these items under the bed or a piece ofcloth around the house and ask them to sniff them out. This game not only stimulates the brain but is also an excellent physical workout for your dog.
DISPENSE THOSE TREATS
Usually, dog food or treats are handed over in a bowl by the owner. A fun twist to add to this routine is to buy a food dispenser for your dog, especially the one that involves a little gimmick to get the treat out.
Place the dispenser and the dog bowl in front of your dog and guide them on using it. Once they get the hang of it, they can treat themselves whenever they want with a little hard work.
Human beings are not the only ones who can play with puzzles. Unique puzzles are manufactured to cater to dogs, and they range from basic to complex in various sizes.
These puzzles are an excellent brain game for your dog as they give them something to think about and implement. On top of that, puzzles are super fun and a great way to spend quality time with your dog.
Start off with some basic puzzles for beginners, and don’t forget to reward your furry friends with a treat for every puzzle they solve. It is a healthy way of encouraging growth.
HIDE AND SEEK
Who does not like a good game of hide and seek? And couple it with the fact that you’re playing with your dog and it’s an evening well spent.Of course, brain games like these sound a little impractical for your dog but trust the process.
Find different spots around the house and encourage your dog to find you. Ensure that they are not following you around while you hide because it will ruin the game’s purpose. You can whistle or clap to guide your dog to the hiding spot.
PUT THE TRAINING WHEELS ON
Not literally, though. It is a metaphor to inspire your dog to learn new lighthearted tricks. You might need a few pieces of equipment like a hoop or some cones, but it will be worth it.
The tricks don’t need to be super complicated or undo able, as that might discourage your dog from trying new activities.
It can be as simple as ‘fetch the ball’ or training your dog to jump over a small box, even a hoop.
You can also create a miniature obstacle course for the dog to complete, encouraging them from the sidelines.
ORGANIZING IS FUN
It might not sound appealing to you (or your dog) but organizing their items is a very healthy way of engaging with your dog.
For this, you can buy a small storage container, or even a few separate boxes in their space can help out. You can start off by demonstrating where each item goes, for example, small toys in one box and large toys in another.
Once you make it a routine to clear out everything in their space after a fun session, they will follow suit. With time, your dog might even start taking up this task without your help!
TOYS R’ FOOD
The basic idea of this brain game is to stuff a rubber toy with food that your dog can extract while playing with the toy. There are toys of this nature that you can order online, which cater specifically to this activity.
Start by placing small dried treats to familiarize your dog with the game. Then slowly experiment with more foods and also by making the treat a little harder to get. Your dog might struggle a bit, but the wait and work will be worth it in the end.
THE NAME IS THE GAME
This brain game will involve you naming your dog’s toys and repeating these names out loud while holding each toy. Do this till your dog is familiarized with the names.
Lay these toys out in a row and say these names out loud. If your dog chooses the right toy from the line-up, reward with a treat and a pat. If not, then practice a bit more for perfection.
HOT AND COLD
This game is just like the other regular games, except hot means treats, and cold means no treats.
The idea is to encourage your dog to think and develop reasoning. Pick an object at random in your room and guide your dog to this object by throwing treats every time it inches closer to this object. Continue doing this till the dog reaches the target.
SPIN THE BOTTLE
A fun twist on spin the bottle is to play it with your dog. The rules would be that if the bottle lands on the dog, it will get a treat, and if it lands on you, the dog will have to bring you a treat (place any favorite treat of yours at a distance).
Not only would this game be stimulating for the dog, but it will also make it entertaining for you.
Dogs are fun-loving animals who seek out opportunities for playtime with their owners. Their tender and loyal nature make them excellent partners in entertainment.